Journalists "find a renewed sense of mission," reports The New York Times.
That's nice. There is some truth to this. And it's not fake news.
With the election of
Behold. That which was lost has now been found.
But it isn't exactly like setting out on a long and frightening sea voyage to find an undiscovered country, is it? Because finding a renewed sense of anything suggests that you might have misplaced the darn thing in the first place.
Losing your mission might even be worse than losing your car keys, stomping about the house and desperately demanding answers of your kids, the dog, only to realize, sheepishly, that the stupid keys are right there in your stupid hand. Yes, I've done this.
And finding your mission again might be like another cliche, that of the adult finding a beloved childhood toy in a bedroom closet in his parents' home. It's right there in the dark, in a box, a stuffed animal perhaps (mine was Morgan the stuffed dog) or a fire truck, a princess doll, anything that could fit into another sequel of the "Toy Story" franchise.
There are happy tears at such times of lost toys, even in the dark of a theater sitting next to your children, or in the silence of my old bedroom with a faded
But this business of finding a renewed sense of journalistic mission poses an awkward, unanswered question.
Just where was that sense of mission for the past eight years?
You know where it was. It was in polite hibernation, on its back, with President
When he was elected, there were happy newsroom tears of real joy for America's first black liberal president. It wasn't contrived emotion. It was real, and there was much bonding over a sense of accomplishment.
But there is a cost to powerful emotional connections with a politician. Love of a president can blind, but so can hatred of a president. And in the land of the blind, things tend to get lost, like journalistic mission.
Now Trump is president, and news consumers can plainly see the old mojo is back, with absolute vengeance. There are eager fact checks and story after story to counter Trump's loud and vulgar bragging, his use of alternative facts, his bald lies. Trump is an extremely bad liar.
But all politicians lie, and the best ones lie seamlessly to those who adore them, and expect to be defended. Think of some of the things we heard from the previous
If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. The
Now journalists are at the barricades once again, like those idealistic students of
And they also seek to protect America against his populist army, that forgotten working class that sent him to
Trump despises his media critics, and in his raging narcissism, shrieks that what we call the establishment media is "the enemy of the American people," and this only encourages them to hunker down even deeper into their Left vs. Trump bunker.
Yes, the criers of Beltway news are on the political left. But that's like saying rain is wet. Where's the surprise in this?
Modern American liberal journalism might not believe religion has a place in the public square, but it has a deep abiding faith, in government to accomplish the good. And there is the danger.
Because if journalists were truly intent on speaking truth to power, they wouldn't be defending the unelected rulers of America:
The unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucracy is true power. The federal governmental leviathan is the faceless vanguard of the status quo. It is the vast hiding place of our modern American Kemalists, who are at once the servants of empire and its quiet rulers, and they will not relinquish power easily.
Trump was sent to
And the bureaucracy fights back, offering crippling news leaks and resistance against the
On the popular
"Well, and I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that he is trying to undermine the media," Brzezinski said, "trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that is the -- that is our job."
Later, she tweeted out that her comments were purposely misinterpreted, but I listened to it again and again and it was quite clear to me.
Controlling what people think isn't a mere job. It's a mission.
And now it's been renewed.