It is no secret that the mainstream media has decided that the threat presented by a possible Donald Trump presidency is so grave that it has suspended even the illusion of objectivity. Writing in The New York Times, media columnist Jim Rutenberggranted permission to his fellow journalists “to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career.”
The Observer and others have detailed the ways in which traditional media companies and even tech companies have colluded to maximize negative coverage of Trump and minimize negative coverage of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. But it doesn’t end there. As Rutenberg described, many journalists feel the need to “move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional.”
That opposition has extended into new and uncharted territory. In the coordinated effort to stop a dangerous candidate from obtaining, to use Rutenberg’s breathless description of the stakes, “control of the United States nuclear codes,” the mainstream media has taken not just to bashing Trump but to extracting a price even from those who support him.
There are a hundred examples, but here are just a few headlines that tell the story:
- Daily Beast: “Trump’s Doctor ‘Overmedicated’ Patients Who Died in His Care”
- Washington Post: “The contractor that designs Ivanka Trump’s clothes does not offer a single day of paid maternity leave”
- New York Times: “Peter Thiel’s Embrace of Trump Has Silicon Valley Squirming”
Let’s look at each of these. While I don’t doubt that self-identified right-wing sites would look into the record of Hillary Clinton’s doctors, it’s much harder to imagine a site like Daily Beast, which fancies itself a centrist outlet (and is even edited by my old Rudy Giuliani speechwriting buddy, John Avlon), expending that kind of investigative energy on Hillary’s non-political professionals. The message is clear: If you associate with Trump, we will rummage through your past.