Any meaningful analysis that seeks the reasons for the hostile interaction between Donald Trump and the political media must begin with an acknowledgement about the nature of the institution arrayed against him. The mainstream media that confronted Trump at every turn, from the latter stages of the presidential election, up to his first day in the Oval Office operates as an extension of the Democratic Party. Trump’s attacks against journalists and reporters must be adjudged against this unwavering truth in terms of whether his diatribes and conduct were warranted, or represented, as the media consistently argued, an attack on press freedoms. Reviewing journalists ideological predilections is necessary for an assessment of whether Trump’s missives against the Washington media establishment were justified.
“Mainstream Media-Democratic Party-Complex” is an appropriate term to describe the indissoluble nexus between Democrats and political journalists. Others, have used different phrases to denote the relatively new institutional phenomenon. Victor Davis Hanson calls the conglomeration of the entertainment industry, the mainstream media and the Democratic Party as a new “fusion party.”
The evidence for such an assertion is bountiful and simply indisputable. When one hears the results of a study conducted by Harvard’s Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, that found the overall coverage of Trump during the first 100 days of his Administration was 93% negative, can any sane individual not agree that such an a stunning and unprecedented finding could never have been recorded had the nation’s news media not operated as a de facto extension of the opposition party.
Members of the media are homogenous in their world-view, their education, the social circles in which they travel and their party affiliation. It is a fact that political journalists are overwhelmingly liberal. Every survey that has studied the issue yields the same results.
Journalists over the past twenty-five years have voted overwhelmingly for Democrats by lopsided margins; their views on hot-button issues are consistently liberal and to the left of the country at large. In short, despite their specious protestations to the contrary, there are no conservative employees in the media that could act as a countervailing force to the prevalence of progressive political philosophy to which members of the mainstream media subscribe.
Given this ubiquity in ideological preferences among journalists, it is simply ludicrous to argue that they can put their political preferences aside, like a leopard shedding its spots, and report the news objectively. When the entire journalism profession is comprised almost entirely by registered Democrats, that is exactly the direction in which news is going to be slanted. No other result is or can be possible. Election 2016, was the political event that confirmed this reality.
When there is ideological homogeneity as well as cultural conformity, media bias is not a probability, it is an absolute certainty. Nowhere was this ineluctable fact more apparent than the lopsided pro-Hillary bias during the election.
Prior to the 2016 election, in a moment of pre-Trump uncharacteristic candor, even the New York Times, concurred with this assessment of bias, as noted by Politico,
“The people who report, edit, produce and publish news can’t help being affected—deeply affected—by the environment around them. Former New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent got at this when he analyzed the decidedly liberal bent of his newspaper’s staff in a 2004 column that rewards rereading today. The “heart, mind, and habits” of the Times, he wrote, cannot be divorced from the ethos of the cosmopolitan city where it is produced. On such subjects as abortion, gay rights, gun control and environmental regulation, the Times’ news reporting is a pretty good reflection of its region’s dominant predisposition.”
Thus, as the incontrovertible evidence reveals, the mainstream media Trump faced after the election was an institution that was culturally and politically aligned with the Democratic Party that was determined to exact its revenge, after he had put out to pasture journalists’ candidate of choice.
The passage above is from my book The Mainstream Media-Democratic Party-Complex, available on Amazon