Beaton column: The de-fanged and sickly poodle press
The Aspen Beat
Over 200 bigly newspapers, or at least what passes for that in today’s world of belittled newspapers, assured us a few weeks ago in similar editorials against President Donald Trump published all on the same day that there is no collusion among them to take him down.
They said that they are not the enemy; he is. In fact, they imply that he’s … (you know what’s coming) … a fascist. They say this impervious to the irony that they freely excoriate this so-called fascist daily without consequence other than to drive away their few remaining subscribers.
Don’t call this collusion, they say, because they’re anti-collusion at this particular moment in time and, besides, it can’t be collusion if there are no Republicans in the room. Believe me, there are very few Republicans in any press rooms.
Yes, the fawning poodle press of the Obama era wants to grow fangs and take a bite out of the Republican president. But these days the press isn’t so much a pit bull as a blind, incompetent, incontinent, 17-year-old labradoodle suffering through its last night. Because big media is not just biased, but inept.
For example, at that mangy mutt called the New York Times where they boast of printing “all the news fit to print” they sometimes print other stuff too. A few years ago, they had to correct their report that Saint Patrick banished slaves from Ireland. (Isn’t it racist to confuse slaves with snakes?)
In other corrections, they admitted they were mistaken in identifying Dick Cheney as a former president, and mistaken in reporting that television personality Joan Rivers died in 1914.
Of more substance, the Times reported that Trayvon Martin was shot dead by a police officer when, in fact, his shooter was a civilian with no connection to the police.
In a yuuuge error, they once got Kim Kardashian’s butt wrong. That’s because they used a satire site as a legitimate source. Here’s the correction:
“An earlier version of this column was published in error. That version included what purported to be an interview that Kanye West gave to a Chicago radio station in which he compared his own derrière to that of his wife, Kim Kardashian. Mr. West’s quotes were taken, without attribution, from the satirical website The Daily Currant. There is no radio station WGYN in Chicago; the interview was fictitious, and should not have been included in the column.”
Other than that, the story was accurate.
The Times last week published an op-ed purportedly written by a senior Trump official that excoriated the president. But they withheld the name of the author. Given the Times’ track record for bias and mistake, why should we believe this anonymous and uncorroborated hit job?
Keep in mind that the New York Times is the leader of this flea-bitten pack. The other big newspapers are even worse.
Such as closer to home where we find curious curs like the Denver Post. In the old days, its Sunday edition could run with the big dogs, but subscriptions have lately dwindled by half and staff by two-thirds.
Colorado’s best in show is now a scavenging little rodent. They started an affiliate to cover pot called “The Cannabist.” That’s going up in smoke, too.
The Post is currently owned by Wall Street types who want — how dare they? — a better return on their investment. To that end, they’ve cut costs, which in the dog-eat-dog newspaper business means cutting bodies and pay.
The editors rebelled by biting the hand that feeds them. In an editorial, they barked at their owners to sell the paper to some other rich investor who will serve up sirloin rather than Alpo.
Good luck with finding a rich investor who wants to buy a losing company staffed with insubordinate employees in a declining industry in order to realize negative monetary returns.
Maybe the Denver Post’s fleeing subscribers have something to do with its off-leash lurch to the left. On that day a few weeks ago when 200-some newspapers happened to run cookie-cutter editorials telling us that they are not colluding to take down the president, the Denver Post of course colluded, er, joined in with them.
The Post’s particular editorial bore the sophomoric title, “We tell the truth: Denver Post decries Trump’s attacks on journalists.” The first sentence trumpeted that “Journalists in The Denver Post newsroom spend their days in pursuit of the truth.”
What dog doo.
Notice how they bandy that word “journalist.” These people who are paid to observe and report still fail to observe and report that the reason for their predicament is that they are not observing and reporting at all. They’re ex officio members of the Democrat Party promoting the party line.
As for their pretentions to truth, keep in mind that “truth” is the English translation of the name of the old Soviet propaganda newspaper, Pravda. Real truthtellers don’t need to say that they are telling the truth.
All this is why surveys say that Americans respect the typically rabid big media less than they respect the sometimes-rabid president.
If big media wants to turn that around, they should do what they used to do and many small papers including this one still do pretty well. Save the dog fights for the opinion page, while reporting the news in a neutral, factual and balanced way.
Otherwise the market will soon put them to sleep, and it has nothing to do with Trump. Life’s a bitch, huh?
Correspond and subscribe at theAspenbeat@gmail.com
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