Trump’s ‘media’ lives by different rules
News media such as the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC and CNN are staffed by career professionals who have learned a craft and strive to live by it, documenting what they find out and correcting errors when they occur.
There is one media outlet that lives by a different set of rules. This outlet flings bursts of accusations, complaints and unsubstantiated reports into the world, regardless of how they contribute to public enlightenment. It piles one misstatement or inflammatory attack upon another, moving on unchecked to a new untruth or half-truth before anyone can focus on the last one. It is immune to embarrassment. Unlike the media which it often vilifies, it disdains accountability.
This unrestrained media source, unfortunately, happens to be the president of the United States. He is propagating a new way of newsmaking, overturning habits of judicious investigation, choosing targets for abuse at will, poisoning the atmosphere with divisive half-cocked rants and all the time considering himself free of responsibility to the truth. He is more dangerous than a simple liar. He is a force for destroying public confidence in the integrity of any and all newsgathering agencies. If he succeeds, we will have ourselves to blame for not struggling to quarantine his influence. A free press is essential to democracy; the presidential contempt for a free press is liable to spill over onto us, if we are not on guard.
There is no point in arguing against the outburst du jour composed of falsely described and outdated fragments of footage circulated by him to remind us of his contempt for Islam. There is no point because by the time this attack goes public he will have moved on to another focus of his ire. For the moment I grieve for the Lubbock Islamic community that I know, rich in valuable contributors to Lubbock society and welfare. But I must do my grieving quickly before the next wave of presidential misdirection about something else arrives.
EDWARD V. GEORGE/Lubbock