The preening journalists who have made a profession out of hounding Donald Trump probably see themselves as avatars of Woodward and Bernstein in “All the President’s Men,” but I think they are sadly miscast.
Rather, the movie that seems to best describe the media’s bullying of Donald Trump and deception of the public is “Mean Girls,” a 2004 comedy which showed how damaging leaks and hidden dossiers could be when put in the hands of an unscrupulous adolescent. In that film’s high-school setting, rumors, whispers and “fake news” work to destroy the lives of several characters until the culprits are forced to acknowledge the damage they have done.
The only thing that separates fact from fiction is that the “journalists” who are stalking President Trump give no sign of being capable of learning from their mistakes. Give the Mean Girls in the movie credit for at least being capable of growth.
Were the kind of non-stop harassment of President Trump being carried out in high school rather than Washington, D.C., there is no doubt that it would be called cyber-bullying.
Trump has repeatedly called the year-long “investigation” into “this Russia thing” a witch hunt, and what is notable about it is the glee with which reporters (and their allies in the Democratic Party) attack Trump and members of his campaign or administration. They have proven absolutely no wrong-doing, and yet they act as though Trump is an illegitimate president. By repeating their unproven allegations over and over again, they have indeed become “cyberbullies” – spreading hateful and hurtful misinformation about Trump on the Internet 24 hours a day for more than a year.
A recent report from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy detailed the attacks on Trump. Shorenstein studied the reporting of seven news outlets on the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency. Fox News had 52 percent negative coverage of Trump, which seems reasonable, but Trump was portrayed negatively in 93 percent of the coverage on CNN and NBC, in 91 percent on the coverage on CBS, 87 percent in the New York Times and 83 percent in the Washington Post.
No one could survive such an onslaught without seeing their “approval ratings” decline. Imagine if the class valedictorian were the subject of 97 percent negative gossip in the hallways at a local high school. Yet we are supposed to look the other way and pretend not to notice when the media have their knives out for Trump.
Speaking of having knives out, what about that lovely Shakespeare in the Parks production of “Julius Caesar,” where playgoers get to fantasize about the bloody assassination of Donald Trump? Or the disgusting picture of “comedian” Kathy Griffin holding the severed head of President Trump? If you think either of those are OK, then surely you also think it is appropriate for teen-agers to send pictures via Instagram and Snapchat of their fellow students’ heads on a platter. It’s just satire, after all!
And now we have actor Johnny Depp wondering aloud when the last time an actor assassinated a president…
Essentially, our national media celebrities have established themselves as the ruling clique that judges and metes out punishment for anyone who does not meet their high and mighty standards. Their haughty demeanor (raised eyebrows, snickers, disdainful comments) on every “news” show is laughable to anyone who isn’t part of their “insiders’ club,” but also sadly dangerous.
Any president who was subjected to 24/7 insults, rumors and gossip would be at risk of destruction — and who does that help? What true American benefits by the calculated removal of a duly elected president by means of a smear campaign? None that I can think of.
Indeed, in the ultimate irony, the biggest beneficiary of the onslaught against Trump is none other than Vladimir Putin, Russia’s strongman. He can sit back and watch the growing loss of confidence in our best-in-the-world political system and know full well that his biggest ally in America isn’t Donald Trump; it’s the Mean Girls of the mainstream media who day after day undermine the legitimate government of the United States.
Frank Miele is managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. Copyright ©2017 Daily Inter Lake. Reprinted with permission. www.dailyinterlake.com