The event of this past week that drew a great deal of attention was Fox’s Sean Hannity hosting a debate between the Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis and California’s Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom.
One of the striking features of this face-off was the regularity with which the two governors accused each other of lying. Which raises an obvious couple of questions. Where is the media? And will the media do their job in 2024?
It surely can’t be that difficult for journalists to dig into the obvious question. That would be: Was DeSantis really lying about this or that? Or was Newsom? As President John Adams famously said in the long ago, facts are stubborn things. And that they are. But if journalists are going to ignore and not report on facts because they are uncomfortable or make Democrat X (can you say Joe Biden?) look bad then suffice to say the 2024 campaign will not be a good one, with each party held accountable for the facts of their record.
Already this week The Washington Post’s Robert Kagan was given considerable space to vent that a Trump victory would mean a Trump dictatorship because Trump would weaponize the government to go after his opponents.
Yet mysteriously there was no reference -- none -- to the hard fact that it is the Biden Justice Department that is right this minute prosecuting President Biden’s chief political opponent. In exactly the way that Kagan is afraid a re-elected Trump might do.
But if that's the end of democracy, there's not a peep on the Biden dictatorial moves that are the moves of a third world Banana Republic.
Which is to say, Kagan and the Post simply didn’t do their job. Who knows why, but one suspects they simply didn’t want to call out their guy - Biden, in this case.
So again, the obvious? Will the media do their job in 2024 - or not? Will they cover for the Democrats and Biden, or will they call out Biden for saying and/or doing something?
Suffice to say, things don’t look good on the media-telling-the-truth front.
By chance, in Joe Biden Americans have a president who has repeatedly been caught out lying.
Over there in The Hill, back in February, was this headline:
The seven biggest lies Biden told this week
President Biden’s State of the Union address was full of lies and mistruths. They betray the desperation of a president with 38 percent job approval on the economy, 16 percent of the population better off than before he took office, and most of his own party wanting a different White House nominee in 2024.
Note well, this was an opinion piece in The Hill. Not an insubstantial publication but not the kind of story that is repeatedly hammered home by the broadcast nets, MSNBC or CNN, much less The New York Times or The Washington Post.
Understand this problem has been around for decades -- many decades. All the way back in 1960 -- a full 63 years ago -- historian Theodore H. White wrote about this in his classic Pulitzer Prize winning book The Making of the President 1960. Describing the press corps covering Democrat candidate Senator John F. Kennedy, White wrote this:
There is no doubt that this kindliness, respect and cultivation (from the JFK campaign towards the traveling press corps covering his campaign) of the press colored call the reporting that came from the Kennedy campaign, and the contrast colored adversely the reporting of the Nixon campaign. By the last weeks of the campaign, those forty or fifty national correspondents who had followed Kennedy since the beginning of his electoral exertions into the November days had become more than a press corps -- they had become his friends and, some of them, his most devoted admirers.…They felt that, in chorus with the Kennedy staff they too were marching like soldiers of the Lord to the New Frontier.
And nothing, it can be said, has changed. In fact, the leftist tilt of the media is even more pronounced now than then.
So will the liberal media do their job in covering the 2024 campaign? Don’t bet the rent.