We keep hearing that Trump’s attacks on the media will have a chilling effect on an essential aspect of democratic society – freedom of the press – but nobody talks about the reverse: a biased media’s chilling effect on freedom of thought. The latter is arguably worse.
The president may have the power of the bully pulpit, but the press has the perpetual attention of the media-obsessed body politic, with its eyes collectively glued to a 24×7 news feed. And when the politicians and the media are in lock-step, that powerful combination can be a recipe for disaster.
Like it or not, the president’s critical questioning of the media – indeed, Trump’s improbable rise to power – is a backlash against that combination.
The First Amendment may be an unequivocal right to free speech, but that right comes with awesome responsibility. And the media, whatever that means in this day and age, has not held up its end of the bargain, to say the least. Institutional political bias is rampant in many if not most news organization, even the legitimate ones (never mind the fake ones).
It’s ironic that a politically correct culture obsessed with diversity of color and gender has so effectively managed to squash anything resembling diversity of thoughts and ideals. Such a ludicrous paradox can only come from a constant drumbeat of politically-charged propaganda by institutions that have a powerful influence on the masses.
How many times in the recent past have you seen someone throw up their hands in frustration and ask, how in the world can half the population be so stupid? They’re not stupid, at least not necessarily. The better word is indoctrinated into fanatical devotion to an ideology that actually reinforces all the cultural ills they whine about.
No matter which way you lean, the Trump phenomenon should be a wakeup call – not just for journalists, but for all those who think they know better than the other half they look down upon. Washington’s dysfunctional gridlock and bloated bureaucracy may have started us down this path, but a biased media is just as much to blame for a polarized society that’s increasingly incapable of thinking beyond left and right.