One of the reasons there is no such thing anymore in this country as objective journalism is that reporters are not content to sit on the sidelines only covering politics. They want to be in the game, part of a team. But they don’t have the determination to run for office. So they remain brooding on the bench, the junior varsity. When a team tells them they can be the varsity equipment manager if they do as they are told, they jump at the chance.
I’ve been on both parts of that divide. Was a Republican political consultant for about twenty years, but also have had a byline, off and on, since I was a teenager. Been writing full time for about four years. So I don’t have team fever. Been on the varsity, Double-A league, and it’s fun. But no wish to go back, even if I could, which is very doubtful as that’s a game where you are only as good as your last election cycle. Mine was over ten years ago.
However, I am in the minority in DC, as few who write want to do into the medium term. It’s like scratching a waitress in California, though I’d rather not do that for public health reasons, and finding an aspiring actress. Here it’s the young reporters on the Hill who cover their favorite elected officials with a fine layer of saliva, such is their sucking up, waiting for a staff job or some other such sinecure. Not that I’m Mr. Objectivity myself. But my favoritism tends to be ideological or amusement based. In the deep weeds of middle age, I’m too long in the tooth to be a bright and shiny new kid on the block at the U Street bars that are crampacked with Bernie bros and nose-piercers of every variety. I seem to have digressed.
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The complete lack of objective journalism has gotten worse, if it could have, in the Trump era. Even conservative stalwarts like Fox News online and The Wall Street Journal despise the president and it has nothing to do with politics.
You see, this is like a big high school full of chess team members. Then all of a sudden in 2016 a jock from a crosstown school moves here and takes over the chess team. This was after the school was in hog heaven for eight years, being happily ruled by the ultimate chess team captain and his butch track team girlfriend. See the problem? It’s no coincidence the White House Correspondents Dinner is locally called “The Nerd Prom.”
It’s not politics. It’s that Trump is not one of them, no matter what their politics. In a company town he works for the customers, the American people, and the company employees, who make their money taxing the American people, don’t like that one bit. Their loyalty is to each other.
He’s not a middle class hustler who made it here with good grades and obsequious ass kissing, as is most of DC regardless of ideology. He’s a billionaire with a supermodel wife who, if he loses in November, goes back to being a billionaire with a supermodel wife. Thus, you can’t really get to him.
And that, his indifference to the allure of power that they yearn for with every fibre of their souls, is his greatest sin in the eyes of the political class who run this town. Hence, they make him pay for casting aside what they hold most dear, damn the truth and damn any pretense left whatsoever of objective journalism.