It’s been a rough week at the Washington Post, my friends, and it’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for them. After spending nearly every available square inch of fishwrap from early summer until last Monday night attempting to defeat The Donald (rather than reporting on the race) the results of the election seem to have crashed the group consciousness of the WaPo newsroom and editorial board into a seething miasma of regret, remorse, anger and paranoia. The response coming from those hallowed halls of journalism as of this morning doesn’t bode well for their future mental stability either. I was just looking over Monday’s offerings from their staff and there seems to be a theme developing. Let’s glance at just a few of them and see if you can detect a pattern.
Against Trumpian triumphalism
The right wing will claim its victory gives Trump a mandate. It doesn’t.
America the punitive?
Immigration policy can be tough without being cruel.
The Trump administration hasn’t even started yet, and it’s already a fiasco
It’s looking like a mash-up of “Being There” and “American History X.”
Why millions fear the looming Trump presidency
President-elect Donald Trump made promises that represent threats to real lives and livelihoods.
Hmmm… there seems to be something of a repeating message here but I just can’t quite put my finger on it. But all sarcasm aside, this is obviously the position which the staff has chosen to adopt in the wake of their failure to elect Hillary Clinton. Still, perhaps one of the most stunning entries in this race is the column from Margaret Sullivan carrying the breathless title, Our First Amendment test is here. We can’t afford to flunk it.
After a heartfelt recitation of the First Amendment and its importance to the basic fabric of America, Margaret issues a bugle blast to the Legion of Liberals in the media, urging them to man the walls because The Donald is coming to lock them all up in Gitmo or something.
Trump has made it clear that he has no intention of protecting or defending those rights. He has said repeatedly that he wants to change the laws that allow the press to publish news — however imperfectly — without fear of punishment.
He has called journalists “scum” and encouraged his followers to abuse and hate them. He would like to see his political opponent locked up…
“Believe the autocrat,” Masha Gessen, a Moscow-born journalist, wrote last week in the New York Review of Books. Americans should not depend on their institutions to protect them — they crumble fast: “The national press is likely to be among the first institutional victims of Trumpism.”
Reading that you can almost hear the rumble of the tank treads crushing the pavement outside of her newspaper’s offices. Was this an editorial on the next presidency or a rejected script for Red Dawn?
I can’t help but find it amusing that it’s the top flight actors in the media who are attempting to play the victim card here. As we’ve noted repeatedly, the Washington Post long since abandoned any pretense of separating the editorial staff from the newsroom when it comes to Donald Trump and have been doing the actual “attacking” for months now. In response, Trump criticized them roundly and, yes, probably called them some unpleasant names to the great delight of his crowds. I’ll also allow that Trump gave a few speeches where he suggested that it might be time to sue some of these journalists. But then again… Trump threatens to sue everyone. It’s his go-to bit of bluster when revving up the audience.
In reality this is all just campaign fodder to engage the masses. Do you honestly think he’s going to sue the media mavens who treated him like the toad at the garden party? We may have a lot to learn about the President Elect in the months and years to come, but there’s one thing we know for sure… the guy likes to win. (And if you have any doubt of that I would refer you to the title President Elect in the previous sentence.) Even if he wanted to spend his entire first term caught up in litigation, he wouldn’t even try unless it looked as if he could prevail. And a suit against the major news outlets would run into a brick wall faster then Wile E. Coyote in a Roadrunner cartoon.
But if you suggest this obvious state of affairs to Sullivan she responds thusly:
Nothing but campaign rhetoric? Clean slate time? No way.
The new reality is certainly proving too much for some in the mainstream media and I fear there are more than a few that are sliding into emotional instability. Let’s hope that a sufficient amount of time for “healing” and empowerment circles will see them returned to the peak of health by the time the first new Supreme Court Justice is sworn in. That’s going to be a rough day too.