It can’t be overstated how much our democracy depends on a free and independent press.
A lot of liberal elitists – and even some conservative thinkers – have a twisted idea about how Trump supporters feel about the mainstream media. They think it goes something like this: When we hear something we don’t like on NBC or CNN, we immediately assume that it’s a lie. That Trump supporters are so slavishly devoted to the billionaire that we only accept the “truths” that he himself tells us to accept. That we’ll gladly let him do whatever he wants over the next four years as long as he tells us that it’s okay.
Anyone reading this feel like they belong to that category? Does anyone want the New York Times and the Washington Post to suddenly fawn all over this president the way they did the last one? That’s exactly the kind of crap we were fighting against in this election!
For eight years, conservatives have raged against Republicans for allowing Barack Obama to slowly but surely steal power from the federal legislature. We have raged against a media that tells us that Republicans are anti-democratic “obstructionists” while – much more quietly – admitting that Obama was running the least transparent administration in modern history.
Now it’s time for the media to hear the wake-up bell that’s been ringing non-stop for the last year, at the very least.
We expect and demand fair reporting going forward. We depend on that reporting to be the ultimate check on our elected officials. President Trump needs to be held to his constitutional restraints just like any other president in the history of our republic. The mainstream media has eroded the public trust, making it useless as a watchdog. This is unacceptable and it needs to change.
At CBS News, Will Rahn sees clearly what must be done:
Our theme now should be humility. We must become more impartial, not less so. We have to abandon our easy culture of tantrums and recrimination. We have to stop writing these know-it-all, 140-character sermons on social media and admit that, as a class, journalists have a shamefully limited understanding of the country we cover.
We’ll see soon enough if his fellow journalists take the hint.