BOSTON (CBS) – On and on it goes, the relentless demonization of the news media for political purposes. Throughout American history there’s always been an adversarial relationship between politicians and the press. But sometimes it seems it’s all president-elect Trump wants to talk about.
At his press conference Wednesday, Trump was in rare form, praising some reporters for covering his alleged entanglements with Russia to his liking, calling out and shunning others who did not. And the truth is, a politician who wants to make the media the issue will always have plenty of fodder to work with. The decision by Buzzfeed to publish vile, unverified allegations against Trump deserves scorn. When news outlets make big mistakes, mangle the facts or don’t try hard enough to be fair, they leave themselves open to attack.
But here’s a hard truth that reflexive media-haters won’t like but have to swallow – we desperately need the media to keep politicians honest and protect us from their lapse, always have and always will.
If it wasn’t for the work of a couple of junior Washington Post reporters, we might never have known that the President of the United States was conspiring to commit illegal acts and cover them up.
We might never have known that another president was a sexual predator, using a public payroll to stash his girlfriend on the side.
And beyond politics, we would surely never have learned the extent of the Catholic Church pedophile priest scandal.
If you don’t care about the truth, fine, go ahead and demonize the media.
But how many of you really don’t care about the truth?