Actually, It’s About Ethics in Journalism

That’s not quite the quote from the “Gamergate” kerfuffle, but it has the advantage of describing the entirety of American political discourse at the moment.

Yesterday was Day Two of “CNN threatened to dox a Redditor who made a video promoted by our childish President.”  It was Day Four of “The President tweeted a childish video about CNN.”

We deserve this.

Yesterday’s Commentary Magazine podcast was titled: “What Do You Care More About: North Korea or CNN?”  The panel made a number of good points, but they arguably didn’t answer the question.

To be sure, it was noted that Pres. Trump seems to care more about CNN than North Korea, which just tested an ICBM.  It was noted that the media also seems to care more about CNN, as Trump’s feuds with the media have only heightened an unseemly, industry-wide penchant for navel-gazing.  Indeed, narcissism seems to be a common bond of this dysfunctional relationship.

It was even noted that media critics may care more about CNN’s behavior because the more the main story is the media, the more important media critics think they are.  They will focus much more on CNN’s treatment of the Redditor than the media’s collective editorial judgment in the case of Redditor vs. Kim Jong-un.

But what do you care more about?  The People have spoken.

The GOP nominated Trump knowing he lacked either the interest or capacity for any public policy issue more complex than building a border wall.  The vast majority of Republicans came home to vote Trump despite this fact — or because of it, in some cases.  (In fairness, the main alternative was Hillary Clinton, a woman not only under federal investigation, but also without a finger on the pulse of the electorate, whose mass communications were also remarkably free of policy.)  And one thing that united the GOP behind Trump was his continual trolling of the establishment media.

So We Got Trump.  Perhaps not for those reasons, but we got him.  Can anyone say with a straight face that they are shocked the the Trump era has been more marked by (un-)Presidential Twitter fights with the media (and perhaps some improvement regarding illegal immigration) than addresses on the nuts-and-bolts of healthcare reform, or the intricacies of the Syrian civil war?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Captain Renault?

Puh-leeze.  We are getting almost exactly the sort of administration we elected, even if it isn’t exactly the sort of administration we might have preferred.

It’s not about governance.  It’s about ethics in journalism.

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