Did Trump kill journalism?
“Objective journalism is a hard thing to come by these days. We all yearn for it, but who can point the way?” Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Despite being asked over forty years ago, this question is still just as relevant today. The answer though, is just as elusive now, as it was then. For who really can claim to be objective in the age of Trump and all the divisiveness he brings?
The real problem with this spasmodic hatred of Donald Trump that gushes from every news outlet, is the loss of legitimate criticism of the new administration. Both sides of the media have jumped into this mud pit, unaware or completely disinterested in the fact that their credibility has been ruined. Investigative journalism has been replaced by house organs that play to the crowd every time.
There seems to be only the two extremes. Brietbart, Fox news and the like who have proclaimed Trump to be the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ who can do no wrong and literally shits golden bricks (perhaps to build the wall with?). On the other side, do I even need to tell you? CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NYT, the Washington Post and all the rest of the media, who reportedly have been begun wearing adult diapers to help contain their coverage of the Presidents. Each side calls the other one #FAKENEWS with breathless proclamations of impeachment or catchy nicknames like snowflakes, libtards, SJW’s, inbred, rednecks, fascists, nazis and what have you.
There is no middle ground, no objectivity, everything is subjective and we, the American public are the losers here. We are the suckers, still paying for the cable bill and unlimited data plans. Where can we turn to find out what is real? What is a true story and what is just anonymous sources that never materialize? Maybe there isn’t an objective reality anymore? Maybe this is the future, obstructionists keeping the government at a standstill and partisan street fights every two years. Every dirty trick pulled out to drag their opponents through the mud and gain a bit of ground until the next election when they do it all over again. Who would try to go backwards?
Trump has shown that America wants our politicians to be just as dirty and depraved as the rest of the country. Who would try to be an upright and controversy free candidate now? Even if we could find someone who was, it wouldn’t matter because the opposing side will call them every name in the book and make false accusations (maybe a few true stories too, just to liven things up) until that candidate is dragged into the mud with them.
Maybe there never was objectivity in journalism? This whole time we have been lied to by news anchors who grin and grimace when they are supposed to. Maybe objectivity was never even the goal, but just more rhetoric meant to quiet us? Who really is yearning for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
This story opened with a quote from Dr. Thompson and I feel it appropriate to end it with another. Not necessarily the answer to all these questions, or by any means the final word on them, but enlightening none the less.
“So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here — not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.”