Today marked the convergence of several items that should explain, quite neatly, why conservatives have no faith in the media.
Before we go on, let’s agree on the founding principle of the media: freedom of the press is a critical element to a healthy, functioning democracy, because without informed citizens, government and private industry can do what they want, without check.
And here’s one additional perspective, relating to media bias: The UK handles their media with openness about their biases. For example, everyone knows which newspaper is conservative and which is liberal. The idea behind this is that they both have to do stellar reporting to make the case for their side. The result is people get more facts and perspectives from both sides (if they seek it). But they also know what they’re getting and why.
Which brings us to the American mainstream media. It’s not hard to find a study regarding media bias favoring Democrats. One quick search yields a very in-depth historical look by the Media Research Center’s, Arizona State and Texas A&M’s study which found 4% of financial journalists identify as conservative, and an interesting look by Politico at BLS data which shows 72% of news employees work in counties won by Clinton in 2016 (something I’d never considered).
And you don’t need data to observe our media bias. During the eight years of Obama, most of the questions gave him the benefit of the doubt if not outwardly assuming that he was trying his best. For the past four years, nearly every question Trump fields from every major media outlet presupposes that Trump is incompetent, deceitful, or lying.
This last week has been a treasure trove of examples. Let’s start with April 23rd, the famous disinfectant comment. This is what the President said:
For additional context, he was asking questions of Bill Bryan, Head of Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security, who had just presented information about how coronavirus reacted to sunlight.
Obviously, he never suggested, or said anything about, people injecting disinfectant to cure this. He was thinking aloud, as he does, in a set of questions to Bill Bryan, who would be qualified to answer.
Naturally, the media jumped all over this, suggesting Trump had suggested people ingest, or inject, disinfectants to rid themselves of the virus.
As an example, here’s Nancy Pelosi’s characterization, the next day, of what Trump said (at the 0:13 second mark… sorry you have to see her):
“The President is asking people to inject Lysol into their lungs.” Now, which has the potential to cause more damage and lead people to do something this dangerous, what Trump said or what Pelosi said.
By saying this as she did, she’s suggesting to people who hadn’t seen video of what Trump said, but had only heard about it on the news, that Trump had seriously suggested this.
Regardless of why, there are people out there who may do something like this because their President recommended it. Since Trump didn’t make that suggestion, I think the media (and/or Pelosi) would be more responsible because they reported it that way.
But Pelosi goes on. At the 0:23 second mark, she says “It’s a clear visible of how Republicans reject science.” This is a common brand Democrats try to assign to Republicans (which sticks, because the Republican Party has the worst marketing department in the history of the world, but that’s a different subject).
But as usual, it’s conservatives, because of their naturally curious nature, who would wonder and ask about such things as injecting disinfectants. And wouldn’t you know it, look what the American Thinker came up with:
“One of the available treatments for cancer is Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy.” “Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation is intravenously applied ultraviolet energy. Due to its profound photochemical, biochemical, and physiological effects it has been of great value in a wide variety of diseases, according to over 100 years of research findings.” Huh…
As usual, Democrats mock Republicans as being anti-science by making predictions based on failed models, and then Republicans have to come along and use science to refute Democrat “science.”
In fact, one of the reasons conservatives has been growing more skeptical about the science behind the coronavirus is because they’re more likely to look for media coverage beyond Democrat media representatives. Here are just three quick examples:
- Santa Clara County has had 50-85 times more cases than we knew about, with the same death rate, suggesting the mortality rate is far lower than being reported.
- Sweden never locked down their country because they wanted people, especially asymptomatic people, to encounter the virus and develop antibodies (otherwise known as “herd immunity”).
- Heather MacDonald has been doing an amazing job at American Greatness asking the kinds of questions corporate media won’t.
In all three cases, you don’t hear anything about the information in these, and dozens of stories like them. But if you follow conservative media sources, you will find tons of information that can’t be found anywhere else.
Whenever I share this information with friends, they act like I’m speaking a foreign language. And they’re all watching network news regularly.
And speaking of network news, the Washington Post reported on Monday that U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings about the coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February.
CNN’s coverage of this story, with the headline, “Washington Post: Trump downplayed coronavirus despite more than a dozen warnings in daily briefings,” waited until the fifth paragraph to mention the acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, said “this isn’t true.” (The San Francisco Chronicle’s website left that out until paragraph nine.)
As usual, the Chronicle story waited until paragraph five to reveal their source as an “official” speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Finally, also on Monday, the Washington Post (seemingly on a roll), released their study of the President’s White House briefing comments for the last six weeks. (Something I’ve never seen a news organization do to any other elected government leader in my 35 years of following politics.)
Here’s how it looked on the Drudge Report (a decidedly anti-Trump site):
Not surprisingly, they found that the President spent nearly two hours attacking Democrats, the media, or China, 45 minutes praising himself or his administration, and 4.5 minutes on condolences to victim’s families.
Credit to the Post newsroom for this one: Who would even think to put this together. But they did. So, let’s analyze it.
Why would the President have to spend so much time attacking? And what is the nature of these attacks? Is it actually defending himself against attacking questions from the media?
Here’s the question from CBS correspondent Paula Reid that led to Trump wanting to abandon these briefings: ““The argument is that you bought yourself some time. You didn’t use it to prepare hospitals. You didn’t use it to ramp up testing. Right now, nearly 20m people are unemployed. Tens of thousands of Americans are dead.”
Do you remember Obama every getting a question like this? It’s not even a question. And the accusations are wrong. The only argument that can be made that we didn’t prepare hospitals is that we didn’t make it clear they’d all be sitting empty and furloughing doctors and nurses for lack of patients. We’ve done five million tests. We must have prepared for those at some point in the last few months.
As observed earlier with the examples of conservative media asking tough questions, we’re getting no useful information from conformist, hostile media. They’re more concerned with making Trump look bad than showing any curiosity about this virus.
In that environment, it’s going to be up to Trump to a) defend himself, and b) talk about the positive things being done around the country.
How convenient. The media relentlessly attacks, and when Trump defends himself (which he always does), they say that he’s attacking them. Then they wonder why he talks about his accomplishments. If he didn’t, who would?
But don’t take my word for it. The Media Research Center just released a study in which they reviewed 136 Washington Post front pages, from January 17 through April 25. They found that the negative Trump headlines outweighed the positive or neutral ones by 25-to-1.
From the story: “Most of The Post’s venom was directed at President Trump himself, with highly-opinionated language such as: “A confused effort to show calm control” (March 1); “Trump’s error-filled speech rattled rather than reassured” (March 13); “White House’s chaotic response evokes Trump’s early days” (March 15); “70 days of denial, delays and dysfunction” (April 5); and “Hostility to criticism, hunger for praise are central to his response” (April 9).”
“The Trump team’s many accomplishments — assistance deployed to hard-hit areas, millions of tests administered, deals struck to build ventilators, and the dramatic lowering of fatality estimates as Americans implemented the administration’s strategy to “flatten the curve” — were either ignored, buried inside the newspaper, or relayed with neutral headlines that refused to celebrate good news.”
Incidentally, in doing the research for this article, I admittedly clumsily did a search on Google for “attacking questions to Trump.” This was the response:
I’ve noticed lately that Google searches rarely reveal conservative sources for any political search I make, unless I specify the publication directly.
This is about when Democrats accuse Republicans of being conspiracy theorists. This, another attempt to belittle conservatives. For the record, I don’t think this is a conspiracy. But when the forces amassed against you are so great, so motivated, and so unimaginative, their aggregation can look a lot like a conspiracy.
And finally, I would be remiss in not mentioning the greatest example of liberal media bias happening this week: Joe Biden and Tara Reade. Tara Reade accused Biden of sexually assaulting her nearly 30 years ago.
If memory serves, we learned with Brett Kavanaugh that every woman is to be believed. It didn’t take but a second for the entire media apparatus to click into gear and blow up that story, which not only featured no evidence, but plenty of denials.
But in the case of Reade, she did tell several people at the time it happened, and there’s even a recording of her mom calling Larry King’s show to talk about it.
Still no word from the media that this is even a story.