Current Affairs

The War on the Media

T.N. Jain

The Democrats and the mainstream Media in the United States now say that  President Donald Trump’s White House has declared a war on the Media. What they meant is ‘mainstream media.’ And it boils down to The Media that vehemently kept on blasting Donald Trump during the campaign and even now is doing the same with renewed vigor. So, it’s “Their” war that’s going on, and “They” are complaining. Wow!

I thought with a crushing defeat in the election battle the Democrats, their supporters in the country and the surrogate media, would have learnt a lesson and now, in all decency, would accept the verdict and move on. I also presumed that these groups would settle down and wait for the President to make good on his promises, especially making America Great Again with creation of new jobs, securing the borders, ending unfair trade deals and so on.

But I was wrong. The “sore losers” have not stopped criticizing Trump and finding fault with whatever he says or does – or even doesn’t say or doesn’t do. Leave aside all the protests and marches with all assorted slogans and statements, all the abuses and profanities celebrities hurl at Trump, these media people are now accusing The White House of starting a war on the media. They have forgotten what they relentlessly did during the campaign and continue to do after the result.

The Democrats and their chosen Media had waged a war on Trump and his supporters with fake news and party-propaganda. They even shared the reports-to-be-published and future reporting ideas with the Democratic Party and Hillary campaign staff.  They had nothing but praise for Hillary and filth for Trump – old or planted stuff, perceived or total lies. They were blind to Hillary’s faults but wide-eyed for anything they could find, create, manipulate , imagined or perceived.  

Was that not a “War” against Trump? And now “They” are charging The White House of starting a “War” against the Media. If that’s so, the mainstream Media deserves that. Period. 

Look at the major TV channels (CNN included) and newspapers such as The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, on the East and the West coast respectively, and in between. I see LA Times daily, as I am in the West, where practically every section carries something or the other – news, news analysis, editorials, letters, op-eds, interviews - from inside and outside of the country - blasting Trump, scaring people, comparing him to autocrats, and declaring him unfit to be the President.

They also brazenly keep encouraging protests-demonstrations and marches. And they enthusiastically provide these activities a disproportionately wide coverage. So be it, but then don’t complain about a “War” against them.

A couple weeks back ‘the media’ bluntly told The White House that “They” will report what “They” want, and not the other way. Very good, but do the unbiased reporting because “Real” journalism says “facts are sacred, comments are free.”

I am sorry, but that saying doesn’t apply ‘here.’ The media thinks they can always give a twist, slant, color and interpretation to anything in any manner “They” like. 

No wonder, during the campaign, Team Hillary was treating CNN and some others in the mainstream media as a wing of the Democratic Party. Obviously “that” media was ready, able and willing to fill that spot.  

In any case I know about the American media quite well. Years back one of the top editors of a top news organization had told me that “We are opinionated news organizations.”  Okay, to have an opinion on something, or everything, is no crime. It’s expected of you, but to twist the news, continuously print one-sided analysis and keep hammering old, unsubstantiated stories and views every day - forgetting the real issues -is not good, ideal and real journalism. Since Fox News channel was not toeing the line, Team Obama had openly said it doesn’t consider Fox a news organization.

Right in the first term of President Obama this “War” was started by The White House. Fox News has always been an important voice in American politics and society. The Obama Team didn’t think it was fair and balanced - as it did not toe the official line, nor shared their report “before” release.

The then White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel told rival cable channel CNN's "State of the Union" that Obama considers Fox News "not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."

"And that's a different take," compared with other news outlets, Emanuel added.

Obama's closest political adviser, David Axelrod, had then told ABC's "This Week" that Fox News "is really not news. It's pushing a point of view." 

Fox News' reaction was strong.

"Surprisingly, the White House continues to declare war on a news organization instead of focusing on the critical issues that Americans are concerned about like jobs, health care and two wars," Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente had said in a statement.

The White House had blackballed Fox News amid its scathing coverage of the health care reform debate and hasn't accepted invites in months to appear on its programs.

Later White House communications director Anita Dunn had charged, "Fox News often operates almost as either the research arm or the communications arm of the Republican Party." [What a queer comment considering the fact that CNN and some others were virtually wings of the Democratic Party’s campaign.  

Of course Fox ratings had soared after that comment from The White House.

After all that, sadly, the CNN etc. and both the two top newspapers – the Times – do not practice what they preach. The New York Times proclaims “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” They actually mean what the Times thinks “Fit” to print.  Los Angeles Times declares “Real Journalism, Real Impact.”  Now we know what kind of “Real Journalism” is practiced and what its overall “Real Impact.” Had been.   

Misleading the readers, suppressing truth, thinking only that’s only “their” material is ‘fit’ to print and that it will have a ‘real impact’ in not right. Sorry, you were totally biased, continue to be so, and you are still on the “War Path” instead of accepting the facts and making peace. And that you have strayed from your path.

May be it’s not your fault; it’s in your “Genes,” as somebody aptly described the top 10 American newspapers (and their perception about their readers) some time back. I kept the analyses and definitions with me and I gladly share them with you. Some may not be in the “War” but the observation about them is interesting, and also amusingly funny. No offense meant. It says Who Reads What? Here it goes:

1.     The Wall Street Journal is read by people who run the country.

2.     The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3.     The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country. 

4.     USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t really understand the Washington Post. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie chart format.

5.     Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country if they could spare the time and if they don’t have to leave LA to do it.

6.     The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country - and they did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

7.     The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country, and don’t really care, as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8.     The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9.     San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country or that anyone is running it, but whoever it is, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped, minority, feminist, atheist, dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any country or galaxy as long as they are Democrats.

10.   The Miami Herald is read by the people who are running another country but need the American money and baseball scores.  

And of course, the 11th newspaper is on a different pedestal:

11. The National Inquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store     and wouldn’t mind something to talk about with friends and share a laugh.