The editor talks with you
Years ago I admired our friends and their work at CBS News. I wish I could say that about CBS today.
Van Gordon Sauter shares my unease. He was President of CBS in the 1980s.
He remembers Ronald Reagan’s foreign-policy adviser Jeane Kirkpatrick, a onetime Democrat, telling him it was already too late to save “liberal leaning” media.
She was prophetic. Highly influential daily newspapers in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Boston are now decidedly liberal in their news coverage.
The 3 broadcast networks and 2 cable channels are unrelentingly liberal in their fear and loathing of President Trump.
Sauter says the national and large city media is catching up with the liberalism of college professors, the New York-Hollywood entertainment industry, upscale magazines and the literary world. Recent arrivals are the late-night TV hosts who have broken the boundaries of what was once considered acceptable political humor.
None of them would dare criticize Democrats but Republicans and anyone who favors Trump is fair game.
To many journalists, Sauter says, objectivity, balance and fairness fell by the wayside in a divided political era.
America, they believe, is severely flawed and nothing short of a socialist revolution like the one in 1917 in Russia will do.
To these journalists, including more than a few Republicans, Trump is a blatant vulgarian, an incessant prevaricator and a dangerous President who should be ousted next January if not sooner.
These journalists have become the mouthpieces the “resistance.” They are dedicated to ousting the President, even though he was legally elected and enjoys the support of about 44% of likely 2020 voters.
If the President prevails in November, what’s the next act, if any, for journalists and the resistance? Sauter asks. They will likely find him more dangerous and offensive in a 2nd term. He doesn’t have to worry about being reelected in 2024,
Now consider how the media may respond to a Joe Biden victory – beyond exhilaration? Will Mr. Biden be subjected to the rigor and skepticism imposed on the current President? Will he get a pass because he is a liberal and “not Trump.” We've seen how they treated sexual allegations by Tara Reade against Biden.
That’s what they did largely throughout the 8 yeas of the Obama administration.
The media’s protective coverage of the sexual-assault allegations against Joe Biden appears to be a clear indication of how they would cover his presidency.
There may be a Machiavellian method in what’s going on. It’s audience share with drives advertising dollars and profits.
A return to fair play to attract new customers could be offset by defections of outraged members of their liberal audience.
The media likes what it is doing, Sauter says. It sees no financial reason to change.
Sadly, many Americans won’t rely on the media until they can pick up a newspaper or turn on TV and believe that what they are receiving is credible.
I welcome your thinking on fairness vs. bias in news reporting.
If you liked this you can read Jerry Bellune's "The Editor Talks With You"
column each week in the Lexington County Chronicle.