A letter from The Media

Lovejoy

Lovejoy

Dear Supporters of Donald Trump:

It’s me—The Media.

Please, stop yelling. Seriously, stop. I have some things to say, and I’d appreciate if you listen.

First, I’m not a collective. I know you think “The Media” is this giant thing, but it’s really, really, really, really not. The New York Times and Washington Post are “The Media.” Sports Illustrated and National Geographic and People and Us are “The Media.” Fox News, CNN, MSNBC—”The Media.” So, for that matter, is Breitbart. Is your Uncle Marty’s blog. Is PBSkids.com. “The Media” isn’t a thing. No, it’s 100,000,000,000 things. It’s people providing information in myriad manners. So, please, stop grouping all information providers under one tent. It’s fucking stupid.

Second, you need me. You don’t realize it yet, because the orange straw monster has convinced you I’m the enemy. But, come day’s end, you’re going to be faced with a very interesting choice: A. Take everything the orange straw monster tells you as gospel, or B. trust reporting. Trust digging. Trust the extra phone call. Trust seeking out documents the orange straw monster doesn’t want you to see.

Right now, the orange straw monster is playing to your worst impulses. That’s what orange straw monsters do; they sell you on an enemy, then attack and attack and attack until your emotions are numb and your curiosity has been worn to a nub. The orange straw monster desperately wants you to see me, the media, as “The Media.” He wants you to never believe me; to only believe him. He wants to be your father and your mother; your nurturer and your provider. He wants you to trust him—and only him. That way, his power lasts and his sway proves eternal.

But here’s the truth: The Media, with rare exception, isn’t what you think it to be. It’s not some monolith, itching for power and money. No, it’s a young girl who grew up in Bethesda, dreaming of one day covering government for the Washington Post. It’s the boy who decided against law school so he could track down lobbyists for the Wall Street Journal. It’s individuals who believe the coverage of Watergate prevented a power-hungry president from getting away with a felony; who believe reporters on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan swayed (rightly) public opinion on Iraq and Afghanistan. Yes, we’re not all great. Some of our reporters suck, and that Buzzfeed thing was an embarrassment.

But when Donald Trump mocks “The Media,” and you mock “The Media,” you’re not merely making noise. You’re saying that people like Daniel Pearl and James Foley and Bill Biggart died over nonsense; you’re saying that people like Walter Cronkite and Gwen Ifill wasted their days. In 1837, a journalist named Elijah Parish Lovejoy was murdered by a pro-slavery mob in Alton, Illinois, during an attack on his warehouse to destroy his press and abolitionist information. According to you, he was worthless; his work was worthless.

Well, here’s the truth. I’m “The Media,” and if you continue to ignore me … to bash me … to believe the orange straw monster when he says I’m no good, you’ll be setting yourself up for a future of no accountability, of no repercussions, of no defense.

You’ll miss me—but you’ll be too uninformed to realize it.

Love,

The Media.

6 thoughts on “A letter from The Media”

  1. This is the reason that I was relieved that Clinton lost. There would be no accountability for her administration just like there has been little to no accountability for the last 8 years.

    With Trump in office, reporters and journalists will go after him like a starving dog goes after a t-bone. Only those living in a bubble would think otherwise.

    1. Antonio D'Arcangelis

      Unfortunately, the LGBT rights gains made in the last administration will be lost, funding for public education will plummet, taxes will shift even more demonstrably to the lower and middle classes, the economy will become increasingly shaky and unpredictable, and religious freedoms will likely vanish under a largely authoritarian regime. We’re white guys, so we’ll probably be fine. But this idea of Trump as a great social experiment to re-energize reporters and journalists comes will likely come at a huge expense. So forgive me if I don’t share your optimism. But I don’t live in a bubble. I believe there will be dire consequences to this radical choice. I’m fearful for people who don’t share my privilege.

  2. Fine, the media contains a mass of talent. But make no mistake; this industry is liberal centric, with conservative thought as rare as righty sightings in Soho. It’s in our DNA. Journalists are word people. The heaviest thing we tote is Webster’s. We’re not soldiers, farmers and high-rise builders who dig guns, church and flag. In my 40 years writing and editing at newspapers and websites, I’ve found liberals dominate the newsroom to the tune of 95%. They’re for Clinton, anti-Bush, awed by the weather hoax, against tax cuts.

    As for Trump in the arena? You can’t find any nonhardright outlet that gives him a break. Not the networks. Not cable news, including Shep Smith at Fox. Not radio. Certainly not the New Yorker, Atlantic and such magazines. Trump comes up, and the reporting is round-the-clocking bombs away. Nary a cheer for his proposed tax cuts to bring back companies from overseas, wall to protect Americans, medical insurance progress, VA fixes. All you read and hear are smug rips.

    This is hardly new. Pat Buchanan noted in his 2014 masterpiece, “The Greatest Comeback,” that Richard Nixon faced an 80% negative press in 1968 before stunningly winning. That headwind had to be worse for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and Trump this past year and a half.

    Glad DJT is countering something fierce. The lefty media deserves everything it gets.

    1. “That headwind had to worse for Ronald Reagan in 1980…” Don’t you know? And how’d that Nixon guy work out? “Nary a cheer” for Trump proposals…It’s not the press’ responsibility to “cheer” the words of a proven liar and bullshitter. You may have spent 40 years “writing and editing at newspapers and websites” thinking it’s OK to give breaks to the right, but you think a “leftist media” is corrupt. You’ve drunk the kool-aid far too long to change, sir, but you are not the bastion of truth and righteousness you think you are.

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