Michael Wolff is a columnist who writes for Newsweek, USA Today, and The Hollywood Reporter.
He recently penned an op-ed in Newsweek criticizing the media as a whole for their obsessive “fact-checking” of the President and his administration while posturing themselves as being morally superior.
But his harsh criticism of the media didn’t mean that he let the Trump team off the hook. He opened his article – headlined “Why the Media Keeps Losing to Donald Trump” – with this:
Donald Trump is obsessed with the media. And the media is obsessed with Trump. Let’s take it as a given that this obsession is unhealthy. The last time there was such a level of neurotic fixation and overwhelming distrust between a president and the press was during the Nixon administration. The current White House would be well aware that the press won that war—and that the stakes now can be mortal.
Indeed, each side believes that, given its druthers, the other would kill it. So how does this bitter and potentially lethal game play out?
He even mentioned CNN’s Brian Stelter, whom he says delivers a “pious sermon” to America every Sunday morning about how virtuous the media are and how corrupt Trump and his administration are.
It is the Trump view that the media has been so wrong in its predictions, and made to look in the eyes of the public so woeful and ludicrous, that it must now double down in an effort to prove its thesis about the president and restore its honor. (The Trump White House now hammers a persistent theme: Why was nobody fired in the mainstream media for such dunderheaded election coverage?)
The media strategy is to show Trump to be an inept and craven sociopath. The Trump strategy is to show that media people are hopeless prigs out of touch with the nation (e.g., CNN’s media correspondent, Brian Stelter, who turns to the camera every Sunday morning and delivers a pious sermon about Trump’s perfidiousness) and nursing personal grudges.
Accordingly, “alternative facts.” It’s curious to pick a battle whose outcome won’t change anything—like over the actual size of the inaugural crowd. But both sides grabbed it. Hence, the argument becomes about relative reaction. Who is perceived as overreacting more? Whose apoplexy is greater?
In other words, one can acknowledge that there’s much to talk about with the Trump administration – concerns, worries, and good news too. But to think that the media somehow have the moral high ground is laughable.
Where were the media every day during the Obama administration, hammering him and constantly “fact-checking” him and holding him and his administration accountable for all their misstatements – no matter how petty – their distortions, and their spin? Nowhere. They were busy defending him from critics.
In fact, there was no need – from the media’s perspective – to “fact-check” Obama or his spokesman Josh Earnest (and Jay Carney). All their facts were correct. And there were no scandals.
Now all of a sudden, the media have grown a conscience and are righteously indignant every second of every day.
It’s good for ratings.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com