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On election day


Whatever the outcome of today’s too-close-to-call voting, there will be one decisive (and deserving) loser: the main-stream media, or the press as we used to call it.

One of the most common of all those Wikileaks hacks has been the obvious and obscenely incestual relationship between the Democratic Party machine and the corporate media. It is far more grotesque a thing than any of the contemptible things Donald Trump has said or that Bill Clinton has actually done.

As a marginally Republican print reporter in newsrooms large and small across this country, that incest was always obvious to me. Being in the minority, I could not expect to loudly object and keep the paycheck rolling in at the same time.

But now it’s out there. The “new media” grew out of this great divide. The “new media” has certainly produced its batch of kooks, but they are, on balance, no kookier than Dana Milbank or Bob Schieffer or Judy Woodruff — or the editorial board of the New York Times.

Be it Trump (who likely wins the popular vote) or Billary (who looks to win the electoral college) comes out on top, the loser certainly will be the 3-network, two-newspaper media that has been carving our political culture for the past 75 years.

There was, perhaps, a consensus that they could be trusted — not to be balanced but least conscious of their prejudices and diligent in their search for some sense of truth.

Truth’s a hard thing for anyone who is not a physicist to grasp, and their own professional duty is scepticism.

Try covering a murder trial sometime. By the time the prosecution’s done, you’re persuaded the guy in the dock did it, and viciously. Then, after the defence is done, you’re sure he was in church in another state, teaching Sunday School.

Reporters used to be conscious of their own limitations in this regard, in finagling some sense of truth out of a steaming pile of bullshit. Not, for three decades, have they considered such their civic duty. I blame the prissy wannabes of Nixon and Woodstein.

I hope the Wikileaks reports have made a credible closing argument to the jury.

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