Democracy dies due to journalists’ lies

“Democracy Dies in the Darkness” reads the Washington Post’s motto. They brought it back out after Donald Trump was elected President. It featured prominently on their website yesterday above a video showing President Trump shaking hands with the First Lady of Poland. The headline, should you choose not to watch the video, noted that the First Lady of Poland snubbed President Trump by refusing to shake his hand. Who are you going to believe, the headline writer or video of the actual event?

One of CNN’s reporters complained that the president had the audacity to take questions in Poland from a reporter who had applied for a job with the Trump Administration.

After the election, the media pushed out the story that Russia had stolen the election for President Trump. One newspaper claimed Russia had hacked the American power grid. That story had to be retracted. On February 14, 2017, the New York Times ran a story claiming “[p]hone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.” James Comey, testifying under oath before the United States Senate, said that story was not true.

CNN ran a story claiming James Comey would dispute the president’s assertion that Comey had told the president he was not under investigation. CNN had to retract that story after James Comey corroborated the president’s statement. Then CNN ran a story claiming a friend of the president’s had nefarious dealings with a Russian investment group. That story had to be retracted as well.

This past week, President Trump went to war with CNN. He tweeted out an animated graphic showing him body slamming a wrestler whose head had been replaced with a CNN logo. CNN has spent more time covering this story than it spent covering the mass assassination attempt of a few weeks ago. Having declared all of President Trump’s tweets newsworthy, the President tweeted his support of Charlie Gard and his willingness to help. Gard is the infant sentenced to death by a bureaucrat in London because he has brain damage. An experimental treatment could cure him, but because he would still have brain damage a bureaucrat ordered him off life support. The media chose to ignore the president’s tweet.

The president then went to Poland and gave a monumental speech in defense of western civilization. The media chose to give wall-to-wall coverage to the Polish President’s wife not shaking the president’s hand, even though she did. She was reaching for Melania Trump’s hand as the president turned to shake her hand. It looked like a snub, but then the Polish First Lady turned back to the president and shook his hand. Immediately the press pivoted to a White House ethics officer resigning.

If President Trump cured cancer tomorrow, the American press corps would assail him for putting a bunch of scientists on the unemployment line. He cannot win when a press corps has decided it would rather lie to smear him than tell a truth that might make him look good. The whole of it undermines American democracy and the very freedoms the press depends on to push their lies.

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To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.