Whether the Left is in the right or wrong (spoiler alert: they’re totally wrong), it is bad for the country to have a one-sided leftist press.
Surely, just by the laws of human nature, neither those individuals who support bigger government nor those who promote greater liberty are immune from the normal sinfulness and corruption of our fallen kind. So how can a journalist presume to do his job if he sees only one side — the Right — as continually in the wrong, and the other side, the Left, as a model of probity? Life simply doesn’t work that way, and reporting on it as if it does divides and frustrates and deceives the audience. It is a disservice to the nation.
As you may have heard every minute of every day since last Thursday, the Mueller Report of the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in our last election was made public. Trump did not collude with Russia, and he railed constantly against the investigation, which he thought a political witch hunt. Sometimes, like Henry II with Becket, he shouted of Mueller, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent investigator?” or words to that effect. But unlike Becket, Mueller was able to visit the Cathedral without being assaulted by anyone but a sniggering dirtwad reporter from MSNBC. The investigation continued with an unusual amount of cooperation from the White House. (Compare Obama during the investigation into “Fast and Furious.”)
In other words, if Donald Trump didn’t exactly act like an innocent man falsely accused, he acted like an innocent Donald Trump falsely accused. Mutatis mutandis: once you make that necessary change, the main point remains the same. The guy’s not a Russian spy — and no, Chuck Todd, using solid Wikileaks dirt on Hillary Clinton isn’t actionable — especially since Clinton was using total lies courtesy of Russian disinformation on Trump!
So okay, now, in conference calls and dear colleague letters, the Democrats are discussing the largely political question of whether they can beat this dead horse back to life with more investigations and impeachment proceedings. Yes, that’s a legitimate news story.
But according to Bill D’Agostino at the indispensable Newsbusters site, in the 24 hours after the Mueller Report’s release CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC hosts, analysts, and contributors mentioned “impeachment” 309 times.
How many times did they look at it from the other side, I’d like to know. How many times did they ask: Say, if Trump was innocent, was the investigation even necessary? If the salacious Steele Dossier played virtually no role in Mueller’s magnum opus, why was it used to get warrants to wiretap a Trump associate’s phone? And by the way, what did Barack Obama know about all this, and when did he know it?
Such questions are merely in keeping with basic journalistic principles and a knowledge of the aforementioned sinfulness of humankind. Trump does and says stuff he shouldn’t do and say. So did Obama. So does our intelligence community. So does the Deep State in general. This is the raw meat and sweet cake of journalistic practice. Turning that practice to one side, over and over and over not to mention over again, is bad — morally bad. It is deadly to the truth. It is deadly to public awareness. It is deadly to democracy.
And it would be deadly to American journalism if American journalism weren’t already so very, very dead.