Accuracy in Media

Journalist Ted Koppel confirmed that the mainstream media is against President Donald Trump at a recent Carnegie Endowment for International Peace event in Washington, D.C.

“I’m terribly concerned that when you talk about the New York Times these days, when you talk about the Washington Post these days, we’re not talking about the New York Times of 50 years ago,” said Koppel, who started the program Nightline in 1980, when Iran held 52 Americans captive for 444 days before releasing them the day President Ronald Reagan took office.

“We are not talking about the Washington Post of 50 years ago,” Koppel continued. “We’re talking about organizations that I believe have, in fact, decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad for the United States.”

Koppel recalled a moment during the 2016 presidential campaign when he turned to his wife and said, “The Times is absolutely committed to making sure that this guy does not get elected.

“So his perception that the establishment press is out to get him doesn’t mean that great journalism is not being done. It is. But the notion that most of us look upon Donald Trump as being an absolute fiasco, he’s not mistaken in that perception, and he’s not mistaken when so many of the liberal media, for example, described themselves as belonging to the Resistance.”

It’s not that Koppel is a big fan of Trump.

“What does that mean?” he asked of reporters describing themselves as belonging to a far-left political faction. “That’s not said by people who consider themselves reporters, objective reporters of facts. That’s the kind of language that’s used by people who genuinely believe, and I rather suspect with some justification, that Donald Trump is bad for the United States, and they’re betting that the sooner he’s out of office, the better they will like it. Whether that happens by virtue of indictment, impeachment or election, we’ll see. But I disagree with you, Marvin [Kalb, former CBS newsman]. We are not the reservoir of objectivity that I think we were.”

He is not the only one to have noticed.

In summer 2018, NBC News ran a piece on its website headlined, “Media bias against conservatives is real, and part of the reason no one trusts the news now” – subhead” “It might not be conscious, but the way that reporters treat conservatives in their coverage has always shown their liberal leanings.”

In the piece, Republican political strategist Evan Siegfried opens with a vignette that illustrated the situation.

“Members of the media were shocked as he was supposedly revealed as an incredibly anti-woman presidential candidate, perhaps even the most ever nominated by a major political party in the modern era. He has admitted that he reduced women to objects and the Democrats pounced, seeking to make him lose the support of women and, in turn, the presidency.”

It wasn’t Trump in this instance; it was Mitt Romney in 2012 after he said he had “binders full of women” that he was looking at for key positions in his administration if he won.

Siegfried wrote the public has started to notice, and politicians – including and, perhaps, especially President Trump – have started to use bias against them to their advantage.

Two-thirds of Americans believe the media has a hard time separating fact from opinion and 62 percent say the press is biased, Siegfried wrote. But 92 percent of Republicans in another survey said they believe the media intentionally reports false stories.

This enables Trump to “effectively weaponize people’s distrust of the media, especially among his base,” Siegfried wrote.  “He and his supporters dismiss any news that does not portray him in a positive light, labeling it ‘fake news.’”

Trump has gone beyond the media to “now accuse facts themselves” of being “arrayed against him. To hear the president tell it, reality has an anti-Trump bias – and is supporters are eating it up. Even when confronted with evidence, particularly from the media, the Trump base refuses to believe the truth, instead choosing to buy into the lie because it makes them feel good.”

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