The National Interest, December 1, 2016
The mainstream media suffered a further erosion of its authority during the 2016 campaign. It copiously displayed its disdain of Donald Trump, not least in assuming that his election to the presidency was not simply unlikely, but next to impossible. Then came the evening of November 8, when assorted media pooh-bahs stared in incredulity at the actual results—a Republican trifecta.
Many have blamed Trump himself for his adversarial relationship with the press, but that distracts from the media’s culpability. However unconventional or controversial Trump’s candidacy was—and it certainly broke new ground—the mainstream media have long failed to report the news truthfully about right-of-center public figures with whom it disagrees.
In my view, at a time when many are complaining about “fake news” manufactured by Russia, it is worth taking a closer look at the mainstream media’s complacency and downright dishonesty. Numerous examples exist, but two incidents involving Dr. Ben Carson, surely the most civil and genteel GOP presidential contender in the 2016 election, are illuminating.
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