The Fourth Estate Whines

The White House press corps has taken offense at President Trump calling them out as purveyors of fake news against the American people with demands that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders apologize to them on behalf of President Trump to which Sanders reminded them of their vicious attacks upon her while ignoring the fact that Americans have largely tuned them out because of their seething bias and incessant attacks upon the Trump administration.

Referred to as the fourth estate because it exerts an indirect but significant influence over society while existing outside the political system, the press has always defined its mission as holding those in power accountable to the people for their actions. So important is the press to a free and just society that the Founders included freedom of the press as part of the First Amendment to the Constitution to protect the press from retribution for holding the powerful accountable. For much of American history, the press has thrived by rooting out corruption of government officials and reporting on the antics of the wealthy and powerful outside of government who also hold inordinate influence over the lives of ordinary Americans.

With the Watergate scandal of the Nixon administration, the press began morphing from a profession whereby new hires apprenticed to more senior seasoned reporters to learn the trade of reporting the facts in a readable story format to one of college educated journalists taught to employ spin to lead the reader to a conclusion the reporter felt they should reach. Old school reporters spent hours in the courthouse digging through arcane public records piecing together the mundane details of public corruption cases which they reported as front page news often leading to the downfall of crooked politicians abusing the public trust. Those in office tempted to engage in corrupt practices had to consider an eventual reckoning with some eager reporter looking to make a name for himself by exposing that corruption. While many politicians were successful in eluding the press over their corruption, fear of the press certainly worked to keep their public graft to a minimum.

Since Watergate, where Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein became famous for exposing the burglary of the DNC headquarters located in the Watergate complex by members of the Nixon administration, it has become the dream of every journalist to bring down a presidency in a similar fashion to gain fame and fortune. It just so happened that President Nixon was not particularly well-liked by the press due to his involvement as a freshman Congressman in 1948 on the House Un-American Activities Committee responsible for the exposure of Alger Hiss as a communist spy working in the State Department. Nixon’s treatment by the press for his role in exposing Hiss as a spy led to acrimony against and a mistrust of the press over years that was bolstered by various episodes in Nixon’s political life. Bringing down the Nixon administration caused reporters whose sympathies lay naturally with the left to recognize their power to shape the political conversation to their liking.

President Ford got off to a rocky start with the press for pardoning Nixon to spare the country from further exposure to the long ordeal of Watergate which had consumed the last two years. Americans were burnt out on further details of Watergate and were looking to put the entire episode behind them to concentrate on the worsening economic picture of the 1970s. Wage and price controls enacted under the Nixon administration led to Stagflation whereby prices increased while wages remained stagnant. Further exacerbating the economic situation was the oil embargo of 1973 where OPEC flexed its market muscle by cutting off exports of oil to America leading to gas lines and market chaos.

President Jimmy Carter was hailed by the press as someone who could put the country back on track, but who ended up as a miserable failure while making the dire economic situation vastly worse. Double-digit inflation and another oil shock in 1979 wreaked havoc on the economy while the Iranian hostage crisis dragged on for the last half of the Carter administration reminding Americans of America’s impotence in foreign affairs. Carter’s ineptitude led even the press to turn on him as they lampooned his 1979 energy speech wherein he identified America’s most pressing problem as a crisis of confidence by labeling it as the “malaise speech.” Carter’s dour delivery and lack of charisma no doubt contributed to this crisis of confidence gripping America at the time. Incidentally, Carter’s prescription for reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil relied upon the Windfall Profit Tax levied on oil production to fund creation of an energy corporation responsible for energy production – the exact opposite of free market policies of lower taxes and less regulation proven to stimulate economic activity. This was yet another example of the failure of Keynesian economics.

During the Reagan administration, President Reagan enjoyed a generally amicable relationship with the press due to his genial manner and judicious use of humor to diffuse contentious issues. In a famous anecdote, as President Reagan entered the Congressional Cloak Room to pal around with House Speaker Tip O’Neill, O’Neill’s aide, a young Chris Matthews, asked Reagan how it felt to be visiting the place where Democrats plotted against him, to which Reagan replied “Not after five. After five, we’re all friends.” Reagan was the rare politician who could set aside the contentious issues of the day to enjoy warm relations with his political opponents without compromising his principles. But, that was a different time.

As the fourth estate has transitioned from being the press to being journalists in the 24/7 news cycle invented by CNN, so too has the level of acrimony and animosity displayed by these journalists towards conservatives and conservative values increased markedly. The media relentlessly attacked the administration of George W. Bush in an effort to undermine his policies and pave the way for a Democrat successor as retribution for Bush having defeated their favored candidate, Al Gore, in the 2000 election. The seething attitude of the media towards the Bush administration was quickly replaced with fawning coverage of the Obama administration. Myriad scandals which should have been catnip to journalists hungry to make their name exposing political scandal were ignored by the mainstream media in an effort to protect the legacy of America’s first black president.

Gearing up for the 2016 election, the media was completely in the tank for Hillary Clinton as evidenced by their fawning coverage and attempts to bury any scintilla of scandal in her past. The media worked tirelessly to defuse the scandal of Hillary’s use of a private server to store classified emails as Secretary of State while claiming that attempts to highlight it by Republicans were nothing more than partisanship. Also ignored by the biased media was Hillary’s rigging of the Democrat nomination process by stacking the DNC with her supporters to ensure that she was chosen over socialist Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. With laughably straight faces, the media would report lopsided wins of state primaries by Sanders, sometimes by as much as 80% of the vote, only to add that the majority of the delegates were awarded to Hillary according to the arcane rules of the DNC.

Completely unthinkable to the biased media was the idea that brash New York billionaire Donald Trump could actually resonate enough with voters to be selected as the Republican nominee, much less actually defeat Hillary for the presidency. The biased media should have realized they were in for trouble when Candidate Trump withstood their usual tactic of overwhelming negative coverage stemming from remarks he made about illegal Mexican immigrants during his candidacy announcement. Instead of retreating from his remarks to offer a heartfelt apology while describing a change of heart stemming from further reflection upon the issue, Candidate Trump doubled down on his remarks while refusing to cave in to the hollow threats of the biased media. It was in this moment that Americans found a champion willing to fight for their beliefs and give voice to their concerns, and Trump went on to pick off seventeen other Republicans including the handpicked choice of the party establishment.

The biased media dug through Trump’s past searching for dirt that would turn his supporters against him, but every attempt was rebuffed as their attacks only endeared his supporters further for his cause. Even the secretly recorded tape in which he disparaged women by describing his ability to get away with all manner of rude behavior towards them due to his fame to Access Hollywood correspondent Billy Bush could not dislodge his supporters from his candidacy. Candidate Trump parlayed his media savvy into a mastery of the biased media from which they have yet to recover. Trump’s characterizations of biased media stories as fake news backed up by evidence proving his point increased the public’s awareness of media bias and attempts to manipulate them while leading to an abandonment of traditional media tarred as it is by accusations of fake news in favor of online media sources dedicated to building followers by presenting more factual news stories in the manner of old-school reporting.

As Americans increasingly tune out traditional mainstream media over awareness of its bias and penchant for destroying the lives of those it targets, President Trump has begun excluding the more egregious offenders of the press pool from White House events and even resorted to ejecting those journalists obnoxiously refusing to comply with decorum. CNN correspondent Jim Acosta has been forcibly removed from several White House events over his obnoxious and unprofessional behavior. Recently, President Trump stated that the media was at war against Americans for their continued use of biased fake news stories reported with no factual basis. Acosta then demanded that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders apologize to the White House press pool on behalf of President Trump. Sanders began listing off a number of reports wherein various journalists representing mainstream media outlets attacked her character in the most demeaning of terms with lurid accusations unfounded in fact. Sanders went on to state that there would be no apology forthcoming from President Trump while reminding Acosta and the rest of the press pool that her job was to report President Trump’s remarks on the issues and not her own.

Just as coverage of Watergate saturated the media leading to consumer fatigue, so too has the incessant coverage of Russian hacking, exposed on myriad levels as fake news created by Hillary as an excuse for her loss to President Trump, led to consumer fatigue along with the media’s constant attacks on the Trump administration dripping with bias. As if it would kill their very souls to report on positive accomplishments of the Trump administration, the biased media pointedly ignore good news emanating from the Trump administration to focus exclusively on the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in anticipation of Mueller bringing down the Trump administration at any moment in a “breaking news” exclusive. We are sick to death of the constant drumbeat of biased negativity displayed by the media towards the Trump administration, along with upbeat coverage of Hillary, droning coverage of the fake news Russian collusion with hunt, and myriad hit pieces on gun ownership promoting gun control through reminders of school shootings while ignoring the many instances in which gun ownership saved lives. Enough already! We’re sick to death of the same old stories with their fake news bias at the exclusion of everything else in the world and we’re tuning out!

With the biased attacks on the Trump administration as payback for President Trump defeating their preferred candidate Hillary, the fourth estate has abandoned any pretense of objective reporting and relinquished any claim they once had of holding the powerful accountable for their actions. Gone are the days when a hungry reporter stalked courthouse corridors searching through public records piecing together evidence of public corruption to make a name for himself. The closest thing to an investigative reporter these days is either Sharyl Attkisson, fired from CBS for going after the Obama administration, or Ronan Farrow for exposing the culture of abuse towards women by powerful Hollywood moguls through their use of the casting couch, although it remains to be seen if Farrow is being used by these women to exact revenge for past acts they have come to regret.

The biased media has consistently underestimated President Trump’s ability to withstand their attacks and outmaneuver them. Trump issues tweets angering the socialist left to the point of insanity which his supporters have learned to ignore while enjoying the overwrought antics of these radical snowflakes. With one tweet, President Trump exhibits the ability to live rent free in the heads of the radical left for days on end. Lost in their insane anger is the ability to rationally ignore his taunts in pursuit of an offensive capability stuck as they are on the defensive. Trump’s supporters have learned to ignore his taunts while concentrating on his actions and their results. President Trump cut taxes to restore business confidence leading to unprecedented economic expansion, lower unemployment, lower government dependence, and increasing wages. His use of tariffs to signal America’s unwillingness to be taken advantage of by foreign trading partners has led to the European Union caving to demands of better trading terms while putting China on notice that we will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices. World leaders are getting the message that President Trump intends to restore American prestige leading them to a grudging respect for his leadership.

In all these positive developments of the Trump administration, the biased media continues attempting to undermine his policies to the detriment of American security around the world. By portraying the Trump administration as corrupt usurpers who stole the election from Hillary, the biased media encourages our adversaries to imagine that they can challenge America because they underestimate President Trump’s seriousness in promoting America first. Such misunderstandings have often led to war in the past. In this, the biased media clearly demonstrates its intention to promote its own interests ahead of the country’s even if it leads to war.

President Trump has labeled the based media as purveyors of fake news to which Americans all readily agree. Now, the White House press corps whines about its treatment despite its utter contempt of the Trump administration. In attempting to have its cake and eat it too, the biased media comes off as a bunch of whiners complaining that it’s not fair that the White House treats them with the same contempt in which they hold the Trump administration. Nobody likes a whiner, and the fact that the biased media is whining is further evidence of their irrelevance in the Trump era. As we say down South, it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

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