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Why Political Journalists Can’t Take Criticism

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Why Political Journalists Can’t Take Criticism

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Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event with Vice-President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

Published with permission from Washington Monthly.

I get why Washington journalists respond to criticism in partisan fashion. When readers complained last week about a botched AP report, they were mostly supporters of Hillary Clinton. Naturally you’re upset, the reporter thinks. You don’t like news that reflects poorly on your preferred candidate.

By now, we know that report was wrong.

It claimed that half of private individuals who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state were also donors to the Clinton Foundation. But Clinton met with hundreds of people, public and private. Worse, the AP reporters used as their villain in a story of corruption a Nobel Prize-winning economist who’d known Clinton for more than 30 years.

This is old news, but the Washington media continues to disappoint. On NPR this morning, “Morning Edition” host Steve Inskeep asked Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake if he shares Clinton’s view on immigration. According to Trump, Inskeep said, his opponent favors “open borders” and “amnesty.”

This is an example of a statement that’s technically accurate, but entirely misleading. And dangerous. Yes, Trump has said, time and again, that Clinton wants “open borders” and “amnesty.” It’s also true that this claim exists only the realm of fantasy. Indeed, in an interview — just yesterday — NPR’s Mara Liasson told Inskeep those claims were false.

Journalists, I believe, are beholden to the truth. If they are unwilling to pay deference to the authority of the truth, even when that deference conflicts with the profession’s other guiding principles, there isn’t much point in being a journalist.

Again, I understand why reporters respond to criticisms in partisan fashion. It’s natural. Indeed, I was sympathetic to Business Insider’s Josh Barro when he quipped on Twitter that Clinton supporters are among the whiniest supporters.

But in this case, vocal complaints by Clinton supporters are not empty. They are based on something. They are based on demonstrable instances of journalistic malfeasance.

Journalists of Steve Inskeep’s high caliber say they privilege getting the facts right, as they should. But holding them accountable to those standards can be nearly impossible.

I got in touch with Inskeep on Twitter this morning to make him aware of his mistake. (I do not subscribe to the childish claim, as Glenn Greenwald does, that the American media is in the tank for one or the other candidate). It was an honest mistake. So I asked: Will you be offering a clarification?

I didn’t expect Inskeep to reply. When he did, it was not a good faith exchange between journalists about the concrete facts of the matter. He offered instead a series of bewildering deflections, obfuscations, and, to be frank, playing dumb.

Here is some what he said:

“The recording shows me noting that Trump claims his ‘opponents’ favor ‘open borders.’ I then ask Flake, a reformer, if he does.”

(Yes, we know this.)

“Nowhere was a false charge simply repeated unchecked.”

(Actually, that’s precisely what you did. You said as much.)

“Doesn’t asking a question allow someone to state their true position? Should we never ask?”

(Flake’s position is beside the point. The question was based on an NPR-reported falsehood. How about a clarification?)

This is Hannity’s technique interviewing Trump, whom he backs. But as a journalist I prefer to let Flake give evidence.

(I didn’t know what to say. The presumption here would seem to be that a politician is responsible for the truth.)

I know how it feels. I hate — just purely blindly hate — being called out for a mistake. Mistakes chip away at a journalist’s credibility. Credibility is a journalist’s lifeblood. Ideally, it would be better for the journalist never to be aware of it.

But that’s not the world we live in. Indeed, we live in a world in which a candidate for the presidency of the United States can give a policy speech on immigration based on the fever dreams of nativist-white nationalists, and the entire media apparatus does not report that it is unadulterated racism.

We need a better media.

We’ll see if that begins with a minor clarification.

John Stoehr is a lecturer in political science at Yale, a journalism fellow at Wesleyan, and US News & World Report contributing writer.

Photo: Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event with Vice-President Joe Biden in Scranton, Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller

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68 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

    Yes, we do need a better, more honest, and objective media, but characterizing the falsehoods we hear almost on a daily basis should not be called journalistic laziness or refusal to clarify “mistakes”.

    Consider the latest pseudo scandal: Hillary may have to explain her ties to Laureate, because since that institution made Bill Clinton an HONORARY Chancellor, he has traveled to various countries where he delivered speeches at member Universities encouraging students and academia to embrace standards of excellence, and to promote formal education. The report added that Laureate is a bogus “University” because it does not grant degrees.

    First and foremost, Laureate is the academic equivalent to ISO in the business world. ISO is an organization that help the business community establish standards of performance that contribute to more effective processes, that promotes safety in the work place, and other similar practices. ISO does not produce the goods and services that ISO clients make, they simply show industry how to be more effective. Laureate performs an identical function in academia.
    The only way a journalist can distort something like this to deliberately add one more pseudo scandal to the long list of garbage being attributed to Hillary, is if that “journalist”, and I use that term with great trepidation, is in her opponents payroll.

    Reply
    1. itsfun September 4, 2016

      Good Morning Dom: Did you see the Bill Clinton interview where he said 10,000 immigrants from Syria could come to Detroit and rebuilt the 10,000 deserted houses that are structurally sound. That would give them good jobs. What is wrong with offering those jobs to poor Detroit citizens? Could that be because the Democrats believe they own the black vote and want to buy 10,000 more votes from immigrants.

      Reply
      1. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

        No, I missed that interview. Most African Americans, and Latinos, in Detroit own, or are renting, the houses they live in. They are not interested in moving to dilapidated houses that have been abandoned, and sometimes are on the verge of being condemned.
        Having said that, and considering that many Syrian refugees are professionals, with college degrees, I doubt too many of them would be interested in rebuilding ruins.

        Reply
        1. itsfun September 4, 2016

          The people in poverty are not living in good homes. If they are, they don’t have to move into a dilapidated house. I am not saying anyone would have to move into a terrible house. I am saying why not give them the jobs to the poor folks here in America. They will learn a good trade and get the good feeling of earning a good paycheck.

          Reply
          1. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

            There are a lot of retraining programs, some paid for by the Federal and/or State governments, and some by private industry. There are also a lot of financial assistance programs for the poor and for first time buyers.

            Reply
          2. itsfun September 4, 2016

            Right; but what would be wrong with having the local Detroit citizens getting the first opportunity to improve their city, while getting paid and learning?

            Reply
          3. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

            There is nothing wrong with that. All they have to do is apply for training or for a loan that includes construction expenses. Bill Clinton’s statement about offering those dilapidated houses to refugees, did not exclude local citizens from having the same opportunities they had all along.

            Reply
          4. Paul Anthony September 4, 2016

            Yes, it did.

            Reply
          5. Jan123456 September 4, 2016

            Care to provide any evidence of that?

            Reply
          6. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

            They can’t, because if they did it would undermine their political narrative. One of the most damaging parts of Trump’s “outreach” to minorities, such as it is, is that it ignores that most African Americans are valuable members of our society. Many are successful entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, sportsmen, media celebrities, and successful in just about every field of endeavor.
            Yes, the African American and Latino unemployment rate is higher than the rate for white folks, but that does not mean African Americans live in misery, have lost the ability to dream, or lack opportunities.
            If they want to be trained in a specific trade, they have the ability and tools to do so. If they want to purchase a house, new, used, or dilapidated, they can do so the same way every other American can.
            I find Trump’s condescension demeaning and insulting, and nothing more than an effort to change his image after 14 months of constant insults, threats, irresponsible comments, and narcissistic behavior.

            Reply
          7. Jan123456 September 4, 2016

            I listened to Trump’s speech at the church. It would be difficult to imagine a less inspired delivery. The words were not in his heart so they could not have come from there.

            I also read several publications on Detroit’s homestead project. When you get information from multiple sources, you realize how skewed much of the media reporting is. It’s all about ratings and money for them.

            Reply
          8. johninPCFL September 6, 2016

            The jobs Bill’s talking about are to (re)build the house you’re going to live in. People already owning a house will not be interested in rebuilding another house to move into.

            Reply
          9. itsfun September 6, 2016

            Okay; what I am talking about is both the homeless and poor folks in Detroit. I would be in support of a government grant that pays the homeless and poor to learn a trade and get paid while learning. I would like to see the grant give both options to the homeless. They could get paid less, but be able to move into the houses they refurbish.

            Reply
      2. Independent1 September 4, 2016

        I know you don’t think much, but do you suppose all Bill was suggesting is that Syrians could respond to the many listings on the internet which are looking for folks to come there and start rebuilding the city??

        How A Young Community Of Entrepreneurs Is Rebuilding Detroit
        http://www.fastcompany.com/3007840/creative-conversations/how-young-community-entrepreneurs-rebuilding-detroit

        Building Detrioit – Neighbors Wanted
        http://auctions.buildingdetroit.org/Home

        The Motown Movement – Sustainable housing…
        http://themotownmovement.com/

        Reply
    2. Independent1 September 4, 2016

      Great assessments on current journalism corruption! Thanks for posting it!

      What’s especially appalling is that the deamonizing of the CF by right-wingers could like many things right-wingers do, have a very real life threatening affect on the lives of thousands, maybe millions of people in America and around the world being helped by the CF.

      See these excerpts from an article in the Daily Kos:

      What the Clinton Foundation does—and why Hillary Clinton should point to it with pride

      Bill Clinton set up the public charity after he wrapped up his presidency in 2001 with the idea of bringing government, businesses and social groups together to tackle big problems. It was kind of a new idea at the time. On Monday, Clinton wrote in a post on Medium that the foundation is about “creating opportunities and solving problems faster, better, at lower cost so that more people are empowered to build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.” …

      The foundation is made up of 11 non-profit groups that work on four major issues: global health and wellness, climate change, economic development and improving opportunities for girls and women.

      All those calling for the immediate closure of the foundation are calling for the disruption of health care to over 11 million people, and putting in doubt the lives of over half the people being treated for HIV anywhere in the world. Read that part again: the Clinton Foundation helps 800,000 kids getting treatment for HIV/AIDS. That’s what it means to shut down the Clinton Foundation.

      http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/8/24/1563375/-What-the-Clinton-Foundations-does-and-why-Hillary-Clinton-should-point-to-it-with-pride

      Reply
      1. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

        While the intended target of the right wing plot is, obviously, Hillary Clinton, the real victims, like you said, are the tens of thousands of people worldwide that benefit from the services afforded by the Clinton Foundation. Hopefully Bill and Melinda Gates will expand the scope of their charity to ensure services to some of the neediest people in the world are not disrupted by a crass vendetta and political imperatives.

        Reply
    3. Independent1 September 4, 2016

      And just a little more on the CF: After much analysis – CharityWatch awarded the CF an ‘A’ rating which they found actually applies 89% of donations directly to charity related work; while the industry average is for charities to only apply around 75% of donations directly to charity work.

      And on a little different issue – it’s occurred to me that as important as getting Hlllary elected president, what may be more imperative is taking back the Senate. If Dems don’t take back the House, not much will be accomplished for Dems for at least 2 years even if Hillary is elected. But not taking the Senate back could be a disaster should Trump be elected; while by taking back the Senate, Dems could keep Trump from doing too much damage in the way of getting really damaging legislation passed by Congress and in keeping him from appointing a drastically conservative justice to SCOTUS for at least 2 more years.

      Reply
      1. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

        Compare that to the Trump Foundation, a private institution designed to provide tax breaks to its founder.

        Reply
    4. Beethoven September 5, 2016

      There are three kinds of journalists. First is the journalist who deliberately and knowingly reports false information for the purpose of supporting a particular position or belief. Second is the journalist who reports false information and, in an attempt to be “fair and impartial,” simply reports the information without taking a position on it, and also without checking out, and reporting, whether it is true or false. Third is the journalist (it seems a very rare breed these days) who reports false information and then thoroughly reports, and documents, and calls attention to, all the facts that prove it is false.

      Reply
  2. Stephan Alan Sonn September 4, 2016

    Let me take this to a deeper place. If some entity were on a quest to destroy American Social Democracy, the best place to start would be destroying the the integrity of the press. The method would be by moles and linguistic manipulation via tripwire syntax manipulation.

    Reply
  3. itsfun September 4, 2016

    Why isn’t the left writing about the FBI interview released Friday. Doesn’t the press believe Americans deserve to know about a Presidential candidate that can’t remember being briefed on national security, or her exit interview from the SOS job. Why don’t they report that the FBI found 68 email documents that are so highly classified that members of Congress aren’t even cleared to see them. Why doesn’t the left report that she used the ole I don’t recall or can’t remember excuse 26 times in her interview. Why don’t they report she said her health prevented her from remembering? She even said she didn’t understand confidential markings. Everything I am saying here is in document released by the FBI.

    Reply
    1. Stephan Alan Sonn September 4, 2016

      Troll

      Reply
      1. itsfun September 4, 2016

        Can’t deal with the facts?

        Reply
        1. Stephan Alan Sonn September 4, 2016

          No, just do not like your tripwire propaganda.

          Reply
          1. itsfun September 4, 2016

            Not propaganda, just read the FBI interview and you will see.

            Reply
          2. Stephan Alan Sonn September 4, 2016

            There is a context to this that you will never embrace, and that would be gravity. Even truth is an agent of tripwire propaganda.

            Reply
          3. itsfun September 4, 2016

            Truth and honesty are propaganda?

            Reply
          4. Stephan Alan Sonn September 4, 2016

            First of all I do not post to something called itsfun. Second you are not rational in addition to not having a name. Third Your Libertarian tripwire talking points bore me. So…. B’bye

            Reply
          5. itsfun September 4, 2016

            Fine with me; If you don’t like what I post just don’t read my posts. Try reading the FBI interview with Hillary though and then call it propaganda. Its her own words. bye forever

            Reply
          6. Independent1 September 4, 2016

            The FBI review written by a GOP-loving Republican who intentionally tried to do as much damage to Hillary’s reputation by totally exaggerating the situation!!! Comey’s just another right-wing lowlife!!!!!

            There was no reason for the FBI to publish their notes, it was just another attempt by lowlife Comey to further damage Hillary’s reputation. With fabrications of reality as usual!!!

            You right-wingers are such worthless human beings it’s disgusting!!!!!

            Reply
        2. Independent1 September 4, 2016

          What facts?? You mean those fabrications of reality that you constantly spew!!!

          Reply
          1. Stephan Alan Sonn September 4, 2016

            I posted this on Esquire forum. Motice the new words as syntax… Tripwire virus that invades the language. Part of advanced troll script training… …Never blame on ignorance what is true malice. If an entity wanted to destroy Western Social Democracy they would poison the media wells. That has happened via moles and a linguistic syntax tripwire virus, with help from the online Russian trolls also.This is all breaking by degree in the internet intellectual community.

            Reply
          2. Karen September 4, 2016

            Interesting…..

            Reply
          3. Stephan Alan Sonn September 4, 2016

            So you follow media plays.

            Reply
    2. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

      I hate to admit this, but nobody trained me on how to handle classified material. What a lot of people don’t understand is the difference between obvious classified material, stamped SECRET or TOP SECRET, or e-mails labeled as such in the header, and receiving or sending information that nobody has labeled classified. For example, at least one of the e-mails recently released contained information about the use of drones, and the fact that collateral damage was often extensive. Everybody in the USA, and the entire world, is well aware that we have been using drones, and that innocent people have been killed. The reason that material is considered classified, by some, is because our government does not want to acknowledge that its actions have resulted in the death of hundreds of innocent people, including women and children.
      The classification of information is often not as objective as you think. There is often a lot of subjectivity, that may not be apparent to the person that sends or receives a message.

      Reply
      1. itsfun September 4, 2016

        What seems like a hundred years ago when I was in the service, I had secret clearance, not top secret. I was given briefings on how to handle the classified documents and how to recognize them. If a SOS cannot understand the classifying of a document, then that person is incompetent to be in that position. That is part of the job description. She is saying she doesn’t recall getting briefed or taking any training and she didn’t understand classified markings. She used don’t recall or can’t remember something like 40 times in the FBI interview. This tells me, she is in terrible health, incompetent, or just plain lying using those two excuses to keep from going to prison. You can’t prosecute someone for saying they don’t remember or don’t recall, but you can prosecute them for lying.

        Reply
        1. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

          Like I said in my earlier response, there are aspects of this issue that don’t even need any kind of training. A document stamped TOP SECRET, an e-mail that says TOP Secret in the header, or the information exchanged behind closed door, in environments that are not accessible to the general public, where participants are instructed not to take notes, and where participants don’t even use their surnames to minimize risk, are easy to identify, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand that you are not supposed to discuss the topics addressed in that kind of material.
          That is not what Hillary dealt with. I gave you an example regarding the use of drones, which has been all over the news for a few years now, both at home and abroad. Everybody knows about it, and everybody understands that collateral damage is often a reality.
          Discerning what may be sensitive, when dealing with something that is public knowledge, is not as easy as it seems.
          Again, there is a lot of subjectivity in the classification process. Things that appear mundane to one person, is considered sensitive by someone else for reasons that are not always obvious.

          Reply
          1. itsfun September 4, 2016

            Dom: She was SOS and has admitted she doesn’t understand classified markings. National security has to be one of her top priorities. It was her job to know what should be classified and if she didn’t know if something should be classified, then handle it as if it was classified. I am not talking about drones now or then. I am talking about a SOS that allowed our national secrets be made public for our enemies. Will we ever know if any of our informants have been murdered because of her incompetence? No one is saying it is a easy job, but if you accept the responsibility of such a position, you must be aware of all situations concerning or national security and secrets. Now she has used the can’t remember or don’t recall lines something like 40 times in her FBI interview. Doesn’t that tell you something about her memory, or health, or competence. What comes to mind when a witness uses that answer that many times. She won’t have a press conference because she may not be able to hide the truth.

            Reply
          2. Independent1 September 4, 2016

            You have to remember there clueless that the State Department people had been trained by Powell and Rice with respect to handling emails and classified information when Hillary became SOS. And given that both of them used the RNC’s servers for 100% of their emails that were not classified; and that Powell actually suggested to Clinton that she use a private server for unclassified work and classified documents; makes it fairly clear that the State Department did very little with respect to training anyone on handling classified info.

            And add that to the the fact THAT NOT ONE OF THE EMAILS FOUND ON HILLARY’S SERVERS WAS APPROPRIATELY MARKED CLASSIFIED (I’M SORRY BUT PUTTING A SMALL ‘C’ SOMEWHERE ON THREE DOCUMENTS DID NOT QUALIFY AS ACCURATELY MARKING THEM CLASSIFIED); FACT IS HILLARY DID NOT MISHANDLE ONE EMAIL!! NOT ONE!!

            While in contrast 22 members of the Bush White House – including Bush Cheney, Rice, Rove and Powell, use the RNC’s private servers for more than 85% of their government business – much of it clearly classified!! And not only did Powell deliberately erase his emails, there are still 80 million of them missing from the 8 disastrous years Bush served in the White House!!

            So how even compare what the Bush people did to what Hillary did?? You can only try to compare it if you’re nothing more than a GOP loving sheeple!!!

            Reply
          3. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

            Don’t forget that the new Inquisitors are the same people who did not see anything wrong when Valerie Plame’s CIA connection was outed.
            When it comes to standards and consistency, the GOP doesn’t know how to spell those terms.

            Reply
          4. Independent1 September 4, 2016

            Yes! And even though I heard a couple agents lost their lives because of that revelation.

            Reply
          5. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

            The chances of an investigation into that incident, or into W’s lackadaisical attitude when he ignored the national security briefings indicating a distinct probability of an imminent terrorist attack on U.S. soil, or the absence of investigations when 11 U.S. embassies and consulates were attacked during W’s tenure, are small to nil. Only Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation, and e-mails warrant repeated, never ending, investigations…and many among us see nothing wrong with that double standard.

            Reply
          6. Paul Anthony September 4, 2016

            No one can remember everything…just the IMPORTANT things.
            Do you ever get tired of apologizing for Hillary?

            Reply
          7. Independent1 September 4, 2016

            And in case you haven’t seen it, here’s CIA Director Morrell’s take on all this (unlike right-wing idiot Comey’s fabricated reactions):

            From Newsmax:

            Ex-CIA Chief Morell: Hillary Didn’t Lie About Benghazi

            “He also defended Clinton’s misuse of classified information in her use of a private email server while secretary of state, saying “when she saw those e-mails, she did not see classification markings.”

            “So when she says there wasn’t classified information, that’s what she means,” he said. “It wasn’t marked. And the two that were marked with little ‘c’s,’ she doesn’t remember. So she’s not trying to mislead anybody.”

            http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Benghazi-Hillary-Clinton-Morell/2016/08/07/id/742478/#ixzz4JJmFF0UD

            Reply
          8. Paul Anthony September 4, 2016

            A competent, and therefore qualified, person would not have to be told. There is no excuse for handling government correspondence on a private email server. She had been told that, but ignored it.
            Hillary is smart enough to avoid actually breaking laws, but bending them seems to be the only talent she possesses.

            Reply
          9. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

            She should have known better, and she has acknowledged as much. However, there were no laws in place, when this incident occurred, regarding the use of a personal server for official government correspondence. President Obama signed a law to this regard AFTER this incident became public.

            Reply
          10. johninPCFL September 6, 2016

            How about handling it via AOL or Google as Rice and Powell did?

            Reply
        2. yabbed September 4, 2016

          You think the SOS doesn’t have staff to tend to that? Have you any idea what the job of Secretary of State entails? You think the SOS classifies documents? Ask anyone about just one year of their life in daily activities and not remembering 40 times would indicate a remarkably sharp memory. Imagine being SOS with the complexities of that job and remembering every action of every day, week and month of years duration.

          Reply
          1. itsfun September 4, 2016

            It was her job to know what is and what should be classified. It was hers and actually every citizen responsibility to send classified documents unsecured to anyone. Just common sense tells you, one needs to protect their data on computers. She didn’t remember her exit interview, she didn’t remember getting security training and briefing, That is bs and you know it. I still remember the training I had to take when I was in the service and that was over 40 years ago. How can you believe she doesn’t remember those essential items? She told the FBI she thought the (C) meant alpha order. Why didn’t she see a (A) or (B) then? If her memory is so bad she can’t even remember security training, then how can you want her as President. If she can’t remember getting trained, how can we expect her to remember anything taught to her? I really think she has health problems and probably should step down. If she can’t remember things, she can not perform the duties of a President. If her memory is good and she is using the can’t remember or don’t recall, then we have to believe she is just lying more.

            Reply
          2. yabbed September 4, 2016

            You’re being silly. Secretary Clinton was not a frigging clerk like you. She was the Secretary of State. She did not file papers. She did not classify documents. She did not order in lunch nor did she maintain the computers. You’re just spouting Fox News crap.

            Reply
          3. Paul Anthony September 4, 2016

            Are you saying a “friggin clerk” is more competent than the SOS? In Hillary’s case, you may be right. So let’s elect a clerk as President.

            Reply
          4. yabbed September 4, 2016

            Don’t be silly. A Secretary of State does not do a clerk’s job and a clerk does not do a SOS job.

            Reply
          5. itsfun September 4, 2016

            Part of her responsibilities was to know what should and should not be classified. It was her job. I wasn’t a clerk, but what is wrong with someone being a clerk? Is that a profession you just look down on? She would have made a terrible clerk, seeing as how she can’t remember anything.

            Reply
    3. Bill P September 4, 2016

      What left are you referring to? If you mean newspaper companies that are deemed liberal then the NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times and Chicago Sun-Times all printed stories about the FBI interview 2 days ago. The NY Times printed a number of stories about the FBI interview. So what “left’ are you talking about?

      Reply
    4. useyourindoorvoice September 6, 2016

      It is apparent you never watch as you call it the left. It is all they have talked about, endlessly for hours. As previously said nothing on Trump and what he has actually done only hours on Clinton and what she may have done. There is no left media it is all Trump media. It is all self serving BS to keep people watching. Make up maybe scandals. Scandal has become their favorite word. They can not put the name Clinton in a sentence without using the term new scandal, potential scandal, could be a scandal. Their very vocabulary looks like a Grocery Rag paper not news. They all should be writing for the National Enquirer.

      Reply
  4. yabbed September 4, 2016

    Here’s what we don’t like: that there is no news coverage of Trump’s taxes, his fraud cases, his multiple bankruptcies,his rape trial and the “Trump University” trial, both on the court’s calendar. You can look back at NY Times articles from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s and read all about his sleazy mob connections, the con artists he did business with, all the lawsuits over his failure to pay his debts to banks and service providers, his multiple adulteries and failed marriages. There is even a Howard Sturm video in which Trump in answer to his avoidance of the Vietnam draft says he fought a tougher war against STDs during that time our military fought in ‘Nam. He’s a disgusting creature with a sordid history and CNN, MSNBC, and the NY Times will not confront him. No reporter has the guts to report on him for fear of a lawsuit. That’s what we don’t like about the press.

    Reply
    1. FT66 September 4, 2016

      Agreed. One has to think the media is on vacation, sleeping on wheels or are rather cherry-pickers. What astonishes me most is: the media understands Trump is a businessman and not a politician. They know the nation has never hired a businessman to be president. How come the media don’t hold Trump accountable so he has to release his Tax Returns? If the media are going after Hillary the way she performed her job as a government worker, why not go after Trump and let voters see how he did his business? In my understanding, “pay-to-play” is applied most with those who are in private business. Candidate Trump has business inside and outside the country, doesn’t the media think voters have to know what kind of business Trump has? Voters need to know the ins and out of the person they want to hire, especially the businessman who they never hired before.

      Reply
      1. Dominick Vila September 4, 2016

        Another possibility is that our media is on the take. I don’t think they are lazy, or have become ambivalent to reality. I think they are making a lot of easy money…

        Reply
        1. Bonissima91910 September 4, 2016

          In the context of “Everyone has a price” no doubt they know who pays for their time, and what is the slant they need to take. No PRESS available any more as our Forefathers envisioned and planned for in our Constitution.

          Reply
          1. Amberwmccarthy2 September 5, 2016

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            Reply
    2. Jon September 4, 2016

      Exactly. Where is the news coverage? He bribes Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi not to investigate claims of fraud made by student-victims against Trump University in Florida. Do they think it isn’t newsworthy?

      Reply
  5. Bonissima91910 September 4, 2016

    There is NO journalism in its original truth seeking form anymore!! It is all about the ratings and about being part of the noise making without appearing they “have missed the opportunity” on any given issue. It is all about how quickly the tweet is emitted. There are open lies, cruelty, hiding behind the polluted journalists’ shield, there is little if any correction and amendment. And of course because they willingly participate in “negative delivery and appearance” they will not acknowledge having been part of the horrific lying, and portrayals they do about the people or issues they “parrot” about. Media is about tabloid reporting at tweeting speed, it is about hate seeding, it is about destroying the people they lie about, and there is no conscience. It is almost like in present elections the media has given permission to themselves to become as sociopathic as the one candidate has precipitated the nation into. And the one sociopathic candidate is the elephant in the room no one touches. no one addresses.

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    1. Karen September 4, 2016

      TV journalism no longer exists today. Instead we have moderators with a panel of guests talking over one another while the moderator most often has a dazed look on their face.

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      1. Mama Bear September 16, 2016

        Television is entertainment, yep, even tv news. It is not a reliable source of information or even close.

        Reply
  6. Oddworld September 4, 2016

    I agree with all the comments here. In one way or another everyone here has hinted at profits being the motivational factor. That has been the problem at the very least since the first Gulf War when the 24/7 “opinion driven” media cycle realized they have a cash cow. On the other hand, and forgive me for playing Devils Advocate here, most people, not just Americans, say they simply want the truth but in reality tend to tilt to one side or the other. Truth in itself has become highly subjective to the point of being the real casualty. And the media is more than happy to oblige.

    Reply
    1. useyourindoorvoice September 6, 2016

      Excellent commentary. Reminds me of ” A Few Good Men” and Jack Nicolson’s Truth you want the truth, you can’t handle the truth. They do not want the truth they want something that aligns with their own opinion. If they wanted the truth they could easily find it. The voters are not just lazy but determined to remain ignorant so they never have to question their own words and idea’s.

      Reply
      1. Oddworld September 6, 2016

        That’s truth my friend!! Excellent post.

        Reply
  7. useyourindoorvoice September 6, 2016

    The journalists have been screaming at Hillary Clinton for not giving press conferences. As Howard Dean said why would she you guys have no real questions but email. The answer to him was well we might ask other questions. Reporters get about a 30 minute conversation with her on her plane not a single policy question. Nothing but emails, FBI and Clinton Foundation. And I refuse to use the word Journalist to describe them and even reporter is giving them to much credit. There is one simple fact that shows they have no integrity or even simple backbone or pride. Donald Trump puts them in a pen. He calls them names, liars, crooked and everything else you can think of. Bars any agency he does not like and still they follow him like sheep and pander to his every word. Literally no shame or personal convictions. There big issue is still with Clinton and no press conference. He has used them to pander to his base, build a lack of accountability based on they are all liars so I can say whatever I want, change it and then deny it. Don’t believe anything they say. And they wander around and help him do it.

    Reply

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