Popular conservative talk show host, author, and Conservative Review columnist Steve Deace sat in on what seemed like a psychological therapy session with representatives of the mainstream (uh, leftstream, actually) media following the historic election on Tuesday.
Deace appeared on the PBS News Hour with veteran journalist Judy Woodruff on Wednesday along with two “media columnists,” Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post and Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times, to discuss the huge presidential election upset on election night which saw Donald Trump defying almost all pollsters, pundits, and prognosticators to defeat media-favored Democrat Hillary Clinton, and how the media is at least looking like they’re trying to come to grips with how they are grossly out of touch with real America.
When Deace was asked if there is a “disconnect” between the people who write the stories and the people living them in the middle of the country, Deace answered affirmatively, describing the disconnect as “massive.”
“I think it’s a massive disconnect,” Deace replied, noting that previously in his career he’d worked at a liberal media outlet. “How many people in the newsroom here, right now at PBS, how many that work here are pro-life? How many of them go to church or to mass once a week? How many of them voted for Trump?”
Deace said that in major media there’s “a lot of talk about the lack of diversity,” but not so much about the lack of”ideological and cultural diversity” in newsrooms across America.
“I think that’s creating a massive disconnect nationwide,” Deace, who is based in Iowa, opined.
To their credit, Margaret Sullivan describes the election season as a time of “magical thinking” by the media and Rutenberg of The Times admitted that there is a lack of ideological diversity in most media outlets.
Woodruff asked Deace if the media, despite attempts to achieve “diversity” had missed the mark. He delivered a very calm and respectful tongue-lashing:
“I read something a LA Times film critic said a year ago when American Sniper was the number one movie and he said, ‘Listen, the only people surprised that this is the number one movie are the people that live in the two coasts and haven’t visited the 47 states in-between. You know what Margaret said about some of the things Trump said — that’s why I was #NeverTrump — I was disturbed by those things.
But you know what also disturbed me?
To hear Hillary Clinton say that I am her — quote — ‘enemy.’ The comments made in the previous segment from the WikiLeaks emails calling Christians ‘backwards.’ The fact that those of us who think that we shouldn’t have men in bathrooms next to our young daughters are called ‘bigots’ when we used to just call them ‘parents.’
Those things create a backlash as well. So I don’t fault the media for thinking that Trump couldn’t get elected because of his incendiary comments. The fault though comes in the fact that equal light was not shed on Hillary’s incendiary comments. And the backlash that created against her which we saw in the vote total last night.”
Woodruff basically asked Deace how he believed the media could redeem themselves going forward — in covering the Trump presidency. Deace opined that the media has lost so much credibility in their coverage that it’s going to be difficult for people to take them seriously because of past bias.
“I also fear the media has maybe made a mistake with Trump that we conservatives made with Bill Clinton in the 90’s — were we were so over the top, so hysterical in our condemnations and conspiracies and the like, that when something serious came along like a president lying under oath to a federal grand jury, a lot of Americans just sort of waved their hand, Judy, and said, ‘Awe, you guys are always the boy who cried wolf.’
In many respects, you guys have almost insulated Trump from any legitimate criticism he may have as president because they’re just going to roll their eyes and say, ‘There goes the media again.'”
It’s really interesting and somewhat satisfying to see the media do some much-needed soul searching. Who would have thought that it would take a non-politician, a former reality TV actor and real estate mogul becoming president of the United States to trigger it? Whether they will actually become less liberal in their bias is doubtful, but at least some of them are beginning to realize that it exists.