Perhaps it didn’t begin with Trump’s 2016 victory, but it’s certainly spun out of control since then. And no one is innocent in this either. Both Conservative- and Liberal-leaning media alike seem to be paying more attention to each other than the people and issues they’re supposed to be reporting on.
Both sides are fixated with broadcasting and publishing supposedly “outrageous” anchor people comments coming from their non-preferred side of the political aisle (their cable news competition), in righteous indoctrination, as if this was actual news. Making mountains out of molehills, taking quotes out of context, and demonizing their journalistic foes.
However, no one is better at this journalistic assassination than the Democrats.
The latest victim of this cable news carnage is Tucker Carlson, who arguably and correctly opined that white supremacist terrorism is not a major problem in this country, and that the latest mass shootings in Ohio and Texas were the result of a few lone wolves’ mental illnesses, providing neither soft or hard evidence of a widespread endemic problem with white supremacy. (We won’t even get into the fact that Dayton shooter was ANTIFA-inspired.)
Carlson’s assessment of the “problem” got him labeled a white supremacist himself in the eyes of many because that gets ratings and ratings is money. Of course, this is what the liberal media thought about Carlson all along anyway; they just needed a few nuts to “prove” their point, and in a nation of 330 million, they knew they wouldn’t have to wait long.
One would think that as a journalist, at least he would be entitled to his opinion, an opinion that tens of millions of Americans happen to share. However, since it’s pretty difficult to shut tens of millions of Americans up, liberals try to discredit voices like Carlson’s, who represent them. But the real story:
No one needs commentators commenting on the commentators. We’ll listen to what he has to say, we’ll listen to what the opposing she has to say, but we really don’t need her to tell us what he said because we already heard it directly from him in the first place! (I simply won’t allow her opinion of his opinion to affect my opinion, nor do I want to even hear it.)
There are of course heavy traces of good old-fashioned yellow journalism here, where it’s not the news that matters, it’s the outrage and sensationalism you manage to generate, to sell more newspapers like they did in the old days, but to get more viewership and clicks in these new days. Very different technologies, but Hearst and Pulitzer would still fit right in, in 2019.
Fifty people killed in a plane wreck sells more newspapers than two killed. Tucker Carlson saying white supremacists not as big a problem as otherwise reported attracts a lot more attention than Ira Ratner (me) saying the exact same thing. To the liberal media, Carlson saying it is big news; two hundred million Americans believing and saying the same thing isn’t.
I’m getting pretty frustrated seeing my newsfeeds clogged up with these “reports” on others’ reporting that some reporters find unacceptable. Granted, there are instances that by circumstance of the journalist’s guest that night, whatever controversial figure or subject…and the journalist’s contributions to the discussion…that it’s sometimes hard to separate the journalist from the story. But nine times out of ten, he is not the story. He is simply telling it.
So a plea to newspeople on both sides of the cable news and internet political spectrum:
Offer your own opinions to your hearts’ content, but please stop criticizing the opinions of others and use them as the basis of your own news “story.”