Rules are funny things, aren’t they? Journalism has no “laws” guiding its practices, it has “rules”. Ideals of how journalism is best practiced, its ultimate goal the fair, unbiased reporting of what’s happened, what’s happening — and what’s likely to happen next.
Somewhere along the way, American journalism took that desire for “unbiased” reporting to mean “neutral no matter what”. As in “no matter what that reporting uncovers or reveals”. As in — even if we knew the worst about someone — as we reported their story — we’d still report on them as if they weren’t as horrible as we KNEW them to be.
That’s a strange approach for a storyteller to take. Stories work by building new information upon older information. Learning things is ideally what causes characters in a story to react — and drive the story forward. And yet, our news media — when reporting the story of Donald Trump — seems determined to never begin its reporting with what we know NOW. They keep starting the story with what we knew A WHILE AGO — back before we had hard evidence that took us to what we know NOW.
Trying to tell Trump’s story without STARTING from the very beginning (he’s a corrupt-to-his-core narcissist who’s been in bed with Russia from the beginning and whose criminality isn’t just conjecture, it’s verifiable) makes no sense. Yet that’s what our press does every day. They tell Trump’s story without telling it’s core truth. It’d be like telling the Jeffrey Dahmer story without mentioning “Hey, by the way — Jeff’s a cannibal”.
But, “strangely” (meaning NOT strangely), the press didn’t worry about not being able to “smoking gun” their evidence, without finding his victims’ DNA in Jeffrey Dahmer’s shit, the press was willing to go full cannibal in their reporting on Jeff — well before those were legally verifiable facts…
It wasn’t hard to figure out what was happening at Jeff’s house. The evidence was all over the place. Just like it’s not hard to figure out what’s happening at Donald’s house (formerly The Peoples’ House).
Would our press get squeamish suddenly and refuse to call Jeffrey a cannibal? Would they refer to his “unusual diet” instead — his “keto-on-steroids” choice of animal protein? No — the media went full cannibal the moment they had a whisper of cannibalism. They couldn’t get enough “cannibalism”. They got so obsessed with cannibalism you’d almost think IT was “eating” THEM.
You’d think they’d be equally hungry at the thought of treason. Treason FFS!
There’s a legal term: “the preponderance of the evidence”. It’s a smoking gun’s “get out of jail free” card. Even a smoking gun can get away without a smoking gun if it brings the preponderance of the evidence into play. Yet, our media has it in their heads that either 1) no such “preponderance of the evidence” standard exists (they’re wrong) or 2) their neutrality prohibits them from calling things what they are because calling them what they are would undermine their neutrality. Or something like that…
Jeffrey Dahmer was a cannibal as soon as the press could call him one. Donald Trump might never be a traitor, a money-launderer, a rapist, a con man, a liar, a thief or a traitor because no one the press gives credence to will call him any of those words directly. No smoking gun despite smoke so thick you can’t even see through it.
Maybe THAT’S the problem. Our press doesn’t know that it’s hair is on fire. They don’t know the whole house is aflame all around them either.
Shame… as assuredly as Jeff Dahmer chowed down on the people he lured into his apartment for comfort — to keep him company, Donald Trump will gobble up the news media (as he always does). The media won’t know it’s happened until well after Trump starts farting and shitting them out.
Our new media… they’re always the last to know anything.