So why do Trump and the media get different treatment for the same behavior? Well, most people know and believe the President to be a bullshitter, while they expect their media to be truthful and not driven by an agenda. As we’ve seen this past week, when Democratic VP nominee Kamala Harris cast doubt on a vaccine that may be ready in October, the public is smart enough to notice when an entire industry of professionals is working to undermine any potential solution, if it means not having to put up with four more years of mean tweets and public insults.
The public does not see a national media that is guided by the pursuit of the truth. Instead, people see a national media more interested in cheap gotchas and tweets than in in-depth nuanced reporting. This is a direct consequence of journalists eschewing facts in favor of narratives. Right now, members of the media are engaging in another round of performative outrage over Trump’s comments to Bob Woodward. They are appearing on cable news, mouths agape, issuing breathless declarations about the President’s behavior. Perhaps that time would be better spent examining their own behavior.