By Selwyn Duke
With an anti-establishment figure poised to assume the presidency, isn’t it time to put anti-establishment media in the White House briefing room? Other than sacrificing the .1 percent of positive coverage Donald Trump might otherwise get from the mainstream media, it’s hard to see a downside.
As it stands right now, the establishment media (media) practically has a monopoly on access to the president. As Ari Fleischer, former press secretary for President G.W. Bush, wrote at the Wall Street Journal, “While approximately 750 reporters hold White House credentials, the briefing room holds 49 seats, and they are occupied overwhelmingly by mainstream media reporters, with barely any assigned to the new dot-com world.”
This certainly makes sense under Barack Obama’s regime; the media is the Democrats de facto public-relations team. But to a GOP presidency, an embedded establishment Fourth Estate is a fifth column in its midst. There is a better way. As American Thinker’s Henry Percy writes, “President-elect Trump … here’s an idea to help with your swamp reclamation project: Decertify a number of the fossil organizations ensconced in their named chairs and replace with dot-coms.… Then assign seats once a month through a lottery. The weeping and gnashing of teeth would be audible here in flyover country – how sweet the sound.”
As for who should be granted access, some candidates come to mind: The New American, American Thinker, Red State, and WND.com, just to name a few.
Since politics is downstream of culture, an anti-establishment movement that ignores the establishment culture-shapers — academia, entertainment, and the media — is doomed to fail. The media is already leaking oil, with newspaper circulation and advertising revenue down; limiting or eliminating its access to the president would accelerate this decline, knocking a wheel or two out from its ever-left-veering chassis.
The move could be popular, too. A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found that only nine percent of Americans trust the media “a lot” (and rumor has it they work in the media). The media represents the kind of entrenched establishment arts-and-croissant crowd that Trump sometimes railed against and that many people love seeing reamed. How do you sell the move? Just say, “We needed new blood in politics, and we’re getting it. And we need new blood in the media, too.”
And we certainly do. No entity has proven itself more incompetent, more unfit, and more lacking in the necessary conscientiousness and integrity to do its job than the media. Just consider the Journolist Scandal, “Journolist” being the online meeting place for several hundred liberal journalists, academics, and political activists that was founded in 2007. As the Daily Caller wrote July 25, 2010,
In the heat of a bitter presidential campaign in 2008, the list’s discussions veered into collusion and coordination at key political moments, documents revealed this week by The Daily Caller show. In a key episode, Journolist members openly plotted to bury attention on then-candidate Barack Obama’s controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The Washington Independent’s Spencer Ackerman, for instance, suggested an effective tactic to distract from the issue would be to pick one of Obama’s critics, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares – and call them racists.”
The Caller continued, “Conservative critics of Washington’s journalistic establishment have long charged the media with a striking liberal bias. But those critics have also said the problem was mostly unintentional, the result of a press corps made up mostly of Democratic-leaning scribes.” But the Journolist Scandal proved that it was often calculated.
And the saga continues — and worsens. As I wrote recently:
The e-media’s election-year reportage has been wholly scandalous, with revelations that its journalists actually colluded with the Clinton campaign. Moreover, it steadfastly refused to cover last year’s Planned Parenthood scandal, or the Democrat figures and operatives caught on hidden camera engineering vote fraud and admitting they pay “protesters” to incite violence.
Not only has the e-media suppressed truth, however, it has also spread lies. Famed newsman Dan Rather was fired by CBS in 2004 after it was discovered he peddled forged documents damaging to President G.W. Bush (this subterfuge was uncovered by the fake alternative media, mind you). In 2014, NBC maliciously edited George Zimmerman’s 911 call, which served to make him appear a “racist” and helped foment violence-spawning anger. And the media eagerly spread the lie that WWII-era pontiff Pope Pius XII was a Nazi collaborator, but ignored the 2007 revelation that this character assassination was
Such “real news” is nothing new, either. In the 1930s the result of a Soviet disinformation campaign., New York Times Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty wrote Stalinist propaganda, reporting there was no famine in the Soviet Union — while 25,000 peasants a day were being starved to death.
Communist propaganda; callow, craven reportage; and collusion, from the ’30s to the ’70s to the new millennium — and beyond? That’s up to us. Just as people who can vote get the government they deserve, so do they get the media they deserve. Every time we turn on an media station or buy one of its periodicals, we are essentially “voting” (with our pocketbooks) for more of the same.
And the same it is. The media colludes and acts monolithically because it is monolithic. Not only does the vast majority of journalists vote for the Democrat every presidential election, but consider that in 1983, 90 percent of the American media was owned by 50 companies.
Now 90 percent of it is owned by just six companies: GE, News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, and CBS.
Isn’t it time to give the non-corporate, anti-establishment 10 percent a foot in the door?
Unfortunately, Republican presidents too often exhibit a sort of Stockholm syndrome regarding the media, getting kicked, slapped around, and then coming back for more. Get a load of what Ari Fleischer also tells us about briefing-room access: “The White House press secretary used to decide who got what seats, but this authority was given to the White House Correspondents Association in the middle of the George W. Bush administration.” Huh? Why not just wear a “Kick me” sign?
The media’s exclusive access perhaps made sense in decades past, when it was largely the only media in town. But they now have competition in the form of our vibrant alternative media. This new blood, instead of saying “If it bleeds, it leads” and ever-seeking conservative blood, would give President Trump a fair shake.
The media isn’t called the “enemedia” by many patriotic Internet posters for nothing, but because it has long been one of the most destructive culture destroyers in America. The media is our conduit of information, and how can citizens make the right decisions on politicians and policies if they’re fed misinformation? As with a computer, it’s garbage in, garbage out.
It’s time to take out the trash. It’s time for President Trump to tell the White House press corps, “You’re fired!”