The White House Correspondents Association somehow thinks it has improved its annual dinner by removing the pompous liberal comedian and replacing that with a pompous liberal historian. On Saturday night, historian Ron Chernow kissed every ring in the room by insisting the assembled scribes to "the noble work of preserving democracy." Is that what they call 200-plus interviews for crooked Michael Avenatti?
RON CHERNOW: You folks in the media write the first drafts of history, and we historians the later one. Your work gives freshener, color, and immediacy to our sagas. I know how embattled you feel at this critical juncture as you combat the mistrust of a significant portion of the American electorate. I think you do noble work to preserve democracy at a time when a rising tide of misinformation masquerading as news threatens to make a mockery of the First Amendment. [Applause]
There are so many journalistic fakes and forgeries out there that the genuine article can become devalued and debased. You must also deal with the pervasive world of social rife with self-appointed pundits who search out news outlets that only strengthen their pre-conceived views.
Let's guess he doesn't mean CNN/MSNBC viewers. Read this as an attack on Fox News, conservative talk radio and conservative blogs. There's noting dumber than a meeting of self-appointed pundits going after "self-appointed pundits." Unless it's people who make "news" to strengthen liberals pre-conceived views attacking "news outlets" that "strengthen pre-conceived views."
Chernow ripped into Trump repeatedly, as in this: "Donald J. Trump is not the first, and won't be the last American president to create jitters about the First Amendment. So be humble, be skeptical, and beware of being infected by the very things you're fighting against." He insisted "the press is a powerful weapon that must always be fired with reluctance and aimed with precision."
Is he kidding? The press fires at Trump and the conservatives minute by minute, hour by hour, and "precision" gets lost in all the screaming about "democracy dying in darkness." In other words, it's a gun you can never control. You can't even criticize it without being accused of "creating jitters about the First Amendment."
Chernow drew sustained applause by reminding the media of their "grand crusading [liberal] tradition," with the usual liberal journalism professor's list of greatness:
CHERNOW: You folks should always remember you are heirs to a grand crusading tradition that dates back to Ida B. Wells exposing the horrors of lynching. [Applause] Jacob Riis -- the misery of Manhattan slums, Lincoln Steffens, municipal corruption, Ida Tarbell, the machinations of Standard Oil, Upton Sinclair, the scandalous meatpacking industry, Rachel Carson, the dangers of pesticides, Woodward and Bernstein exposing Watergate, and the New York Times and Washington Post publishing the Pentagon Papers. This is a glorious tradition, you folks are part of it, and we can't have politicians trampling on it with impunity!
So the press is a "powerful weapon," with a "grand crusading tradition," and the liberals still want to pretend that everything they do is objective. Everything they do has precision, and integrity. Fighting to impeach Republican presidents doesn't show a liberal tilt. Why, it's "the noble work of preserving democracy." Or the Democrats.