We now routinely see a formulation something like this:, “Well, Trump isn’t perfect, but at least he’s attacking the media.” It’s the haute-bourgeois pleasure of watching someone else to do your dueling.
For decades, the rallying cry on the right was: “If only we could overcome the liberal media monoculture, the truth and strength of our ideas would finally break through. If only we could really be heard on economic matters, on foreign affairs, and on race, the Republican Party and conservatism would finally get a fair hearing in the minds of the American people.” It wouldn’t have to be a zero-sum game of replacing one set of biases with another; the rightness of our ideas would carry the day.
But in a White House press room that includes staff “writers” for Infowars and Breitbart in press conferences, the Trump Administration isn’t looking for up-the-middle coverage; they’re looking for partners in the fake news explosion that helped Trump win the election. Conservative writers and thinkers who look away from the creepy authoritarianism, apocalyptic religious war fantasies, lavish corruption, overt economic statism, and general ineptitude simply because Trump snubs the established press aren’t doing the movement any favors.