Now, some of those pols are slowly walking things back. “I’m going to withhold until all the information actually comes out from on the record sources,” Booker said Saturday.
His caution won’t last. In an era when victim status is the trump card for those wishing to advance a political agenda, you can count on more insistence that every victim must be believed immediately and alleged perpetrators presumed guilty. Outlets that fail to frame the news that way will feel the ongoing pressure campaign to get in line.
The unintended consequence has been to make the media look ridiculous as it keeps rushing to judgement and falling for hoax stories.
If we are to beat back the charges of “fake news” and defend the institution of journalism, we must defend those other old-fashioned ideas and institutions like the presumption of innocence, due process, and, yes, maybe even trying to avoid political bias.