Everyone seems to hate what they call “the media.”
Attacking journalism – even accurate and verified reporting – provides a quick lift for politicians.
It’s not just Donald Trump. Trump’s rival for the 2024 Republican nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, recently criticized “the Lefty media” for telling “lies” and broadcasting “a hoax” about his policies.
Criticizing the media emerged as an effective bipartisan political tactic in the 1960s. GOP Sen. Barry Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign got the ball rolling by needling the so-called “Eastern liberal press.”
Democratic President Lyndon Johnson’s lies about the Vietnam War clashed with accurate reporting, and a “credibility gap” arose – the growing public skepticism about the administration’s truthfulness – to the obvious irritation of the president. Johnson complained CBS News and NBC News were so biased he thought their reporting seemed “controlled by the Vietcong.”