It has come out that presidential candidate Donald Trump said the unthinkable phrase about women, “Grab them by the pussy.” For this, BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith gloats, “We Told You So.” With delusions of grandeur, Ben Smith tries to wash away every distortion, deceit, and omission of large media companies because Donald Trump said five offensive words:
The media rooted in the American newspaper tradition — actual newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as descendants of that journalistic tradition including BuzzFeed News and Politico — have covered Trump fairly since before he entered the race. That is to say, we of the Mainstream Media ™ depicted him as a liar, as a mediocre businessman, as a man who says disgusting things about women, as an ignoramus.
Actual newspapers like The New York Times were instrumental in promoting flat-out lies that led to the 2003 Iraq war escalation, killed millions of people, created ISIS and produced feelings of terror that have induced a loud minority of tyrants pushing against our Constitutional rights.
More recently, news outlets like The Washington Post have been so intra-partisan that they published essentially a hit piece an hour against Bernie Sanders just when he was heading toward a real chance of winning the coming primaries.
BuzzFeed is not The New York Times nor The Washington Post. That was clever the way Ben Smith grouped itself with these others.
Donald Trump issued an apology for the statement. Whose apology is next?
Yes, the mainstream media depicted Donald Trump “as a liar, as a mediocre businessman, as a man who says disgusting things about women, as an ignoramus” — but the key point here is that the media “depicted him” at all. Without television coverage, half of the population would not even know Donald Trump was running for president — just as surely as large numbers of Americans once believed that Saddam Hussein was behind 9-11. The mainstream media created the reality — as it often does.
Negative publicity is better than no publicity.
This same media that Ben Smith is trying to vindicate is as dirty as ever. There is virtually no coverage of the protests in North Dakota. On a related front, there is virtually no coverage of the global warming circumstances that caused the intensity of Hurricane Matthew. And there won’t be … until just about everyone already knows.
But there will be experts from dozens of Koch brothers funded “economics” organizations — often debating each other without any real opposition. And there may be equal time in the purely “theoretical” global warming “debate.” And the coverage of issues around impending war will remain utterly dishonest. Vindication is a long way off.
Congratulations, Ben Smith. Donald Trump said five clearly offensive words so that your ideological ownership of “Mainstream Media” identity may feel vindicated.
A better vindication might be honest coverage of the Syria situation before the next big war.
No, Ben Smith. There is no making the mainstream media credible now — certainly not upon five random words by a celebrity even if he has been nominated for president. Right or wrong on this one, the past has not been erased — and the present is full of distortion. That’s the “Mainstream Media.” In the internet age, it is going to be harder and harder to control the narrative.
It is going to take much more than today’s five word “vindication” to re-establish the mainstream media as a credible source. Get to work.
For many, it is too late.