Political journalism is dead. After being on hospice the past few decades, the Fourth Estate essentially expired during the 2016 Presidential election and we have been watching highlight and blooper reels ever since.
I used to dream of being a journalist, a reporter who investigated and covered real news that was important to the public and without worrying about the politics of the subjects being exposed. If they were powerful people up to no good, I wanted to reveal their dirty secrets, whichever party or group they belonged to.
But real journalism feels like a lost art these days. Reporters have jumped on the anti-Trump bandwagon — not necessarily a bad wagon to be on —without taking the same skeptical look at the Democratic Party “resistance.” Meanwhile, the MSM has had to retract some of its more lurid anti-Trump stories, especially some whoppers from the ongoing Russiagate saga, which has discredited the profession of journalism and simultaneously made the public skeptical about all political news.
Basically, DC journalism developed cancer, Liberalism Stage 4, and has treated the Democrat Party as a victim in the current political mess. Trump’s attacks on the media are dangerous but unfortunately they appear to resonate with his core base and perhaps beyond.
This is not to say that there’s no good reporting going on nowadays, it’s that there is so much that’s newsworthy that isn’t covered at all. The media elite could have fought to restore its credibility but that would have required covering stories offensive to their paymasters, i.e. corporate crime, the collapse of American health care, the widening gap between rich and poor and the general decline of the United States into a second rate banana republic.
The only reason the U.S. has any influence at all on the world stage anymore is because of its outsized military power. We are witnessing a generalized slow-motion economic collapse and In terms of political ideas, the country is braindead. Few people around the world any longer look to the United States for inspiration; instead it is a source of mockery and scorn, and not just because of its current, buffoonish head of state.
So here we are starting our seventh month into Trump’s presidency and the majority of major news coverage hasn’t changed since the election: the continued obsession with Trump’s tweeting, his mistreatment of the poor, befuddled media class, and of course Russia and Putin.
I am not sure what future I want in political journalism and communications now but I just would like to see political reporting become relevant again. Maybe then, like a lot of people, I’ll feel inspired for the first time in a long time.