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Tags: journalism | media | bias

Stick a Fork in Mainstream Journalism — It's Done

Stick a Fork in Mainstream Journalism — It's Done
(Bjorn Hovdal/Dreamstime.com)

Michael Dorstewitz By Friday, 20 December 2019 11:35 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The Washington Post, a publication that claims to be a national publication of record, displayed its partisanship both in and out of print after the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday night without a single Republican vote in support.

It began that evening, when Rachael Bade, a Post congressional reporter, published a selfie on Twitter with fellow Post congressional reporters Paul Kane and Mike DeBonis, national security reporter Karoun Demirjian, and White House reporter Seung Min Kim.

They were seated at a table with drinks in front of them and their faces aglow with holiday spirit. The photo was captioned, “Merry Impeachmas from the WaPo team!”

Bade posted the tweet at 7:28 pm. At midnight she had second thoughts, deleted it, and posted this message:

“I’m deleting a tweeting tonight that is being misinterpreted by some as an endorsement of some kind,” she said. How could anyone misinterpret “Merry Impeachmas”?

“To be absolutely clear, we at the Post are merely glad we are getting a break for the holidays after a long 3 months,” she continued. Of course.

But before she deleted it, multiple other Twitter users took screenshots of it, including Twitchy, a Twitter-sourced news outlet founded by Michelle Malkin.

The Washington Post began using “Democracy Dies in Darkness” as its slogan in 2017. Twitchy ran as part of its headline, “Democracy dies at Happy Hour.” Fitting.

But democracy — as well as journalism — continued dying after happy hour at the Post.

In an analysis published Thursday, Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump suggested that Trump requires the support of “senators representing only seven percent of the country” in order to avoid removal from office.

He argued that the impeachment process in the House worked because about 53 percent of its members, representing roughly 53 percent of the nation’s population, voted to impeach him.

The problem, Bump claimed, lay in the Senate. He observed that we can expect a party-line vote in the Senate, which would mean that 53 percent of that body would vote to acquit.

“That opposition to impeachment also means that a party-line Senate vote would even less accurately reflect public polling,” he said.

Bump added that a two-thirds vote in the Senate is required to convict, meaning that 34 favorable votes out of the 100 would keep the president in office. That, coupled with the fact that senators aren’t apportioned by population as are House members, was problematic to Bump.

“Even if he were deeply unpopular, if Trump maintained support from senators in 17 states, he could keep his job,” he said. “Meaning, in the most extreme scenario, that he could be impeached but not removed from office if senators from the 17 least-populous states — representing about 7 percent of the population — decided to stand by him.”

First of all, the popularity of the president isn’t at issue — his guilt or innocence is.

Second, as Bump himself notes, this is “the most extreme scenario” — and it’s also extremely unlikely. As he admits, 53 percent of the Senate are Republicans who’re likely to vote for acquittal.

Third, the Senate was never meant to be a representative democratic body. Senators technically represent the states.

Fourth and perhaps most important, a House impeachment has been likened to an indictment, having a somewhat low bar — especially in this case. The Senate is tasked with trying the president. Conviction requires meeting a high bar.

Bump complained that it’s theoretically possible for senators representing seven percent of the population to prevent conviction. However, in every courtroom in the nation, it’s possible for one person on the jury to prevent conviction. In a 12-person jury, that would be about eight percent of the jury panel.

These are hardly the first instances that the Post has unabashedly displayed its bias.

Earlier this month Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan ran a piece suggesting that it was journalists’ job to change the hearts and minds of the undecided to get them onboard the impeachment train.

And journalists listened. The first question lobbed at Thursday night’s PBS-Politico Democratic presidential debate was about Wednesday’s impeachment vote and what could be done to persuade unconvinced Americans that removing the president was proper

“Why do you think that is,” asked “PBS Newshour’s” Judy Woodruff, “and what can you say or do differently in the coming weeks to persuade more Americans that this is the right thing to do?

Former CBS News journalist Bernard Goldberg wrote about journalism’s demise in 2003 with his bestselling book, “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News.”

No one cared so the process continued. Mainstream journalism is dead, at least at the Post, and the days of Woodward and Bernstein are over. No one killed it — it died of its own volition, and Trump accelerated the process simply by getting elected.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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Mainstream journalism is dead, at least at the Post, and the days of Woodward and Bernstein are over. No one killed it — it died of its own volition, and Trump accelerated the process simply by getting elected.
journalism, media, bias
Friday, 20 December 2019 11:35 AM
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