In an era marked by heightened political tension, a closer examination of media representation on the legal challenges faced by Donald Trump and Joe Biden underscores significant differences in reporting styles and focal points. Photo credit: AP News
Ronald Reagan once observed, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant, it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” Reagan’s words seem prescient as much as practical in this Orwellian Age. Every day, the Dominant Media assaults the airwaves with what can only be termed better truths. They happily tell viewers that what we can see, understand, and experience has a different meaning than what we think. Donald Trump shared classified information and should be charged, hauled in for indictment, stand trial and receive a just punishment. Hilary Clinton did the same thing, if not worse, but she should be excused and celebrated. Then she is allowed to muse about Trump’s violations, his criminality, and his danger to America as journalists for major media companies welcome her to their platforms, treat her like royalty, and pretend, as Reagan said, to “know so much that isn’t so.”
The blatant lies then lead to comments like those heard recently on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Here is Joe Scarborough speaking to his audience on Tuesday, November 21, 2023: “In a second term, Trump will imprison, he will execute whoever he is allowed to imprison, execute, drive from the country. Just look at his past. It’s not really hard to read.” My mind swims. Scarborough implores us to look at his past. I don’t recall any executions of Americans during the Trump era, although some of America’s enemies paid a price. Is Donald Trump not under indictment for 91 counts? What Justice Department brought these charges? I believe the one Merrick Garland, Joe Biden’s Attorney General heads. When Hilary Clinton sat undefended after the 2016 election, with no Democratic Attorney General or Administration to protect her, I don’t recall the Trump Justice Department descending upon her home, overseeing a raid, then laundering her charges in public. How soon the media choose to forget. How quick they are to accuse the former president of things they believe he would like to do. Mrs Clinton avoided prosecution, according to FBI Director James Comey, because her intentions were unknown. But maligning Mr Trump based on what they discern his intentions to be passes muster. Do these people not know irony when it pokes them in the eye?
Never having been a Trump fan, I write this regretfully but not with hesitation. The Dominant Media has become so anti-Trump that they have lost all ability to report objectively. Leaving behind the disputations regarding Trump’s corruption versus Biden’s, the age issue stands paramount. How the media can hide the decline in the president’s physical and mental capacity and offer such charitable coverage wreaks partisanship and prejudice. If Donald Trump looked and acted as decrepit as Joe Biden does, the press would crucify the candidate, his family, his wife, his supporters, and the Party for allowing him to think he could serve a full term. Every time Biden speaks, the White House staff are on high alert. They watch him give interviews and hold press conferences like most of us view a high-wire act. There are deep breaths, sighs of relief, and a mad rush to help him make it to the end. Why do White House reporters have trouble chronicling Biden’s schedule? His fading memory? His confused moments and his unsteady gait? To ensure that Donald Trump does not return to power. That drives the media’s coverage and justifies their lies. They rationalize misreporting, distorted coverage, and outright puffery in the cause to deny Trump the presidency. Borne of a strange madness, the scheme has saturated the establishment media with a contagious hysteria. The repetitive nature of the reporting often seems coordinated. Maybe it is.
The official media version about the 2020 election, January 6th, Trump’s indictments, and most recent appearances deserve a second look if only because a lot of information contradicts what the dominant news sources insist we accept. I remain skeptical of MAGA World’s version as well, but only because I fear Mr. Trump has become a depository for the Right’s disgust with the Left, its partners in the media, and the accompanying dismissal of millions of people’s beliefs. Trump uses these decent folks as the vessel to communicate his message. They are tired of the Left, its superior and elitist approach that allows them to make decisions, ignore everyday citizens, and proceed with an agenda that millions of people do not like, do not want, and find heavy on government regulation and light on freedoms. Trump speaks for them, takes the slings and arrows, and now faces untold legal costs because the Biden Administration’s Justice Department put a target on his back. Think of the outcry if the reverse held.
In a recent report in Politico, Jonathan Martin reported that Mr. Biden will have to make adjustments if he hopes to win the 2024 election. “The oldest president in history when he first took the oath, Biden will not be able to govern and campaign in the manner of previous incumbents. He simply does not have the capacity to do it, and his staff doesn’t trust him to even try, as they make clear by blocking him from the press. Biden’s bid will give new meaning to a Rose Garden campaign, and it requires accommodation to that unavoidable fact of life.” Martin then makes suggestions to help Biden limp across the finish line. Instead, he should have questioned White House officials about invoking the 25th Amendment. The press had no problem recommending Mr. Trump’s Administration apply the 25th to him. When Trump Tweeted something outrageous or incongruent with the standard media narrative, his erratic behaviour demanded his removal from office. But Mr Biden’s cognitive challenges summon little interest. In any other era, Biden’s disorientation, long lapses, and reduced schedule would disqualify him (not based on legal issues, though he also faces those).
Most of us on the Centre-Right or conservative side do not expect favours from the press. It would be nice if they chose to do their jobs on occasion. Rather than making excuses for an ailing man leading a party that has no clear successor and whose Vice-President’s approval ratings are in the tank, the media should communicate the dangers of electing someone who will likely have to surrender his office, be forcibly removed, or die. They have shown no hesitation in proclaiming and even exaggerating the drawbacks of Mr. Trump. They know so much that isn’t so, yet work hard to report it. Isn’t it high time they disclose what they know? Mr. Biden’s unhappy descent will become evident to everyone during the campaign. Raging about Mr. Trump’s transgressions does not suffice when the stakes are this high.
Dave Redekop is a retired elementary resource teacher who now works part-time at the St. Catharines Courthouse as a Registrar. He has worked on political campaigns since high school and attended university in South Carolina for five years, where he earned a Master’s in American History with a specialization in Civil Rights. Dave loves reading biographies.