Media Research Center Research Director Rich Noyes appeared on Fox Business, Thursday, to deride a coordinated effort by hundreds of newspapers to editorialize against Donald Trump. Talking to After the Bell co-host Melissa Francis, Noyes mocked: “When 350 newspapers, editorialize against Donald Trump, it is about as unexpected as 350 planes landing safely. It happens every single day.”
The research director explained the problem facing journalism today: “They're not going to editorialize their way out of this problem. They have got to start providing that fair and balanced and neutral journalism that they haven't been doing in the Clinton years, the Bush years, the Obama years, now the Trump years.”
Noyes concluded: “The media get to criticize all the other aspects of the government but they don't like being criticized themselves. So they need a little bit of a thicker skin.”
Rich Noyes publishes a daily Twitter series called This Day in Media Bias History. Follow Noyes on Twitter here.
A transcript is below:
After the Bell
MELISSA FRANCIS: Targeting the President. Hundreds of newspapers throughout the U.S. running anti-Trump editorials today. Look at them piling up on your screen. They say they are responding to his war on the press. Now the President is firing back, tweeting quote, “There is nothing that I would want more for our country than true freedom of the press is. The fact that the press is free to write and say anything they want, but much of what it says is fake news, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people. Honesty wins.” Here now to react is Rich Noyes. He is Media Research Center research director.
Rich, I don't know if they prove his point when they all walk in lockstep together and say the same thing against him. It seems like they sort of fall into the trap of doing the very thing you know, that he is kind of made fun of them for doing? What do you think?
RICH NOYES: Yeah. I think you're right. When 350 newspapers, editorialize against Donald Trump, it is about as unexpected as 350 planes landing safely. It happens every single day. You know, the media's credibility is going down. Trust is going down. But it’s not — this happened long before Donald Trump showed up on the scene. They're not going to editorialize their way out of this problem. They have got to start providing that fair and balanced and neutral journalism that they haven't been doing in the Clinton years, the Bush years, the Obama years, now the Trump years. It is not just about Trump's tweets.
FRANCIS: Yeah. For many years, I canceled my New York Times again and again. When I would cancel it, say why are you canceling? I would say, you editorialize on the front page. It basically says “Bush lies again.” They said, “Oh, yeah, we have a box for that.” So many people are calling in for cancel the same reason. But by virtue of saying Bush you can tell how long ago it was. It was already like that. President Trump has shown a light on it. At the same time, would anyone have even noticed they were all editorializing together if he hadn't tweeted about it?
NOYES: They might. There was sort of aa little bit of a publicity stunt. This is August. This is the time to do things like this. You know, but it is something that, you know, it goes back so long. What the media are so upset about, Donald Trump sort of seems to be living rent free in their heads. He keeps tweeting, attacking them, they think that is the beginning of their credibility problem. It is something they helped create the climate for. He is just exploiting it. The best way to fight back is to do, act the opposite of the way he says they are. Which he says they're all a bunch of liberals who are out to get him. Act like you're not a bunch of liberals out to get him.
FRANCIS: The other thing that annoys the American people when the press starts talking about themselves, focusing on themselves. I think sometimes we get big heads and a lot of hubris and think that the story is about us, maybe that works for a second. But it seems like for the reader and the audience, they get a little sick of that. Is that true or no?
NOYES: No, there is a certain amount of self-indulgence. It is media arrogance to think that they are the crucial lynchpin of democracy. They are very important to democracy but so are free elections and an informed citizenry and politicians, whether you like them or not. And the media, you know get to criticize all the other aspects of the government but they don't like being criticized themselves. So they need a little bit of a thicker skin. But you know, it is perfectly fine to editorialize on behalf of a free press. It is very important. But the free press is in peril today not because Donald Trump sort of tweeting about them in 2015 but because they haven't been acting like a truly independent press for decades and decades.
FRANCIS: Rich Noyes, thank you. Good stuff. We appreciate your time today.