The Atlantic’s Ron Fournier made a not so modest proposal this week. He believes the media should boycott Donald Trump until he does the things Fournier says he should do.
Before I criticize his idea, let me note that I read most of his work and have admired him as a journalist and writer for a long time.
Sure, I want to see Trump’s tax returns. I’d like to see everything Ron would like to see, and more. As for the “Russian connection,” it takes more than a claim by a Democratic party operative and a piece in Slate to make something credible. As I’ve said in a prior piece, it took the FBI a year to determine they didn’t know who may have hit Hillary’s server. But we know in two days the Russians hacked into the DNC server because “experts.”
Fournier says political journalism has to change to meet the challenge Trump has presented. Change the rules because you can’t do your job? Now that sounds like journalism.
But boycotting The Donald isn’t enough. Fournier wants media to ban his “surrogates.” You know, those talking heads you see on TV that represent the candidates. It seems fitting Ron would link to a Media Matters “article.” Always a great Soros for news. I mean source.
More silence from a profession that professes more speech. Oh, and punish those whose speech you don’t like for good measure. Anyone else hear the Republic crashing?
Look, Fournier is a pundit. He’s there for his “learned” opinion. To be fair, I’ve seen him hit Hillary really hard too. And maybe to save his journalistic integrity just a tad, he finally gets to Hillary in the last paragraph of his piece. He’d like herself to give up the Wall Street transcripts (please…).
Yet the same Ron Fournier called Barack Obama “the least transparent president in the nation’s history,” but never called for a Barack boycott. Obama tried to prosecute reporters.
Given Hillary Clinton’s remarkable avoidance of the press, outside the most controlled of situations, and her campaign’s apparent go fuck yourself attitude. “We’ll have a press conference when we want to have a press conference” signals a continuation of Obama’s transparency plus Hillary’s epic secrecy.
Of course, being the Washington Post, the piece slams Trump throughout instead of Hillary’s controlling arrogance.
Politicians can only be this arrogant with the media’s acquiescence.
Plain and simple, it isn’t the job of journalists to try and silence speech. I can’t even believe I’m saying that. It’s dangerous and stupid.
While usually a writer who asks us to “do better,” Fournier’s suggestion does worse. It feels like the rant of a frustrated and bitter man.
Fournier says he doesn’t come to his boycott conclusion easily. So before you silence a presidential candidate, here’s a question for Ron and other journalists:
Why don’t voters have confidence in the press?
The elite media, on the left and the right, pound Donald Trump every hour of every day, yet he’s the GOP nominee and holding his own for now. Despite their best efforts over time they’ve gained little traction.
Does the media’s frustration and desire to silence a candidate come from the fact the voters have silenced the media?
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