Should Reporters Skip Out On White House Press Briefings?

Apparently, Joy Reid of MSNBC’s Morning Joy thinks so:

Those of us who work outside of the media bubble might be tempted to ask, “Um, isn’t that your job to attend those briefings?”  Even so, given the disdain that the Trump administration has openly shown to journalists, one can sympathize with what Reid is saying here.  After all, members of the Fourth Estate have long viewed themselves as protectors of the American interest–fearlessly holding the powerful accountable to the voters (and looking fabulous while doing it).  It’s not easy going from that to being called dishonest hacks.

Then again, if the shoe fits…

Reid, like the rest of the so-called news media, really needs to take a hard look at how American journalism has brought this disdain upon itself–and not just from Donald Trump.  Huge swaths of the American public believe that the media are fundamentally dishonest.  Polls show trust in the media has sunk to all-time lows.  When you’ve got that kind of a credibility gap, your problems go a lot deeper than testy press secretaries snubbing your organization.

The truth is, Joy, at this point boycotting White House press briefings won’t do you any good.  That’s because the public understands that you’ve earned the ire of the Trump administration.  Throughout the campiagn, your obvious bias in favor of Hillary Clinton steadily chipped away at what little trust you still had after eight years of spinning for the Obama administration.  By the time John Podesta’s emails about collusion between the media and the Clinton campaign came to light, they simply confirmed what people had known all along:  that you have eagerly surrendered your First Amendment right to a free press by volunteering to become a propaganda organ of the Democrat Party.

Now, instead of realizing the error of your ways and taking corrective measures, you have doubled-down on your own bias and turned this into a war with the Trump administration.  Of course, you and the rest of the media have cast themselves as the heroes in this heavy drama–but this is a war you will lose, because you’ve already lost the initiative.  There simply aren’t enough people left who still believe you.  And those dwindling ranks will get smaller still–at least until such a time as you finally decide to do your jobs, for real, and get back to the business of covering the news instead of spreading narratives.

But you’d better act fast.  The mainstream media are already teetering on the edge of irrelevancy.  How much longer do you think you have before they go over the edge?

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Marc Giller

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