Article originally appeared on thefederalist.com.
In August of 2016, The New York Times did something rather unprecedented — the paper ran a front-page editorial by columnist Jim Rutenberg that stopped just short of openly saying the media should openly oppose Donald Trump, regardless of journalistic ethics.
According to Rutenberg, journalists who believed Trump was “racist and nationalist” would have to “throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century. … You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional.”
Now, Rutenberg was greatly flattering himself and his journalistic peers by pretending that any vestigial attempts at objectivity in the American media were anything more than farce, and all but the most blinkered Americans knew it. Still, the shift in tone during the Trump years was palpable. Perhaps the most visible sign was the media’s eagerness to call Trump a liar and to specifically call out his supposed “lies,” even to his face in real-time if necessary. The resulting coverage was something to behold. A Washington Post media column from 2019 took a rhetorical victory lap and rounded up just a few of the then-recent headlines about Trump’s presidency:
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