Having attained the age of 81 and being each a felony protection and civil liberties lawyer and a author for my total profession, I’ve lived by way of many troublesome, contentious and divisive intervals. Indeed, I used to be a journalist earlier than I turned a lawyer, having lined the now-famous March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom organized by the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in August 1963. I’m a self-described “newspaper junkie,” studying 5 main day by day newspapers plus many weeklies in addition to critical magazines.
Never, nevertheless, can I recall a interval when I’ve, sadly, concluded that I’m unable to consider a lot of what’s reported within the media on sure matters. These contain two main areas: (1) any and all issues referring to former President Donald Trump, and (2) sure facets of the upcoming presidential election. I’m not in any respect a Trump fan, however I do get uncomfortable by the grain of reality in his ranting and railing at “fake news.” But now I wish to focus upon my second gripe.
I have no idea Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. However, I’ve lengthy recognized and trusted Dick Russell, creator of a biography printed earlier this 12 months entitled “The Real RFK Jr.: Trials of a Truth Warrior.” This nuanced and critical biography paints a really totally different image than that reported by the media now that Kennedy has introduced that he’ll contest President Joseph Biden’s run for the Democratic presidential nomination – the one critical candidate to enter the race towards Biden. In the media, Kennedy is depicted as some sort of troglodyte: An opponent of necessary vaccination; an extremist; even a idiot.
One Boston Globe columnist, Joan Vennochi, described Kennedy as a “conspiracy theorist” and puzzled why it’s that he’s attracted a lot help. I’m an everyday reader of Vennochi’s column, and I’ve all the time discovered her to be each correct and truthful, however Kennedy seems to set off excessive skepticism from among the many finest. A New York Times columnist, Pamela Paul, wrote that “one clear sign of America’s deepening hopelessness is the weird welcome of loony-tune candidates like Robert Kennedy., Jr., who has polled as high as a disturbing 20 percent among Democratic voters.”
Among exhausting information reporters, the state of affairs just isn’t higher. Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times, in reporting on Kennedy’s July twentieth testimony earlier than the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, wrote: “Even by Mr. Kennedy’s standards for stoking controversy, his recent comments about Covid-19 were shocking.” She described his supporters as coming “from the fringes of both political parties” with out citing precise help for this proposition – this, in a information somewhat than an opinion column.
On The PBS News Hour on the night of the listening to, host Geoff Bennett interviewed Dr. Paul Offit, who mentioned about Kennedy’s anti-vaccination stance: “In any case, it’s hard to watch him put this kind of misinformation out there continually. He is showing what misinformation can do. And, as a consequence, children are suffering.” (Kennedy has by no means mentioned a phrase about eradicating vaccines from the market. Getting vaccinated merely could be voluntary. Although not a scientist, he questions the efficacy of sure vaccines.) Normally, the News Hour has two company on every subject with a view to give a variety of views – however not this time. Kennedy was handled in another way.
On the Cable News Network, reporter Karen Finney mentioned regarding Kennedy’s principle about Covid attacking sure racial and ethnic teams however not others: “His own family doesn’t support him. And, as you just said, that is a deranged, disgusting thing to say.”
Such reporting poses the distinct probability that increasingly Americans will come to consider that Trump is in reality appropriate when he accuses the media of affected by “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” solely with the syndrome having unfold effectively past reporting on Trump.