Trump's supporters have been attacking the media for publishing anonymously-sourced articles that have led to the resignation of several Trump staffers. The biggest one to date is former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. They say the media has it out for Trump and is rushing to sensationalize anti-Trump stories in an effort to undermine Trump's administration.
You made DeepStateGate happen, mainstream media. You ran thinly-sourced scuttlebutt from your old pals in the Obama administration to keep your precious “Russia stole the election from Hillary!” narrative alive. You led your readers to believe it was all hard news, based on solid intel from trustworthy sources. As I noted on Sunday, sometimes you buried “this is all groundless hearsay” disclaimers six paragraphs into the stories, but the headlines screamed about the wiretaps that angered President Trump.
There's no way for readers to independently verify anonymously sourced stories. With so many stories being attributed to mysterious officials, it's no wonder that people have trouble believing what these publications have to say. They blew their credibility during the election and they've done nothing to earn it back.
The problem with major media coverage of intelligence stories is that top officials and policymakers always have more information than the public. The mainstream press has gone so berserk with anonymous leaks since Trump won the 2016 election that We the People have no logical means of fully evaluating anything they write. We don’t know who the sources for these stories are, or what their agenda is — although skeptical readers can guess, based on how most of these anonymous leaks cut against the new White House.
The truth is the left and the media are just as guilty of peddling "fake news" and conspiracies as the right.
Perhaps CNN should take a break from sneering at “right-wing conspiracy theories” and take a look at what left-wing blogs have been saying about the Trump-Russia story. Until yesterday, they were firmly convinced that extensive surveillance was conducted against Trump and his campaign, and it produced all kinds of damaging information.
Trump claims the media has an agenda that's against his presidency and therefore against the American people. At his rally in Melbourne Florida, he expanded on his claims that the media are enemies of the American people and said:
They have their own agenda, and their agenda is not your agenda.
In the wake of Donald Trump's attacks on the media, The Sacramento Bee's executive editor Joyce Terhaar wrote a full-throated defense of journalists and they work they do. In the week before Trump's attack on the media, the Bee's staff was busy covering the Oroville dam as storms threatened to collapse the spillway and flood several cities.
I look around The Bee’s newsroom and what I see are journalists who don’t hesitate to cover news in dangerous situations but rather drive right into it. Journalists who miss valuable family time to rush to the office to report the news so evacuees know where to go. Journalists who sleep in their car when the news demands it, or bunk with a colleague’s in-laws because the hotels are full. Journalists who are part of this community, and who care deeply about it. Journalists who take their children to school and soccer games. Who care for aging parents. Who hike and bike and run. Who garden and cook and pray.
The reporters' dedication highlighted journalism at its best—everyday women and men put their comfort and safety on the line to collect and give information for their community.
And, importantly, journalists who are committed – always – to public service work, even when it requires challenging those in power, from water officials up to the president.