In the world of education, the “three R’s” refer to the fundamentals of instruction: reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic. In the world of the Democratic mainstream media, the three R’s sadly refer to: resistance, Russia, and racism. Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, almost all legacy media outlets have fixated on resistance to his presidency, at the expense of traditional journalism. Until this summer, that resistance centered on the chimera of an insidious Russian conspiracy. Now, as that canard fades away, the new anti-Trump obsession of racism emerges.
Think I exaggerate? Then consider actual recent statements from the leadership of the once-vaunted New York Times. At its internal town-hall meeting last week, Executive Editor Dean Baquet bluntly conceded the Times’ preoccupation with the Trump/Russia saga, explaining that “we built our newsroom to cover one story.” But Robert Mueller’s milquetoast report and subsequent disastrous testimony effectively ended the lunacy of the whole Russia imbroglio. Acknowledging this conundrum, Baquet admitted, “Now we have to regroup.”
To any objective observer, such a regroup would likely involve staff shake-ups, new editorial processes and, most of all, returning the culture of the Grey Lady to its journalistic roots: a pledge to report on stories and do real investigative work rather than function as a press arm of the Democratic Party. But for the partisan plotters of the Times, no such introspection occurred. Instead, Baquet and his biased bloviators determined to regroup by merely redirecting. Henceforth, the simple strategy of the New York Times – one mimicked across the Democratic media complex – merely entails replacing Russia with, of course, racism.
One staffer asked the paper’s brass: “I’m wondering to what extent you think the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of our country should play into our reporting? … I just feel like racism is in everything.” Baquet replied that he approved of the publication’s new race-based writing projects to “teach our readers to think a little bit more like that.”
First, this country was hardly “founded” on racism. Yes, our nation owns the brutal crime of slavery. History makes clear that the scourge of slavery was, until about two centuries ago, a universal norm and not remotely an American construct. Yet, Times writer Mara Gay tweeted out, “In the days and weeks to come, we will publish essays demonstrating that nearly everything that made America exceptional grew out of slavery.”
Such statements convey a truly vile anti-American mindset, not to mention an appalling leap of historical revisionism. As the eminent black scholar Thomas Sowell remarked in 2012, “[R]acism is not dead, but it is on life support, kept alive by politicians, race hustlers, and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as racists.”
But regardless of the pesky facts, the New York Times has charted out a course of blatant advocacy, rather than news gathering and storytelling. Why does that paper, and almost all of the legacy media in America, embrace this obsessive mission to forsake journalism and plunge into naked partisanship, without a hint of shame? As someone who has worked in television news for over a decade, and been an on-air contributor for all three of the major cable news channels, I firmly believe the answer squarely lies in the media’s abject hatred of Donald Trump.
Why do they so despise this president? The answer is not policy, although policy plays a role. To be sure, these luminaries of the left, masquerading as journalists, recoil at a politician so determined and effective in enacting the conservative promises of his 2016 campaign, especially regarding broad economic growth and constitutionalist judges. But the real, central cause for the media’s callous call to dethrone Trump lies in his uncanny ability to expose the truth about these media mavens. I have often described Trump as the “Great Revealer” for his remarkable ability to unmask his opponents, whether feckless establishment Republicans or increasingly radical 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. But Trump has especially exposed the truth about many media figures – that they are merely biased, lazy, entitled activists.
Though heightened now, media antagonism toward conservatives predates Trump. For instance, the mainstream media for decades have called every national Republican of significance a racist. Even the late Sen. John McCain, whom the MSM lionized in recent years for his criticism of Trump, was regularly pilloried for supposed racism. In 2008, as he faced off against then-Sen. Barack Obama, CNN’s Don Lemon tweeted out this debate question: “Do you think the McCain campaign is creating a political environment that is inciting hate and hate speech?” Similarly, in 2012, the Washington Post published an op-ed headlined “Romney and the RNC: Stoking the Racial Politics of Yesteryear.”
But unlike previous establishment Republicans, President Trump fights back, and hard. He is the political version of Floyd Mayweather, a counterpuncher who turned opponents’ attacks into his opportunities. For example, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski now mock the president daily on their MSNBC morning show. But the president correctly points out how fawning they were in their 2015 and 2016 coverage when they identified then-candidate Trump as ratings gold. In the same fashion, Trump regularly exposes the hypocrisy of another MSNBC host, Al Sharpton, as a well-documented anti-Semite and racist who dares to accuse this president of bigotry.
For years, media leaders felt emboldened to use well-worn and mendacious attacks against conservatives, with little blowback. These media elites enjoyed status and basked in their own self-importance as they betrayed the great legacy of real journalists who built these once-august organizations through painstaking, tough, honest reporting.
But Donald Trump showed up uninvited to their soiree. Through his brawling style and communications savvy, he diminishes their influence and threatens their cozy perches. Through social media, raucous rallies and humor, he speaks above and around them, the ultimate media disruptor. Since Nov. 8, 2016, they have assured themselves that our electoral triumph would be undone, first by the Russian charade, and now by a false narrative of racism. But in place of their three R’s of resistance, Russia, and racism, they should become better acquainted with a fourth R … re-election.