You may remember Sgt. Hulka as the man who whipped Pvt. Bill Murray into fine, fighting form in the movie “Stripes.” Murray played a self-absorbed, lazy smart-ass with a chip on his shoulder. In other words, he would have fit right in at CNN.
Yesterday we saw the latest display of newsroom onanism when some 300 newspapers led by The Boston Globe published editorials attacking President Trump over his anti-press rhetoric. You probably didn’t notice this massive, nationwide, coast-to-coast protest because, well, when are these newsrooms not attacking Trump?
Newspapers protesting by printing anti-Trump invective would be like IHOP protesting by making pancakes: Who’s gonna notice? Meanwhile, the media just cannot help taking themselves ridiculously seriously, even as more and more Americans dismiss them as merely ridiculous.
Not long ago, CNN ran an editorial by a University of Notre Dame professor attacking Trump’s “enemy of the people” rhetoric. It concluded: “We thank soldiers for their service because they devote themselves to protecting our freedoms, and we should. But we should also thank the media for the same reason — especially when the stakes have never been higher.”
Uh, no. I won’t be “thanking the media” for their “service.” This may be news to the kids down at The Boston Globe, but sitting at your laptop sipping skinny vanilla lattes and sending snarky tweets about Donald Trump’s kids is hardly the same as storming the beaches at Normandy or fighting the battle of Fallujah.
If the military were like the media, every base would be in a five-star hotel, the guns would have no ammo and they would spend all day giving each other medals.
I say all this as a member of the media who has always been a fan of the business. I wrote my first newspaper column when I was 16 and never stopped. My oldest son is named after one of America’s greatest newspaper writers, H. L. Mencken. But if Mencken were alive today, he’d cringe in horror over the combined self-regard and self-pity of the press.
The same headline-writing heroes who constantly intone about “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable” can’t stand the discomfort of a few snide comments from President Trump. Boo hoo, he’s calling us names. He says we’re the “enemy,” woe is me! What happened to your “Stormin’ Norman” newsman act, people?
For years, liberal media outlets like The New York Times and network news balked when their liberalism was called out. They repeatedly declared the accusation “liberal media bias” was itself a form of #FakeNews. Then Trump won the White House, and now they’re proudly embracing the same overt liberalism they were denying just a couple of years ago.
And then they wonder: “Gee, why aren’t people taking us more seriously?”
After decades of water-carrying for the Clintons and bending the knee before Obama, the media want to be seen as defenders of objectivity. The same “reporters” who tried to explain how Obama wasn’t lying when he said “If you like your doctor …” The same “journalists” who fed us Hillary Clinton’s talking points about her Bleach-Bitten email server. These same partisan apparatchiks are now angry that they’re seen as part of the political fight, rather than above it.
Sorry, but the American people aren’t nearly as dumb as you keep telling us you think we are. According to Gallup, a whopping 12 percent of Americans say that have a “great deal of trust” in newspapers. If that sounds bad, in 2016 it was 8 percent.
The military on the other hand, is at 43 percent. That’s the fact, jack.