- Sunday, June 9, 2024

Ignore the gloating from the Fourth Estate over former President Donald Trump’s verdict. If you listen carefully, you can hear the death rattle of the legacy media.

Last year, The Washington Post lost $77 million because of a 50% decline in readership since 2020. The Post’s executive editor just resigned. Its publisher admits: “To speak candidly: We are in a hole, and we have been for some time.” Still, they keep digging.

In the same week news broke of The Post’s latest setback, Nielsen reported that CNN had its worst ratings since 1991 among prime-time viewers in the key 25-to-54-year-old demographic.

In the week of May 13-19, in the 8 a.m. to noon time slot, CNN had an average of 83,000 viewers. Fox News had twice that number in the same period.

If the mainstream media deliberately set out to alienate middle America, they could hardly have done a better job.

Mr. Trump, who is fond of using the expression “fake news,” reduces them to sputtering fury. Fake coverage of his trial for falsifying business records caps almost a decade of biased coverage of the billionaire entrepreneur.

A Media Research Center study of coverage of the Trump trial by ABC, NBC and CBS found that the networks devoted a total of 640 minutes to the trial on their evening newscasts. They mentioned the fact that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is a partisan Democrat — who ran for office on a promise to get Mr. Trump — exactly three times.

In reporting on the prosecution’s star witness, disgraced lawyer Michael Cohen, they mentioned his perjury conviction only 4% of the time.

None of the network newscasts informed viewers about trial Judge Juan Merchan’s blatant conflicts of interest, including donations to the Biden campaign and a group called Stop Republicans. His daughter is a consultant for several Democratic causes.

The latest Gallup Poll on public confidence in the media, released last October, showed only 32% of Americans have a “great deal” or a “fair amount” of trust in the media, while 68% have “not much trust” or “none all.”

The public has more confidence in politicians, lawyers and used-car salesmen than in the media.

Media bias is so blatant that it’s almost comical. Language is one way the media slant the news.

Pro-lifers are pilloried as “anti-choice.” Murders committed with a gun are routinely referred to as “gun homicides,” as if firearms went on killing sprees. Those who have the effrontery to affirm biology are “transphobes.”

The flood of illegal aliens entering the country are “migrants.” And Stormy Daniels was an “adult entertainer” instead of a woman who was paid to have sex in front of a camera.

Riots involving perceived racial injustice are “mostly peaceful,” regardless of the number injured and amount of property damaged, but the Jan. 6 riot was an “insurrection.”

The mainstream media exist in an echo chamber, and that’s the way they want it.

When I once worked in a newsroom, I remember listening to an editor boast about the number of racial minorities the paper had hired.

I innocently inquired how many reporters and editors were conservatives. He goggled at me.

Why does that matter, he wondered. Journalists are professionals who never, ever let news coverage reflect their bias.

And the fact that college professors are overwhelmingly on the left has no impact on classroom instruction. It’s just a coincidence that students are rioting for Hamas instead of marching for Israel.

The liberal media attribute criticism of the media to ignorance of the profession’s exalted status as a guardian of democracy and paranoia produced by MAGA politicians and right-wing podcasters.

Media hacks are immune to change. Their bubble is impenetrable. They were stunned by the 1980 election of President Ronald Reagan. (“Who would vote for an ex-B-actor?”). Donald Trump’s 2016 victory mystified them. (“He’s a racist and an agent of Russian influence.”)

And today, they can’t understand why voters care more about the border than abortion and why so many White people obstinately refuse to feel guilty about something over which they have no control.

They are mystified by the naifs who don’t understand that the answer to the crime explosion is gun confiscation, or that prosperity lies in increased government spending. 

The slogan of The Washington Post is “Democracy dies in darkness.” It should be “Eventually, the lies will catch up with you.”

The day will come when the media elite’s only audience is themselves.

• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Times. 

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