M. Joseph Sheppard | August 21, 2017
President Trump will "provide an update tonight on the path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia" at 9 p.m. ET, the White House said. The president is scheduled to speak from Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia."
This will be the president’s first televised address to the nation and for that reason alone, apart from the significance of a major policy move on America’s longest war, there are major ramifications as regards the nature, credibility and importance of the main stream media.
The media’s relationship to the Trump administration is succinctly summed up in, of all places, The San Francisco Chronicle, where opinion writer Rubin Navarette Jr. advises;
"Americans are fed precooked narratives by the Fourth Estate. We’re told what’s important and what isn’t, what to focus on and what to ignore, and — above all — what to think.Last week’s serving was that Trump is providing aid and comfort to a loathsome bunch of misfits — neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists.Nevertheless, for my money, the more important takeaway from that no-holds-barred presser was that we have entered scary and uncharted territory in the relationship between the president and the media. It’s very personal.
And yet, at the same time, Trump is right to complain about how he never gets any credit for doing the right thing because the media and the rest of his critics are always waiting to pounce on him for doing the wrong thing.All I could think was: The media have lost their collective mind. They used to be content to just tell us what to think. Now, in the era of Trump, they go further and tell us not to trust what we see with our own eyes or hear with our own ears."
This is of course indisputably, sadly true. The media on the other hand keeps to its pretense that it is a dispassionate, balanced body of public servants where fabrication is preposterous given the absolute fact that the majority of journalists are liberals.
The president’s announcement on Afghanistan is a big deal. Not only is is of vital consideration given America’s so far futile, never-ending commitment to a war in a country that has seen of every such attempt to impose a martial solution or to colonize fail, but it also will be the final closure on the American media as journalism rather than as overt partisanship.
Whatever President Trump proposes regarding Afghanistan may end up in the history books as the right option or the wrong one, but his proposals obviously merit serious analysis in a non-partisan manner — after all, American and Afghan lives are at risk.
If the media, especially those at the forefront of the anti-Trump conflict such as MSNBC and CNN, with the likes of Anderson Cooper, Jim Acosta et al helming the narrative, simply use whatever Trump proposes as just a further opportunity to, as Navarette said, "wrestle in the mud with Trump"? If so, then whatever credibility the MSM has remaining will be concluded.