“For Trump administration mouthpieces, both public and anonymous, lies will now come with an officiality that will be difficult to contest,” and the cult of officiality, and deference to it, is difficult for political journalists to resist.
That’s one media bias, and here’s another, the bias toward whomever is winning: “Media objectivity is not a fixed point, writes Serwer. “It is carefully calibrated to the perception of public opinion, because media organizations do not want to alienate their intended audience,” and so “shift to identify with their perceived audience, which can ultimately mean cozying up to power.”
It’s already happening, observes Brian Beutler, describing the reaction of outlets like The New York Times and CNN to Trump’s meeting with President Obama yesterday:
The political media has relished all of it: the pageantry, the symbolism, the implication that our system of government is sturdy enough to persevere through the ugliest election in modern history and withstand the transfer of control between two men who hate each other. The same press corps that was preparing itself two days earlier to cover Hillary Clinton’s emails for two more years swept Trump’s penchant for sexual assault and other depredations out of memory over night.
Beutler’s warning against falling into this practice had already been underscored yesterday, when, after the “extraordinary show of cordiality and respect” between Obama and Trump, as the Times described it, he was back to his old conspiracy-theory promoting, oppositional Twitter self.
Just had a very open and successful presidential election. Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016