Donald John Trump is so very fond of bashing the media, those whose duty is to report to the public about how well — or poorly — government is functioning.
Yeah, he tosses the occasional compliment, then follows that with the usual rants about “fake news” and “low ratings” and other crap designed to denigrate the Fourth Estate.
I want to sing the media’s praises especially for the way they have been covering the coronavirus pandemic.
I’ve been trying to think back to any story that has dominated our airwaves and our printed pages the way coronavirus outbreak has done. The media, for their part, are covering this crisis about every way imaginable. They are doing so in ways I never would think of were I in a position to assign reporters to cover the story.
Trump’s anger at the media rests, in my mind, on the notion that the media aren’t swallowing the nonsense he spews — and the lies he tells — about the “fantastic” job he and his team are doing. They are seeking to fill in the spaces left open by the president and his team.
Trump says the disease is “under control.” The media go to expert sources who report that, nope, it’s untrue. The disease is far from being controlled, contained or confined.
The media’s reporting of seemingly separate stories are tied in varying ways to the coronavirus crisis.
That’s OK with me. The media are doing the job they are empowered to do. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects them from government interference. Over the generations since the founders wrote the amendment, it has been generally accepted that the Constitution also offers a shield against politicians’ bullying and coercion.
Donald Trump’s constant criticism is blatant form of bullying that cannot be tolerated. He won’t stop the attacks, given that they play well to the ignorant wing of his political base, the know-nothings who believe Trump’s ridiculous assertions that “fake news” is actually false, when in reality it merely is news that isn’t favorable to their hero.
The media are doing a great job covering a story that needs a free press now more than ever.