When we look back on this election campaign, there’ll be winners and losers and lowlights galore. Among the biggest losers will be the already low credibility of so-called journalists, especially reporters and news anchors, in what I call the “dominant-liberal-establishment-mass-media” (DLEMM). That’s a cumbersome term, but you need all those words to accurately describe it. Yes, there’s the conservative Fox News Channel, but I say “dominant” because FOX’s prime time audience of about 3 million viewers is dwarfed by the 30 million who get their daily dose of liberal spin and Democrat talking points from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, NPR, etc. (to say nothing of the New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg and the Associated Press.)
Incidentally, I reject the term in common use by many conservatives: “mainstream media” or “MSM.” It flows easily off the tongue but conveys the false impression that the DLEMM reflects the mainstream of public opinion. It does not! The DLEMM is considerably to the left of the general public that includes those in the 30 middle-American “red” states that Trump carried in 2016.
One of the worst examples of brazen, liberal media bias was on vivid display in the two separate October 15 Town Halls, featuring Joe Biden in Philadelphia and Donald Trump in Miami.
The moderator of the Biden event was George Stephanopoulos, former senior advisor to President Bill Clinton and currently a chief anchor and political correspondent in the liberal stable at ABC News. Steph pitched softballs at Biden and treated him with kid gloves as did the bulk of questioners from the live audience.
By comparison, the Trump event was a like a mugging “moderated” by Savannah Guthrie, main co-anchor of the NBC News morning show Today, also a liberal bastion. Rather than serving as a facilitator for questions from the audience, Guthrie played the role of a relentless pit bull. For the first 20 minutes of the one-hour program she arrogantly staged what amounted to a second round of the prior Trump-Biden debate under the guise of “clearing some things up.” In essence, she acted as a Bidden surrogate, hammering Trump with a rapid-fire barrage of hostile questions and liberal presumptions as if she were a prosecuting district attorney.
She hoped to nail Trump for not being tested for COVID-19 on the day of debate with Biden. Trump said he may have but wasn’t sure since he gets tested so often. That didn’t satisfy her so she harped on it. Trump should have ended that line of interrogation by simply saying, as is done in court, “asked and answered.”
She dwelled on Trump’s refusal to make his tax returns public. Again, old news, asked and answered. She blamed him for 215,000 COVID-19 deaths and pressed him to disavow QAnon, but she was unconcerned about the far-worse Antifa. She belabored $421 million of his outstanding debt. In that line of attack, she revealed her ignorance of even basic financial concepts like a Debt-to-Equity Ratio. (A measure of how much debt a company is using to finance its assets relative to the value of its stockholder equity. 2:1 is a general standard, meaning that $400 million of debt is prudent and justified by $200 million of equity, which Trump surely has.) Trump said he wasn’t over-leveraged; she thought otherwise.
When Guthrie finally got to the audience questions, which were mostly anti-Trump, she compounded her felony by piling on as Trump tried to answer, continuing her running debate with him. (I’d love to know how Guthrie and the NBC staff selected the questioners and, perhaps, helped them with the wording.)
Guthrie’s self-indulgent rant was unprofessional, unethical and disgraceful. (I can hear the anti-Trump “resistance” saying, “Oh yeah, so is Trump.” Even if you believe that, it’s not the point. She’s supposed to be a journalist.) Watching this debacle, I was thinking, “Who the hell does this shrieking harridan think she is?”
On Twitter, Guthrie was roundly applauded by her DLEMM colleagues who showered her with praise. That says a lot about the liberal media mentality these days. Their hatred of Trump — and by association, his supporters, the millions of Americans Hillary Clinton branded as “deplorables” — has become a mass psychosis. They imagine that Trump is the devil incarnate and rationalize that this relieves them of any obligation toward objectivity, balance and fairness, all of which are suspended during their crusade to take him down.
This contrasts with their love affair with Barack Obama which was also an abandonment of journalistic canons of detachment and neutrality.
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.