Margaret Sullivan is the Washington Post’s resident “media columnist.” From what we’ve been able to tell over the past couple of years, this means that she sits at her desk and commands the media to do more to convince the public that President Trump is a terrible person. Sullivan is one of those fools who thinks journalism and activism are one in the same, and she’s not shy about admitting it.
Her lack of scruples has only grown more transparent in the Age of Impeachment, and on Thursday, she penned a column instructing the media on how they can convince the public that Trump must be thrown out of office.
After citing a poll that says 12% of Republicans are “persuadable” on impeachment, Sullivan sets to figuring out how journalists can accomplish this feat:
Rather than providing a catering service for the echo chambers, how might journalism address this important group?
Columbia University journalism professor William Grueskin suggests the movie-trailer approach.
In a message, he explains: “Studios spend a $1 million or more on a trailer, because they know it’s essential to boil down the essentials of the film — explaining but not giving away the plot, providing a quick but intense insight into the characters, setting the scene with vivid imagery — to entice people to come back to the theatre a month later for the full movie.”
Similarly, most people (especially the less convinced or more persuadable) will never watch seven hours in a row of congressional testimony, but, as he notes, “many of them would be open to a targeted, well-informed ‘trailer’ approach that is cogently told.”
Sullivan acknowledges that this approach is more or less what NBC, CBS, and ABC are doing every night at 6:30 P.M., but she insists that it’s still not enough. Why? Because the reports on these programs are still just too damn FAIR!
“Far too often, those broadcasts fall prey to false equivalency: This side said this, and this side said that, and we don’t want to make anyone mad, so we’ve got to cut to a commercial now,” she writes. “But here’s the thing: There are facts. There is truth. We do live in a country that abides by laws and a Constitution, and nobody ought to be above them. Despite the hardened positions, some members of the public are still uncertain. Some are persuadable, and yes, it matters. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the job of American journalism in this moment to get serious about trying to reach these citizens.”
It is mind-boggling that anyone with a degree in journalism could think this way. And it is baffling that anyone – with a journalism background or not – could think that the mainstream media is being TOO FAIR to Trump and the Republicans. People like Sullivan are so arrogant in their hatred of Trump that they believe that everyone would agree with them if they were educated to the point of realizing their folly. It never occurs to them that there could simply be a disagreement over the facts, and it certainly never occurs to them that THEY could be the ones who are wrong.
Perhaps the right “movie trailer” could convince them, but we doubt it.