The unbearable smugness of the media

CBS News’ Will Rahn has an opinion piece today in which he attacks the smugness of many in his own profession in blunt terms. He opens with an admission:

The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

Eventually Rahn turns to the constant accusations of racism against anyone who dares to disagree:

We diagnose them as racists in the way Dark Age clerics confused medical problems with demonic possession….

You’d think that Trump’s victory – the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain newfound humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works.

Rahn also takes a shot specifically at “explainers and data journalists” who frequently “get things hilariously wrong.” Pretty sure he’s talking about Vox here, a site which is fully invested in the Trump-won-because-of-racism explanation for his victory Tuesday.

The same media that was insisting the right accept the results of the election, without hesitation, just a week ago is now trying to justify the protests which are already veering into vandalism in response to Trump’s win. Humility and a simple admission the media missed the mark doesn’t seem to be in the cards for many.

Rahn concludes his piece saying, “There’s a fleeting fun to gang-ups and groupthink. But it’s not worth what we are losing in the process.” That message is not getting through at the moment.