By Jim Bowman
In pre Trump times, the well worn phrase “liberal press” was simply the acceptance of normal media bias. The reader was resigned while the journalist felt a sort of pride in knowing that his slant was being digested daily.
Not so today. Now, that “liberal” moniker is being subjected through a detailed microscope, one that they themselves instigated. Decades of indiscriminate accusations and ridicule now face a Presidential accounting. No longer can those assorted journalists and editors freely intimidate without paying the price; and they don’t like it!
Last week, the Boston Globe organized over 300 editorial chiefs into one voice of rebuke against this White House review. This stemmed from Trump’s responses to what he considers as a “fake” presentation of news events. What follows is a rebuttal to such editorial thin skinners. It should offer a greater understanding and accounting of the results from the media’s habitual fakery. Also, this tends to bolster our President’s messaging.
Fifty years ago, our “free press” began its coverage of the Tet Offensive. This month long offensive was often brutally detailed during evening viewing and was depicted as a major defeat for our military in Vietnam. Only problem was, nothing could have been further from the truth! With this time span, an emerging inference that our President’s characterization of the media’s “fake news” product is long overdue and welcomed.
For some reason, our “free press” chose to report that our forces suffered a humiliating defeat rather than detailing the enemy’s near total destruction. The question which has never been addressed is “why?” Why report such a total fabrication when it would obviously increase at home unrest but more disturbingly, aid our enemy? When comparing that long ago abuse of the truth with today’s media parade of anti-Trumpisms, one could say that similarities exist. That long ago false reporting redirected our Country’s war effort while also affecting our societal norms. Could the present media agenda be a rescale of such disloyal heights? Since it’s obvious that only an impeachment will silence the angry three hundred, could their goal be to once again achieve a redirection of our National policy?
A glimpse into that time so long ago should provide a more accurate focus or understanding of just what the media’s reporting of Tet reversed. A detailed but relatively unknown analysis comes from North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin who wrote of Tet in his “Following Ho Chi Minh: Memoirs of a North Vietnamese Colonel,” that “our losses were staggering and a complete surprise.” The Colonel continues that “Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out by all the fighting in 1968. It took us until 1971 to re-establish our presence…” Also, “If the American forces had not begun to withdraw under Nixon in 1969, they could have punished us severely…”
Our media’s month long “Tet campaign” to deceive both the American public and governmental leaders with reporting a defeat, rather than rejoicing over our military victory, is best undressed by Col. Tin’s conclusion that, “If Johnson had granted Westmoreland’s requests to enter Laos and block the Ho Chi Minh trail, Hanoi could not have won the war.”
Try to measure the damage from such a deceptive media agenda and at a time when Americans were serving and dying in the very effort which was being sabotaged by our “free press!” It would seem that Trump’s labeling of “fake news” is a well earned and deserving acknowledgment?
To think that now, the Boston Globe is joined by their cabal of thin skinned journalists and editors who mutually feel that as one editor stated, “Trump diminishes and belittles the work of the nation’s free press.” This was presented in an August 16th editorial in the Daytona News Journal. Also expressed was that “At every level, most media outlets have restrained from firing back at Trump. We strive to be rational and fair…” No comment on their “rational and fair” efforts, that goofiness speaks for itself, but what is implied from the 300 editorials if not a “firing back?”
Such a long ago accounting of a supposedly battle lost, while fully aware that the opposite was true, may now qualify as the cornerstone for today’s legitimate “fake news” impressions. The degree of injury, both at home and in the field, from this anti-American format stands as testament to the harm that is created when journalistic integrity and truth fall out of favor. After all this time, hopefully what is taking place is a long awaited undressing of what the media has managed to accomplish with its pen; a pen that was and apparently still is valued to be “mightier than the sword.”