One gratifying shift we’ve seen in the chaos since January 20th is the rejuvenation of the Fourth Estate – the press. In the last 20 years we’ve seen the press devolve into the 24 hour news cycle, infotainment, and simply blatant partisanship which willfully misinforms the electorate. At the same time, that same electorate has become less and less engaged, seemingly divorced from reality and facts. American Idol and The Voice get higher participation than elections that actually matter. The election of the worst candidate for the presidency in US history has changed that. His withering attacks on facts, truth, decency, compassion, AND the press have finally awoken a sleeping giant. Major news outlets have geared up and are actually digging for the facts, digging for the dirt, going after lies and the liars who speak them, and aggressively fact checking.
My response to this? It’s about goddam time (sorry Momma). Where the hell have you all been (besides working on your SEO and re-marketing strategy)? To demonstrate this awakening, The Washington Post recently altered their longstanding logo, to wit:
Even Fox Noise has backed off of at least some of its perpetual GOP cheerleading.
The result of the press waking up is that our system of government has begun to actually function again. Cheeto Jesus stupidly accuses President Obama of wiretapping him (on Twitter), and the press relentless pursues the story until even HE admitted he got that BS story from Brett Baier of Fox Noise. He claims that busloads of fraudulent Massachusetts voters went to New Hampshire to commit voter fraud, and the press runs down the facts exposing that as false. Now, I’m not naive; even an army of reporters would be hard pressed to run down every one of CJ’s lies since he spews a bushel basket full on a daily basis, but with a functioning press, his big lies are quickly debunked, or at least vigorously challenged. So, instead of spewing more lies and misinformation at the daily press brief, all of Sean Spicer’s time is spent answering a barrage of questions about his boss’s most recent incendiary lie.
As ugly as this is, our republic is still hanging together. And it’s critical to our survival. With the rise of the alt-right propaganda machine, the actual Fourth Estate must continue to beat back lies with truth.