The media is flummoxed, appalled, aggrieved and nearly tearful. Once again our media is involved in a great debate about the chilling aspects of the Trump Administration collecting Metadata on New York Times reporter Ali Watkins who, to initial appearances, was getting classified information from James Wolfe, a long time senior staffer at the Senate Intelligence Committee with whom she was having an affair
“Oh my, what will we do” cries a media that has for the past two years gotten fat on a literal deluge of leaks from what one suspects were the Obama Administration holdovers and White House infighters. How about working for a living? How about ethical standards? How about multiple sourcing?
But just for you, my dear friends in the media, I’m willing to lower the bar; how about spelling and grammar?
This is the media that was, noticeably, not in a tizzy over the surveillance of James Rosen or Associated Press reporters. No hair on fire as the Obama Administration empowered a leviathan like surveillance state unseen in American history. The Obama Administration placing spies in the Trump campaign? No problem! Illegally turning over campaign communications to Robert Mueller? No problem! There are no problems until the Trump DOJ gets on a case that actually leads to arrest and indictment.
Back to Ms. Watkins who essentially claimed that her sources were part of the Trump Administration legal team. It also appears that her editors knew of the liaison with Mr. Wolfe. “Hey, this is Trump so there are no rules, anything goes; you go girl, get on your back and get us some more of that pillow talk.”
The issue should not be whether or not this indictment and the evidence procured in support of it “chills” potential sources. If this indictment and the procurement of Ms. Watkins’s phone records do in fact actually “chill” sources and considering how many sources there are in D.C. it will become so chilly that everyone in Washington is going to have to get to work by ice skating down the streets of D.C. Sources won’t “chill” they’ll just be more careful about using electronic communications; they are smart enough to figure that out; right?
The issue is not Ms. Watkins, she is but one more symptom of the problem; the issue is the permissive, anything goes cultural environment that she and so many others in the MSM take advantage of to consciously misreport and skew the news. The issue is trust. The issue is that most Americans do not trust what they see in the media, reporters like Ms. Watkins and many others are the reason why.
When Mika Brzezinski claims yet another unnamed source ‘told her’ that Trump’s biggest complaint is that he can’t watch porn in the White House millions of heads drop to their desks. It gets to the point of being so over the top that the ‘say anything’ media becomes disregarded and people simply stop listening. The coarsening of our social interaction is being led by media “stars” such as Ms. Brzezinski who have no hesitation engaging in that type of spurious behavior and criticizing similar behaviors in others; specifically Trump.
Thirty-two percent of Americans say they trust the media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” — the lowest level since 1972, when Gallup began polling. Nearly seven out of ten don’t trust the Media. When Americans see that 90%+ of the coverage of the President is negative and his Rasmussen approval rating approaches 50% the media is in jeopardy of exhibiting Pelosi-like cluelessness.
When it’s not difficult to point to the hypocrisy of the media and how they cover the same type of an event or issues in two very different ways; one way if you’re Obama and one way if you’re Trump. When the establishment and legacy media is being made fun of by the media, you’re in too deep. HEADLINE: Team Trump meets with the Russians and it’s a photo of Ivanka and Jared with Alex Ovechkin being photographed with the Stanley Cup you just might take that as a clue. Although, I would not bet on it.
It’s not about chilling, it’s not about surveillance, it’s not about sources, and it’s not even about leaks. It’s about the absence of ethics in the media and the lost trust that ensued.