All reporters sometimes bend a rule, or go out on a limb or get something wrong. But the important thing is that they usually do this in aid of getting truth to the public. What has defined the media breakdown that started in 2016 was the press’ abandonment of standards in aid of peddling a narrative — rather than reality. This abandonment has had terrible consequences for the industry and for the country. A Monmouth University poll in early 2018 found that a whopping 77 percent of Americans believe traditional TV and newspaper outlets report “fake news.” And 42 percent of respondents said they believed outlets did this specifically to promote a political agenda. These kinds of numbers are alarming for civil society. The more Americans are turned off from traditional news, the more they turn to dubious sources and read and listen only to things with which they agree. For those worried about our increasingly polarized society, the media is feeding that divide.
From “Resistance at All Costs: How Trump Haters Are Breaking America” by Kimberley Strassel