In the past couple days, I’ve skipped over a few articles that would have made for easy posts because, frankly, the bias of the American news media has become so egregious that it’s not even interesting to point out anymore. Even relatively straight reporting on President Trump’s actions tends to be slathered with subjectivity meant to instruct readers not on what has happened or what some policy will do, but to signal how they’re supposed to feel about it.
One article on which I almost posted yesterday was Amy Goldstein’s Washington Post piece, appearing in a watered-down version in today’s Providence Journal, on President Trump’s Affordable Care Act executive order. Online, the Projo disappeared the article and sent the link to an entirely different AP release. Take a look at this paragraph as originally posted:
The White House and allies portray the president’s move to expand access to “association health plans” as wielding administrative powers to accomplish what congressional Republicans have failed to achieve: tearing down the law’s insurance marketplaces and letting some Americans buy skimpier coverage at lower prices. The order is Trump’s biggest step to carry out a broad but ill-defined directive he issued his first night in office for agencies to lessen ACA regulations from the Obama administration.
If this is an outlier in the mainstream coverage of President Trump, it isn’t by much.
This trend among journalists brings to mind the over-production of pop/rock music in the early ’70s. The Beatles were famously unhappy with Phil Spector’s saturation of Let It Be with orchestration. When George Harrison remastered All Things Must Past 15 years ago or so, the liner notes expressed his urge to “free the songs” from all of the layers of sound, and demos of the songs released with the Beatles Anthology albums give a wistful sense of what could have been.
In other words, the current style of reporting on the president as a sort of fad for adding layers of virtue-signaling editorial content to reporting. Luckily there are (metaphorical) hard rock and folk trends running alongside the schlock if you know where to look.