America needs a transparent Trump & a fair Media True journalism is dead in the age of CNN and MSNBC.

Home  »  Media  »  America needs a transparent Trump & a fair Media
Print This Post Print This Post
Nov 22, 2016 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

In this ongoing feud between President-elect Trump and the Mainstream Media — there is one thing to keep in mind. That is that the profession of news dissemination – originally known as “the Press” is protected in the Constitution.


With that protection, the Press, now known as the Media is a quasi-fourth branch of government.

The Framers saw it as an adversarial press – acting as a watchdog to keep government transparent and operating in sunlight. The Media’s part of the deal is simply this: to report the news fairly and unbiased with both sides of an issue covered equally and with opinion clearly labeled.

 Trump Tower is now protected by concrete barriers (Photo: AP)

Trump Tower is now protected by concrete barriers (Photo: AP)

To keep the Media free, it was not put under government supervision as it is in Russia. It must self-police. Therein lies the problem. True journalism is dead in the age of CNN and MSNBC. The Media have bias issues they must face.

On the other hand, Trump has responsibilities too.

All administrations promise transparency, but few deliver. The Clintons, for example, made every attempt to hide their activities with the Clinton Foundation, and were even secretive before that. President Obama’s administration never gave a full accounting of the attacks at Benghazi or the IRS scandal.

Trump should do better. National security is one thing – but most other government activities should be conducted in the light of day. As a businessman, Trump will not like that. He will have to change.

The Media must change too.  trump-and-media

I take the Dallas Morning News, a newspaper that, for weeks ran Trump suppression stories – the type of stories that would turn voters off to Trump. During this time, the newspaper buried stories about Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. This has got to stop. A newspaper’s obligation is to report the news fairly and balanced in its news pages. Its op-ed page is open to the newspaper’s editorial point of view.

The networks have a similar obligation. In the old days, NBC’s John Chancellor or CBS’s Eric Sevareid would present opinion clearly label as “commentary.” Today on those networks and CNN, most what is presented, as news is the reporter’s opinion. Or worse yet, the “house” style of the network.

Editorial pages don’t have to be fair but they should be balanced.

It’s OK to rail on Trump on the op-ed page. That’s what they are for. But the page should have opposite and varied points of view. Far too many pages have loaded up their opinions with anti-Trump screeds and (during the election) far too few about the other flawed candidate.

In closing, here is an ROTLF excerpt from a Washington Post column written by gay editorial board member Jonathan Capehart. As I’m reading this, I’m thinking that he sets the bar pretty high for any president – since they are all human beings. But then he – well, read for yourself:

The America I was taught to love demanded more from its leaders. Our presidents were held to high and seemingly impossible moral standards because they were considered a reflection of our better selves. They are more than who we are. They are who we aspire to be. That a majority of the American people voted for Hillary Clinton is an affirmation of those aspirations.

Uh, excuse me? Hillary Clinton is “more than who we are?” She is “who we aspire to be?” She is a “reflection of our better selves?” Who is he kidding? Even the great Ronald Reagan was human! No president can measure up to Capehart’s standard. But Hillary Clinton doesn’t come close.

The media has a lot of work to do.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: