The Decline of Objectivity and Honesty in the Anti-Trump Media

In an extended essay/rant at the New Yorker, Frank Rich touts the "naive" faith of the media in badgering their political opponents to death.

The magnitude of cultural vandalism Trump has perpetrated in so short a time is impressive. Even without carrying out (so far) such draconian threats as revoking network-television licenses, he has fully discredited the legitimate news media in the eyes of his base and no doubt other credulous Americans as well. The earnest liberal conviction that Trump voters would see the light if only they were exposed to a relentless stream of fearless journalistic investigations accompanied by fiery op-eds and MSNBC sermons was a pipe dream. The press’s herculean efforts both to expose and to denounce Trump-administration corruption are uniformly dismissed by his followers as “fake news” (assuming such efforts penetrate their bubble in the first place).


What makes the news media legitimate? Trust. What's trust based on? Honesty. What's honesty based on? Objectivity.

Having a big building and brand name does not make you legitimate. At least not to most people. Trust is based on honesty. The more the media made it clear that its objective is destroying Trump, the more obvious its bias became. As the media denied the bias, it became guilty of dishonesty. And its attacks do frequently diverge into dubious and dishonest claims. Fake news.

The media had functioned as a powerful institution because of its pretense of objectivity. When it tossed aside objectivity, all it had left was power. 

That's the point I've been making over and over again. When you're biased, then your audience falls into one of three categories.

1. They agree with you

2. They disagree with you and mostly tune you out

3. They disagree with you, but they can't quite quit for various reasons, but one day might

The media is legitimate in the eyes of Frank Rich and Trump haters. It's illegitimate in the eyes of Trump supporters. Trump didn't do this to the media. The media did it to itself.