New York Times columnist Frank Bruni is very worried about the media. He’s chewing at his fingernails, praying that the political press will not “repeat the mistakes that we made in 2016.”
Is Bruni worried that the media’s overwhelming bias against Donald Trump caused many middle-of-the-road voters to turn off their coverage in disgust and instead flock to the Republican nominee? Is he concerned that the media’s focus on Trump’s rhetoric stole too much spotlight away from his astounding accomplishments as a businessman? Is he nervous that the media will once again turn Trump into a “Villain to be Conquered” and thus betray the objective point of a free press?
No, of course not.
“With the dawn of 2019 and the acceleration of potential Democratic candidates’ preparations for presidential bids, we have a chance to do things differently than we did the last time around — to redeem ourselves,” Bruni writes. “Our success or failure will affect our stature at a time of rickety public trust in us. It will raise or lower the temperature of civic discourse, which is perilously hot. Above all, it will have an impact on who takes the oath of office in January 2021. Democracies don’t just get the leaders they deserve. They get the leaders who make it through whatever obstacle course — and thrive in whatever atmosphere — their media has created.”
Sooo, the “mistakes” made by the media in 2016 – according to Frank Bruni – are revealed not in the ongoing war against the president but rather the outcome of the election. In other words, if Hillary Clinton had prevailed, Bruni would not be writing this article today. Put yet another way, Bruni apparently believes that the media’s only fault in 2016 is that they were collectively too easy on Trump.
Bruni then makes what might be the most absurd, bubble-oriented remark of the entire piece, urging the political press to focus on the substance of Trump’s record rather than his penchant for controversy.
“We need to do something else, too, which is to recognize that Trump now has an actual record in office and to discuss that with as much energy as we do his damned Twitter feed,” he writes. “By the time the 2020 election kicks into highest gear, Trump will have been president for more than three years, barring his impeachment, his resignation or his spontaneous combustion (with him, you never know). We’ll have evidence aplenty to demonstrate that he’s ineffective and incompetent, an approach more likely to have traction than telling voters that he’s outrageous. They already know that.”
Well first of all, we’re not sure it’s the objective media’s job to “demonstrate” the president’s ineffectiveness or incompetence, nor the other way around. It’s their job to present the facts, and the FACTS of Trump’s presidency are overwhelmingly in favor of his re-election. This is exactly why the liberal media will NOT focus on the substance of Trump’s record; it is by that focus that he will surely get another four years in office.
Bruni is writing for an audience that doesn’t exist outside the New York Times’ readership. An audience that actually believes the media put Trump in office because it wasn’t biased ENOUGH against him. An audience that actually believes it is the media’s job to attack a Republican like Trump until every voter is convinced of his worthlessness. We’re sure his column was extremely popular inside the newsroom, but outside of that? It’s just another sign that THEY. JUST. DON’T. GET. IT.