CHARLOTTE, NC, May 2, 2017 – When President Donald Trump “boycotted” the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last week it set off a firestorm that, for the most part, was a non-story story. As would be expected, the people most offended were the media and the other minions who continue to grouse about Trump’s invalidity as president. The rest of us couldn’t have cared less.
John Ziegler, a documentary filmmaker and podcast host has a different take on the matter in which he claims that Trump has done nothing more than to prove that journalism is dead.
One thing every American can currently agree upon is the animosity between the media and the White House is about as bad as it has ever been. The schism lies in the fact that nobody could have anticipated the extent of negativity among Democratic leaders and their followers over the results of the election.
Democrats have been in control of Washington, in some capacity, for so long they simply cannot deal with the idea of governing from second place.
Everything they are attempting to do has nothing to do with making the country better and everything to do with getting Trump out of office or putting up roadblocks to prevent progress. To some extent that is fine. It’s what being America is all about; argument, debate, disagreement and positive contributions to make good ideas better.
That is not, however, what the current media and the governmental environment is doing and, by now, it should be obvious to everyone that the Republican opposition wants to play those silly games any longer.
Being a buffoon is nothing new to Republicans. They already know all the “smart” people are Democrats. They have known it since Dan Quayle misspelled “potato.” They called both Bushes “idiots” as they did Ronald Reagan. In fact, there hasn’t been a “smart” Republican in office since Richard Nixon and he was a crook.
It took brilliant people like Jimmy Carter to get us bogged down in Iran with American hostages being held for more than a year. Wordsmith Bill Clinton began to define the meaning of “is” and Barack Obama did not become president until Hawaii became the 57th state.
Zeigler’s perspective says the system was already broken before Trump was elected. It has been an on-going battle for decades but the dishonesty of Hillary Clinton and the misinformation doled out by Barack Obama made that sore fester to the point of becoming infected and malignant as no other political disease has.
The saying goes that “timing is everything” and it is quite possible, likely even, that Donald Trump had the benefit of being in the right place at the right time when it came to bringing media hypocrisy to light.
Ziegler says there are three elemental factors “which have destroyed the ability of good journalism to impact events.”
“It is no coincidence that journalism is this country had its greatest power during an era when owning a newspaper or a broadcasting outlet was almost literally a license to print money. Good journalism is expensive, not just because it costs a lot of resources to nail down a really good story, but also because you must be able to afford a TON of misses in order to be able find that one great ‘hit,’” opines Ziegler.
Ziegler refers to the “Washington Post” when the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for its work on the Watergate scandal. Today, however, Ziegler points out that the “Washington Post” “now collects a Pulitzer Prize for negative stories on a candidate who somehow still pulled off a miracle upset win.”
The CBS Television Network used boast similar credentials of respectability back in the days of Edward R. Murrow, but the difference in that era was that news was news and had little or nothing to do with profits. It was the entertainment side of the spectrum that generated the revenue.
With a profit motive added to the mix, the news became increasingly blended with entertainment, and stories soon became “critiqued” for their social value as well as their information. That was clearly an offshoot of social media which allows anyone to believe anything they want so long as it reinforces their personal beliefs.
Ziegler writes that social media also has much to do with “the news media (being) caught with their hand in the ‘fake news’ cookie jar…and trust in their credibility has understandably eroded dramatically.”
None of this was concocted or created by Donald Trump. The seeds go back much deeper into the Clinton-era and before. Barack Obama merely honed those skills, but he made the mistake of adding Hillary Clinton to his roster.
That combination plus a little luck and timing are what sent Donald Trump to the Oval Office, and those grousing Democrats only have themselves to blame.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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