Throwing out the media’s rule-book is one way President Donald Trump is demonstrating some of what it takes to win the information war. Here is Bruce Thornton:
The media savants still haven’t figured out that their rule-book is obsolete.
President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey was like a speedball for the media addicted to Trump-hatred. The Dems came out with the usual hallucinatory hyperbole––“Watergate,” “Saturday night massacre,” “obstruction of justice,” “Constitutional crisis,” “coup,” “impeachable offense,” “treason,” “terrifying attack,” “despot,” and various other verbal convulsions. The NeverTrumpers joined the shooting-gallery, high on their seething resentment of the man who kicked to the curb these self-appointed arbitri elegantiae of conservative political discourse.
Nearly two years since Trump announced his candidacy, the media savants still haven’t figured out that the rule-book they wrote to suit themselves is obsolete.
Once television and mass advertising came to dominate the coverage of politicians, the media determined the protocols and practices that governed their interactions with pols. Because they manufactured and monopolized the images and analyses that the voters used to create their politics, the opinion writers and television anchors wielded enormous power. And the politicians knew it. So both political parties accepted the media’s rituals and made obeisance to the the media’s power.
A prime example of this baleful dynamic came in 1968, in the early days of the North Vietnamese’s failed Tet Offensive. In his evening news show, CBS’s Walter Cronkite pronounced, “But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out [of Vietnam] then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” After hearing the supposed communicator of facts make a geopolitical political judgment based not on facts but on erroneous perceptions, President Johnson said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” In the end, nearly 60 thousand Americans and over a million South Vietnamese died for nothing.
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