The National News Media Isn’t Even Particularly Good at Being Biased


Michael Marceau holds and upside down American flag at a "Protect Mueller" protest at Lafayette Square in Washington, Nov. 8, 2018. President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions the day after the midterms, a move that raised immediate questions about how the special counsel’s Russia inquiry would be affected. (Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times)

The national news media has a pronounced leftward lean in their ideology. This is no big secret. Honest members of the media industry acknowledge it, and at least pay lip service to correcting it.

The national news media, for the most part, also hates President Donald Trump. One needn’t watch many pundit panels on CNN, or read more than a day or two worth of columns on the New York Times editorial page, to gather that. They think he’s a sinister figure, and they formulate their coverage of his administration to impede his political agenda.

The thing is, they’re not particularly good at it, and in the end they undermine their own credibility as much as Trump’s.

Let’s set aside, for a moment, whether or not the national news media ought to have an agenda against a sitting President. If they’re going to execute that agenda, they could be doing a far better job of it.

The release of the Mueller report this weekend is the perfect illustration of this, as I talked about on today’s podcast. If the goal is to get Trump then building the Mueller report into something it was never going to be – Trump and his family frog marched out of the White House in handcuffs, for instance – you lose credibility when the report comes out and the President is, in many ways, vindicated.

Even as I write this anti-Trump members of the news media are on their various platforms telling us all about how the Mueller report doesn’t really end anything, even though they were telling us before that it would end everything.

It’s one thing for politicians and political operatives to engage in that sort of thing. We expect them to be feckless. It’s another thing for the news media to do this.

At a time when President Trump has brought chaos and upheaval to national politics, the national news media have proven themselves to be unreliable narrators.

That’s bad for the republic. Heck, that’s bad for generally left-leaning political agenda of the national media industry.

It’s one thing to have bias. That is it is. It’s another thing to live in a bubble where what you say and what you report ends up having little in relation to reality.