You may have noticed over this Olympic weekend that the establishment media gave a big thumbs-up to the North Korean propaganda effort led by Kim Jong Un’s sister and the gulag nation’s “cheer squad,” despite having warned of said propaganda effort earlier. Much of the right, however, is misinterpreting this shameful episode of media misbehavior to Trump Derangement Syndrome.
In reality, the establishment media’s soft spot for leftist dictators and totalitarian states is a long tradition. I’m old enough to remember Ted Turner creating the Goodwill Games because the U.S. had the gall to boycott the 1980 Moscow summer Olympics after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan (which in turn caused the Soviets to boycott the 1984 Olympics in L.A.). Or when ABC, CNBC and various other outlets made Soviet apologist Vladmir Posner a mainstay. Or the general tendency of the establishment media to ignore prominent Democrats in Congress cozying up various Soviet client (or fellow-traveling) regimes in Nicaragua, Grenada, and so forth.
And that’s just from the the 1980s. The list stretches back through all of those in the media that thought Alger Hiss or the Rosenbergs were victims. And all the way back through the outright admiration expressed for the early Soviet Union, exemplified — but by no means limited to — the New York Times covering up the forced starvation of Ukraine. It’s the media mythology about the state of healthcare or literacy in Cuba, continuing even after the fawning obituaries for Fidel Castro have run.
For righties, this may all stand out more when a Republican is president. But it’s really no different when the media cheerfully allowed itself to serve as the Obama administration’s “echo chamber” for an Iran Deal that will do little to stop that theocracy’s nuclear ambitions while funneling truckloads of cash to Hezbollah. And not much different from the media’s continuing sympathy for the corrupt terrorists running the Palestinian authorities over democratic Israel.
The media does not get these attitudes from the ether. They got it from institutions of academia that have been corrupted and captured by the loony left. Much of the supposed ruling class, having these vile attitudes normalized during their formative years, cannot help but fall back into the habit of swooning over thugs and mass-murderers who can muster even the barest veneer of the civilized world, betraying the civilized world in the process.
They cannot help themselves. They cannot internalize the gap between North and South Korea any more than they could the gap between East and West Germany (except by blaming the West for it).
All of this was cemented in place well before Donald J.Trump appeared on the political stage. The black humor to be mined here is that a swath of those offended by Trump’s emphasis on nationalism cannot help but serve as synchronized cheerleaders for North Korea during the Olympics, missing only the matching outfits of those forced to cheer out of fear for their lives, and those of their families.
In today’s outrage culture it is easy to think that the media loathing Trump has produced some new low. But the establishment media has had this in them ever since progressives decided our Constitution stood between us and Utopia; the collapse of Communism simply dried up opportunities to indulge themselves.