I had a little back-and-forth this morning (using my Mulligan Jesus Twitter account) with the Washington Post’s Philip Bump. Nothing significant. For some reason my tweet annoyed him enough to respond.
I view Bump the way I view most journalists – he’s a guy doing a job, sometimes well, sometimes not. I hold journalists in no particular regard. I’ve worked in show biz most of my life. I honestly don’t care how famous you are if you not doing your job screws with me doing mine.
Like a lot of American journalists — like too, too many of them — Bump refuses to take any responsibility for the way American journalism has covered & still covers Trump. They refuse to see how their relentless normalization of Trump — from “Mexicans are rapists” to “Pussy grabbing” to putting brown children in cages to even claiming the entire Russian investigation is a hoax — has destroyed their ability to report Trump.
Reporters like Bump will insist he’s been objective down the line. Perhaps. But object relative to what? To the actual Truth or to some “truthy” version of Truth?
Bump’s hardly the worst of the worst. Reporters like NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell fill that role. 3+ years in to a president notorious for rarely telling the truth and STILL Kelly O’ reports every word Trump says faithfully — like he was speaking Gospel Truth instead of total, unadulterated bullshit.
I don’t watch the amount of news (mostly MSNBC ) that I do for the “news” (except for “breaking news” — whatever that is), I watch it like a canary in a coal mine, tweeting my head off to warn that the environment is toxic in the extreme. One of the things I tweet about with neurotic intensity is how poorly our press has performed in telling the Trump story.
From the beginning, they’ve treated Trump as if he was a normal candidate and a normal POTUS. He was neither — because Russia was doing everything it could to make Trump POTUS. If we take Russia out of the Trump equation, he would never have made it through the Republican primaries in 2016. Trump is a Russian intel asset. Any discussion or analysis of Trump that doesn’t start there, is nonsense.
What Philip Bump – and most American journalists fail to grasp — is that if i perceive a news source is unreliable, I’m not going to rely on it — or, as with the Washington Post, pay my subscription. Yes, I’m just one customer. But if enough customers like me experience the same failure of faith, the Washington Post will go belly up that much faster.
That I perceive Philip Bump or anyone in our MSM as incompetent or incapable or inept is a problem for them, not me. “Well, you’re wrong,” as Bump tweeted at me (“…thank you for your wise assessment” is how Bump put it), misses the point entirely. My “opinion” is an opinion. It may be mis-informed but it can’t (cos it’s an opinion) be “wrong”.
My opinion is that Philip Bump needs to open his mind to constructive criticism. My opinion is that America’s press has failed to meet its Constitutionally mandated responsibilities. My opinion is that America’s press needs to do better.
Hey, Philip Bump — fight me on that. I dare you.