How do you know that the media is in sad shape? It’s easy. When one of the most revered investigative reporters goes on national television and says he is fed up with the current state of affairs, you know it’s bad. But that is what happened Friday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” when the Associate Editor of the Washington Post , Bob Woodward told anyone that would listen that the press “shouldn’t whine, and if we sound like we are an interest group only concerned with ourselves, it doesn’t work with the public.”
Woodward went on to say, “we need to continue the in-depth inquiries, the investigations.” Then he told the audience that it’s not in the interest of either the President or the media to war with each other. Both have a job to do, and while they may sometimes be at odds with each other, they are both necessary to the public good.
Mr. Woodward said, “Well, first of all, I think Glenn [Thrush] makes a really good point, and that is, we shouldn’t whine, and if we sound like we are an interest group only concerned with ourselves, it doesn’t work with the public. At the same time, we need to continue the in-depth inquiries, the investigations. I think everyone has accelerated this work. The other question to ask, is there any justification for Trump and people like — in his White House responding this way? And the only justification I can think of, which really isn’t a justification, but it accounts for emotional spasm of, my God, this is enemy of the people, I know that reporters have talked to people in the Trump house, — Trump White House about very sensitive intelligence operations, that we find out about in the press. And I think Trump is horrified that this is out there. And these are not necessarily things that are going to be published, but Trump is a newcomer saying, my God how do reporters know about these things? And so it’s — we’ve got to stop it.”
However, later Woodward did backtrack some, when he attempted to push back against President Trumps accusations that the press was making up stories. “It’s not in our interest, the media’s interest to have a war with the Trump White House. “It’s not in Trump’s interest to have this war.”
But the fact is that what is worst of all is that the American people are at a point where they are being forced to chose sides. Either they must believe that the President is always right and telling them the truth, or they will believe that the Press is always right. Either way, it is the people and the institutions that come up on the short end. The press has an important role in our government process, but if we cannot trust them and the information they print, they have become traitors to the nation and its people.