“Encourage that kind of conspiracy” … Yesterday over 300 newspapers took part in a coordinated effort started by the Boston Globe to attack President Trump for his antagonistic attitude towards the press. The usual subjects in the blue-check mafia like CNN media critic/cheerleader Brian Stelter, Jim Acosta, et al. loved the coordinated effort. Some in the media – including some surprises – thought the effort would hurt, not help their standing with the public.
Geez, ya think?
Two left-wing California newspapers, the L.A. Times and the San Fransisco Chronicle, both decided against participating in the effort. Not because they support President Trump, but because they cherish a free and independent press.
Here’s what the L.A. Times had to say:
The Los Angeles Times editorial board does not speak for the New York Times or for the Boston Globe or the Chicago Tribune or the Denver Post. We share certain opinions with those newspapers; we disagree on other things. Even when we do agree with another editorial page — on the death penalty or climate change or war in Afghanistan, say — we reach our own decisions and positions after careful consultation and deliberation among ourselves, and then we write our own editorials. We would not want to leave the impression that we take our lead from others, or that we engage in groupthink.
The president himself already treats the media as a cabal — “enemies of the people,” he has called us, suggesting over and over that we’re in cahoots to do damage to the country. The idea of joining together to protest him seems almost to encourage that kind of conspiracy thinking by the president and his loyalists. Why give them ammunition to scream about “collusion”?
We mean no disrespect to those who have decided to write on this important subject today. But we will continue to write about the issue on our own schedule.
The San Francisco Chronicle echoed similar themes.
These two newspapers and the others who didn’t join the “groupthink,” as the Times called it, did more for their integrity and to increase the public trust in their outlets than the hundreds of papers who decided to take collective action against the president.
These outlets hit it right on the head. To a large number of Americans, the action taken by these newspapers smelled of collusion, looked like collusion, and was in fact collusion. The way to fight the perception that your industry is one big “cabal” is not to act like one big “cabal.”
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Links … Here’s what I’ve been reading over the past couple of days.
The link from Nieman Lab regarding the C$999/year newsletter on marijuana got me thinking. Good journalism IS worth paying for, but $999/year seems steep for most of us. Do you prefer to pay for your content or have ads? What would you pay for a resource like WTF MSM!? if it wasn’t supported by ads? Let me know by sending me an email to [email protected].
Have a great weekend.
Robert Eno is the editor of the WTF MSM!? newsletter and director of retention for Blaze Media.