Democrats love touting the heroism of Democratic newspapers. So it's not surprising that the Washington Post turned to Cleveland columnist Connie Schultz to review All About the Story, the new book by former Post executive editor Leonard Downie. The Post describes Schultz as a "Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, and a novelist, but not as....the wife of liberal Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
So we can expect a book review on a Post editor's memoir touting the historic greatness of the Post. The worst part came near the end, when Mrs. Democrat lauded Downie’s anti-Trump afterword:
In his afterword, Downie addresses President Trump’s attempts to undermine journalism, and he hints at hope.
“Trump’s behavior reminded me of Richard Nixon’s attacks on the Washington Post during Watergate, his illegal wiretaps and FBI investigations of reporters, and his ‘enemies list’ that included newspaper and television journalists. White House tape recordings eventually revealed that Nixon also raged against the press in Oval Office conversations with his aides. We at the Post and the rest of the press outlasted Nixon. Americans, who had been divided over his presidency, came to support a profound increase in the kind of investigative reporting that brought him down.”
This is a bizarre boast. The media “outlasts” every president. They have no term limits. They could go out of business, but the Post is in zero danger of that under Amazon-baron ownership.
Comparing Trump to Nixon sounds unfair to Trump. When has Trump been accused of illegal wiretaps and FBI probes of reporters? Barack Obama has a darker record of "undermining journalism" on this front than Trump does. Notice how attacking the Washington Post and other liberal outlets is "undermining journalism," but ripping Fox News is never described that way. That's because liberals pretend journalism equals liberalism. Holding Republicans accountable is heroic. Going soft on Democrats instead of holding them accountable? Also heroic.
In that vein, Connie Schultz concluded by implying that the health of journalism will be measured by whether Donald Trump is re-elected:
Trump is different, Downie concedes. No previous president “purposely sought to fundamentally destroy the credibility of the press or lied to the American people in the ways that Trump has.”
Nevertheless, Downie seems optimistic as he quotes political reporter Dan Balz: “One of the effects of the way Trump has attacked the press is to remind people about the importance of freedom of the press and our role in holding government accountable.”
Will that matter?
We’ll learn soon enough.
These are the kinds of Post antics that make you angry that Trump gave 18 interviews to Bob Woodward. He gave a pile of interviews to the Washington Post in 2016 for their anti-Trump book Trump Revealed. If he's "undermining journalism" after all this access, what about Hillary Clinton going months between press conferences? What about Joe Biden keeping a "lid" on his press all the time? It doesn't matter. Liberalism equals journalism.
Earlier: Washington Post picks Connie Schultz to hail a Gary Hart book attacking "partisan and ideological media" that question liberal policies.