The stories are getting more and more troubling and even outlandish. Every news source is becoming a welcome wagon for leaked everything and anything dealing with Trump. Even “email pranksters” are getting time on CNN, if they provide embarrassing dirt on Trump officials.
The media is enabling the infighting, backstabbing and self-dealing that has marked the Trump White House. They do it because it brings in eyeballs and readers and viewers. In short, it’s profitable for them.
Certainly, President Trump himself feeds the fire, but he does so to create an advantage for himself. Media-savvy Trump plants stories that he can later debunk, or in some way help him.
Now he’s brought in John Kelly to clean up Dodge City, and that’s a good thing. But the press is merrily searching reporter notebooks and every other anonymous source who “is familiar with” every meeting at the White House to undermine Kelly’s task. They’re doing this because (1) they smell blood in the water to hurt Trump; and (2) they want revenge from being called #FAKENEWS and “enemy of the people.”
But in so doing, they’re becoming the very things Trump accused them of being.
Does it help anyone for Sports Illustrated to report that the president called the White House “a real dump?” It’s some anonymous group of people talking to a sports magazine versus a White House spokesperson’s denial. Is it plausible Trump said it? Sure. But it’s #FAKENEWS if it can’t be corroborated, and it’s not news at all since it serves zero purpose other than salacious rumor.
Is there value to hear that two top generals in the administration didn’t trust POTUS during the first weeks of his term? Does that build confidence in a man with the nuclear codes, who has to stand up to Iran, North Korea, China and Russia? Obviously, I’ve had my problems with Trump, and his past statements. But now he is president, and this kind of reporting does nothing but enable America’s enemies (yes, we have enemies) and harm this country.
All of these reports, including the troubling ones about Trump’s involvement in drafting his own son’s statement about a June 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney, are based on “sources familiar with,” or “unnamed sources.” This has been going on for seven months: anonymous sources, and many reports have been modified or outright retracted.
It’s time for it to stop.
The president brought in Gen. Kelly to clean up the White House and stop the leaks. AG Sessions is also focusing on cleaning up leaks. If the administration commits itself to this task (and I trust Sessions and Kelly as serious), shouldn’t the press also be serious?
They have no problem naming names when it suits their purpose (like outing CIA agents). But they protect their anonymous administration sources because it serves the media’s interests.
The media’s interests are not America’s interests.
It’s time we held the media accountable for their motives and demand they expose their sources. The First Amendment only protects them from the government. It doesn’t protect them from the people who buy their product.
We must demand the media prove their allegations by naming names. It’s time for them to put up or shut up. Otherwise, they will have become exactly what the president said they are.
This post also appears in The New Americana