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Media Elite mocks “journalistic fairness” in treating President Trump

by | Jul 5, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

This week Newsbusters offered a wonderful piece that cut to the chase on the issue of media hostility to pro-life President Trump.

Referring to Chuck Todd and a cohort of Trump haters, Nicholas Fondacaro’s headline is “MSNBC Panel Bemoans ‘Impartiality’ as ‘Mistakes of the Past,’ a ‘Disservice.’”

Throwing out all the old rules where reporters served as unemotional “umpires and referees” is necessary because “on the one hand and this is the other hand” model of “journalistic fairness” is (according to NPR’s David Folkenflik ) “often a deep disservice.”

I mention this first by way of introduction to an absolutely fascinating piece by the Washington Post’s Philip Bump headlined, “If Clinton had won, would her poll numbers be any better than Trump’s?”

There are at least ten different ways we could take this analysis. Here are four interlocked assessments.

#1. The answer to the headline begins with no one can know, of course. “After all, Clinton’s actions in office would have varied from Trump’s to a large degree — perhaps a larger degree than any other alternative-presidency scenario one can imagine,” Bump writes.

Trump’s support has dropped among Independents, although it’s important to acknowledge early that the President’s numbers are coming back (see #3). But would Hillary Clinton’s numbers be better, given how divided we are politically? In other words would she be doing better with Independents? Would she be better at gaining Republicans than Trump is in winning over Democrats?

#2. Bump begins by perceptively observing, “There’s not as much polling on Clinton these days, given that she’s no longer running for office. But last week, Fox News released a poll that included Clinton in their favorability assessments. That survey found that Clinton was viewed less favorably now than Trump” (emphasis mine).

There is traditionally a honeymoon period after a candidate loses the presidency. Not so with Clinton. Her favorabilities are the same as they were before the November election.

People just don’t particularly like her.

#3. What about Trump? Going back to before the election, Bump cites the last Fox News poll which found

Clinton was viewed favorably by 42 percent of Americans to Trump’s 38 percent. Since then, Trump has seen gains with Republicans and independents (and to a lesser extent, Democrats). But among independents, Clinton was viewed less positively than Trump both then and now. She would likely have seen a gain among Democrats, too [if she had been elected President], but she started out higher.

If she saw an equivalent gain among independents as did Trump, her favorability rating with that group would still be lower than his is now. (It’s also not clear that she’d see much of a gain among Republicans.)

#4. No one, least of all me, would pretend that a President Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the media would be all sweetness and light. She is too paranoid about reporters and has a long and very combative history with them.

But could anyone say–with a straight face–that media heavyweights such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the three major networks (plus CNN and MSNBC)would be talking about impeaching Clinton even before she was elected, and routinely since? Of course not. They would have propped her up, knowing her disastrous political instincts would ill-prepare Clinton to be president.

It is nothing short of fascinating to watch Big Media gutting their own credibility. They so loathe President Trump that they routinely make the kind of embarrassing, sophomoric mistakes that 20 years ago no creditable media outlet would have allowed, let alone encouraged with a wink and a nod–and worse. (See

The obvious answer is to return to the “journalistic fairness” David Folkenflik derides and rejects out of hand.

But the equally obvious response, alas, will be to double (and triple) down on the 24/7 attacks on President Trump.

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Tags: media Trump