President Trump announced Sunday that U.S. special operations forces have killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the “world’s number one terrorist,” and “the founder and leader of ISIS.” Surely that is cause for celebration. Especially since in recent days New York Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer, among others, have publicly fretted that the president’s recent effort to move our troops out of Syria would likely lead to a revival of that vicious terror organization.
But no, not even a clear win in the fight against Islamic terror registers approval from the liberal media. Hours later, the Washington Post altered their initial obituary, which described al-Baghdadi as ”Islamic State’s terrorist-in-chief,” to call him an “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State.” Sure, because heaven forbid the Trump administration actually gets rid of a bad guy and makes the world a little safer.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and others took to Twitter to deride Democrats and the media for dismissing the killing of the terrorist “as no big deal” and whining that they were not informed in advance. That was their response.
This is, of course, only the most recent example of how shamefully the liberal media treats President Trump. His supporters are sick of it, and so is he.
Last week, President Trump canceled the White House subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post, and encouraged other federal agencies to follow suit. It was small; it was petty. But, after three years of taking a relentless pounding from the liberal media, it must have felt good. Thousands of other fed-up Americans have done the very same thing.
The reaction of the liberal press was predictable – astonishment and outrage. How dare he? One incensed person likened the president to Mussolini; Vanity Fair’s headline called him "Angry Little Man."
Maureen Dowd, in the Times, blasted the “snowflake” president for not being an ardent Times reader (unlike President Obama) and confidently predicted he’ll “sneak back,” unable to stay away.
Here’s the thing Ms. Dowd – you need Trump more than he needs you. We wonder what will become of the Times, and the Post, after President Trump leaves office. The half of the country offended by your offensive treatment of the man they voted for have moved on; they get their news from other sources now, sources that maybe deliver the news more fairly.
Those clicks you love from your admirers will dwindle post-Trump. As you point out in your column, it is what you describe as Trump’s terrible behavior that sells papers. The stories cited daily in the Times as “most read” are mainly attacks on the president.
Trump’s exasperation with the liberal media is entirely understandable, and defensible. They have been relentless in their scathing criticism of his every word and deed from the moment he decided to run for president. Not a day goes by that the Times, for example, doesn’t lash out in the most vitriolic fashion.
Why should his White House support such an organization? Why should the taxpayers who elected Donald Trump?
Trump is not the only one disgusted with the media. Gallup has tracked opinion about the press over time; the most recent summary shows 28 percent of the country has no confidence at all in the mass media – a record. Another 30 percent said they had “not very much confidence” that the media was reporting the news accurately and fairly. Moreover, 42 percent of those surveyed thought the national news was too liberal, against only 13 percent who saw it as too conservative.
Remember that the Times' publisher was so embarrassed to have completely missed the biggest political story of recent times – Trump’s victory – that he penned a sort of "mea culpa," acknowledging the goof but also excusing it as the result of an “erratic and unpredictable election.”
He recommitted the paper to its “fundamental mission,” which he described as reporting “America and the world honestly … striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives.” What nonsense. The Times makes zero effort to understand and certainly has never reflected the views of those who elected President Trump. I doubt there’s a single writer on their payroll who voted for Trump.
Their antagonism of the liberal media costs the country dearly.
Paul Krugman’s unceasing, erroneous columns talking down the economy ("Here Comes the Trump Slump," "The Day the Trump Boom Died") dampen optimism. Consumer sentiment has mainly, thankfully, sailed right past the ominous whisperings of the economist most notorious for predicting that Trump’s election would ignite a stock market crash. But, the collective doom-and-gloom spread by Krugman and his colleagues does not move the economy, or the country, forward.
The liberal press has harped relentlessly on the bad news and refused to herald good tidings, such as the positive impact of the GOP tax cuts. The campaign against the tax overhaul began even before the bill was written, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer badmouthing it as a handout to the wealthy and the liberal press falling in line. So successful, and so damaging was the concerted coverage of the tax bill that most Americans believed their taxes had actually gone up, even as the vast majority of the country actually saw them drop.
Even the Times had to admit (eventually) that taxes fell for most Americans. They credited the confusion to “a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents of the law to brand it as a broad middle-class tax increase.”
So, the liberal media lied about the tax bill, thus blunting the optimism it might have generated.
It is also not helpful that the liberal media chooses to disparage the president every time he meets with another head of state. China’s President Xi Jinping may be trying to stall on a trade deal; some have speculated that he expects the president to lose in 2020 and has decided to wait him out. Wonder where he got that idea?
The president is wrong to call the liberal media the “enemy of the people,” but he is not wrong that their coverage of his administration is biased. It is also often wrong. They were wrong about Trump in 2016, they were wrong about the Brexit vote, and they were wrong about the Trump team colluding with Russia.
The liberal media is powerful; they could use that power to good effect. For instance, if the press aggressively backed Trump’s call for trade reforms from China, and used their influence to bring Americans aboard, it might speed an agreement. Or, if they are concerned about the plight of American farmers as they pretend to be, they might pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade deal to a vote.
Media elites tell us that the country is badly polarized. They are correct, but they are not helping.