After having finished Katy Tur’s “Unbelievable”, her memoir of covering Trump as a journalist from his candidacy announcement until election night, I’m left with a sense of having gained new insights and also of having my previous assertions confirmed. The modern mainstream media journalist/pundit class are one of the most narcissistic groups on planet Earth. The importance they bestow upon themselves is remarkable. If you ask them, they’re the guardians of order standing watch on the thin line against chaos and disorder.
At times I almost got the impression that Tur compares her “ordeals” on the campaign trail to the soldiers of the past, slogging through barbed wire, machine gun nests and artillery barrages. She goes on about the challenges she had to overcome as a journalist on the campaign trail. Doing her makeup on a tiny mirror, fighting her way through snow, eating unhealthy airport food and giving up a Tinder romance are examples she provides. To be fair, she herself never makes the comparison to soldiers, but the elevation of such trivialities combined with the inflated sense of self-importance found in the journalistic class makes the comparison apt.
I will say that critics of Trump are correct in saying that he isn’t always truthful. Tactical uses of exaggeration are a tool he himself describes in “The Art of the Deal”. Tur points out many instances where Trump did this, got his facts wrong or lied (according to her). She holds herself and her fellow political reporters up in contrast, as neutral observers without vested interests. As an example of this she says that she doesn’t vote, thus she doesn’t have skin in the game and is thus free to report objectively what she sees.
There is a glaring hole in this assertion. Her claims of neutrality don’t hold water under the most basic and cursory examination. This book was written after the election, thus she had the benefit of hindsight. That hindsight makes the lack of reference to the work of Wikileaks and Project Veritas inexcusable. She talks about the violence at Trump rallies, conveniently not including the revelations uncovered on hidden camera that Hillary’s campaign was tied to a group involved in “birddogging”, provoking and stoking fights, scuffles and disorder. I would further dispute her claims regarding the Michelle Fields incident. She also leaves out the exposure of collusion between journalists and the Hillary campaign, allowing them to see through and selectively edit stories before publication. Are these examples of neutral reporters without bias?
Of course, she also goes through the Access Hollywood tape leak and the ensuing hubbub. Tur brags in her book about the quality of NBC’s coverage. Does she not see the politics involved with the leak? The timing (NBC had this clip for a long time in its archives) of the release appears to have been coordinated for maximum impact and political damage to Trump’s campaign. She also talks about being on MSNBC regularly. MSNBC is in no sense of the word neutral. They have a heavy left-wing bias, the Fox News of the left if you will. I’ve watched the election night coverage from all the major news providers, and many others. Let me tell you that their coverage was heavily tilted against Trump. While many of the others were able to fake and feign a semblance of neutrality, they couldn’t or didn’t even attempt to hide their dismay at the outcome. Pretending these biases didn’t play a factor is dishonesty by Tur.
Either she did all of this knowingly with a hidden agenda, or her narcissism clouds her words to such an extent that she believes in her own neutrality. In doing so she is in no way unique, rather she fits perfectly into the ranks of today’s modern sleazebag journalists mishandling their power and duty as “the fourth branch” of government. Some reporters and pundits are agenda driven, but others I’m now convinced truly believe in their own good-natured innocence. It is important in the interest of a free and fair press that we strongly correct such misguided beliefs.