For many years now, I have been making the case that bias in the news is not the result of a conspiracy, despite what some friends on the right may think. Journalists don’t go to work in the morning, meet in a dark room, give the secret handshake, and then map out a strategy to bash conservatives.
It’s been my experience (I was a network news correspondent for almost 30 years) that bias is the product of groupthink, of too many like-minded people working in the newsroom who have similar views on what’s good and what’s bad, on what’s right and what’s wrong. The result is that they see anything to the right of center as conservative (not especially good), but anything to the left of center as middle of the road, as moderate — as reasonable (very good).
That’s how bias has infected the news — which brings us to Donald Trump and how the mainstream media are treating him.
The other day, Donald Trump’s economic team unveiled the outlines of a proposed overhaul of our tax system. “Trump Unveils Broad Tax-Cut Plan,” read the straightforward, no frills headline in The Wall Street Journal. Here’s what The New York Times plastered across five of its six-column front page: “Tax Overhaul Would Aid Wealthiest.”
Well, since the wealthy pay most of the tax in this country, any cuts — as a strict matter of mathematics — might very well aid the wealthiest. But why let that tidbit get in the way.
Under that headline the Times notes that the plan would eliminate the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax, “both moves,” the paper of record informs us “that would richly benefit Mr. Trump.”
Are we really supposed to believe that the president came up with this tax plan — whether you like its components or not — to benefit himself? Ask the next progressive you run into and I’ll bet the answer is a great big … YES.