A new poll from Rasmussen Reports showed that 69 percent of Americans don’t trust the media at all or very much. Just 9 percent said they trusted the media “a lot.” Another poll from Media Research Center matched those numbers precisely – 69 percent of those polled said they didn’t think the media were truthful or honest.
The media keep showing us why.
This week, the media have gone nuts over the appointment of Breitbart News’ Steve Bannon for White House Chief Strategist. I share their disapproval, but the allegations they’ve made about Bannon are unsupported by evidence. It’s not enough to say that Steve is a nasty human being (he is), that he’s interested in burning down Republican leadership for his own political gain (he is), that he wants to hollow out the traditional constitutional conservative movement in favor of a European-style far-right nationalist populism (he does), or that he pandered to the despicable alt-right at Breitbart News and mainstreamed them by doing so (he did). No, they have to claim that he’s Goebbels. They claim that he’s personally anti-Semitic and racist and a white nationalist and anti-Israel, without evidence.
This is ridiculous. And all it does is provoke defense from the right. For God's sake, I'm now defending Steve Bannon! The media can’t stop their overreach, because everybody on the right is Hitler to the media, which means that Bannon must be Super-Duper-Hitler.
But that’s not the end of the media insanity.
They're suggesting over and over that Trump is responsible for violence -- even as anti-Trump protesters riot. Leslie Stahl of 60 Minutes asks Trump to condemn violence by his supporters, even while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say nothing about the actual violence taking place around the country.
They’re also claiming repeatedly that the Trump transition team is in chaos. That may be true, but they’re going further and pointing to this as a sign that Trump will be a dud as a president. Trump’s campaign flew by the seat of its pants. But he won. Nobody cares how the sausage gets made with regard to Trump’s cabinet picks – as Trump tweeted last night, “I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!” Americans are fine with that. We don’t even care if Trump turns this into a rose ceremony from The Bachelor. Let’s find out who he picks, then worry about it.
Then, finally, the media has lost its mind over the stupidest story of all: Trump ditching the press pool to have a steak dinner somewhere. They say that this is precedent for Trump being anti-press. Wasn’t there enough precedent for this during his campaign, when he led chants against individual members of the press? Besides, does anyone think that something vital happened over the A-1 sauce? Did he call to concede to Hillary? Offer half of Western Europe to Putin?
The media simply can’t stop themselves from turning every situation into a crisis, every Trump pick into an incipient genocidal dictator, every Trump supporter into a vicious racist. And they’re going to continue to destroy their credibility if they don’t stop.