I want to push back against those who have taken to blaming the media for Donald Trump’s wholly inadequate response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Michael Goodwin, a columnist for the New York Post, posited an opinion that the media are more interested in taking Trump down than on reporting the facts. Goodwin writes:
In the real world, events are unfolding at a pace and scale impossible to comprehend. But at too many news outlets, the aim is not to inform. It is to render the harshest possible judgment on the man journalists love to hate.
Goodwin’s mind- and heart-reading ability must be astonishing in the extreme. To my way of thinking, he is letting his own bias get in the way of anything sort of rational analysis.
The media are trying to pry the truth out of a president who so far in his term in office has demonstrated incessantly an inability to offer the truth. Reporters and editors deal with truth. It is what they peddle as they seek to chronicle the news of the day, to inform the public about what their government is doing for them or, sadly, to them.
The coronavirus pandemic has gotten away from the federal government. It is running rampant now throughout the nation. We haven’t seen the worst of it. My hope and the hope of all our citizens — and that includes media representatives — is that we’ll get to the worst far sooner rather than later. Then maybe we can start to return to some semblance of normal life.
The media’s task is to tell the public whether their government is doing what it can to make that happen.
Donald Trump just happens to be the head of the executive branch of government. He hasn’t performed adequately. The media are reporting on his decisions and the processes that lead to them.
Do the media’s reports flatter the president? Do they gloss over the actions he has taken or failed to take? No and no. Is the media’s responsibility to cast the president in a positive light? No. Their responsibility is to tell us the truth.
I’ll provide Goodwin’s column here. I also will stand by my pushback against those who seek to blame the messenger who insists on doing an unpleasant job, which is to deliver bad news.