The following is an editorial by PoliticusUSA’s co-publisher and managing editor Sarah Jones.
The same media that trolled Obamacare for six years, never really grasping that people’s lives were on the line, is now telling you that the toxic creation they helped power to the White House is a function of “regular people” being angry at the elites.
“Regular people” might be angry at the elites, but let me assure the media that they know nothing about “regular people.”
These so-called “regular people” are always Tea Partiers or Republicans in media lingo. Are Democrats not “regular people”? Democrats are instead “Obama voters” and “Hillary voters” – translation so obvious I need not insult your intelligence by writing it.
The concerns of the “Obama voters” and “Hillary voters” have never been elevated to the same status as the revered white male who feels left behind.
Here are some of the concerns of the “regular people” whom I know. I have friends who are people of color and are terrified about what they face now, not only from the man the alt-right and KKK helped to power into the White House but the “regular people” who supported him, friends who are worried about their marriages being invalidated, friends who are terrified about being deported, friends who are worried that they need to leave the country because they are Muslims, friends who are horrified to have a serial sexual assaulter in the White House, friends who are in interracial relationships and rightfully terrified about the hatred they face, friends who are worried about how they will get insurance for their sick children if Obamacare is indeed repealed, and friends who are disabled and face having no healthcare at all if the Obamacare Medicaid expansion is dismantled.
These are all “regular people.”
These “regular people” needed Obamacare like they needed oxygen. The media never understood that. They needed their right to vote. Are they “angry” because their basic right was deliberately targeted by a desperate Party? I’d guess so. And that’s a little bigger than being hurt that you’re losing your status as White Entitled Grand Wizard.
But now the media intones that Americans are sick of elites and that is why they elected the most economically privileged and elite person they could find.
Here’s the truth. The media is the elite. The media is full of people making a lot of money, belonging to unions that offer excellent health insurance, people who are connected with powerful lawyers and politicians and have no real concerns under a Trump presidency other than being sued.
The media hardly gave the need for Obamacare any press, but the sure trolled its failings, many of which were brought on by the Republican obstruction of it.
The media has allowed Republicans to chip away at the constitution by acting as if Hillary Clinton’s emails were way more important than Republicans refusing to even give a hearing to President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee and acting as if those emails were more important than reports – and mind you, the emails were also “reports” since Clinton was cleared of wrongdoing – that Donald Trump has already been compromised by the Kremlin and has a server that has been communicating with the Russians and possibly a Russian bank.
Yes, the “regular people” are sick and tired of the elites. And many of those elites are in the media, not just in elected office. A media run by white men who do not understand at all the terror and need gripping those who aren’t privileged enough to feel safe and taken care of. Those who don’t know how their children will get the medical care they need.
Am I angry? You bet I am. I don’t live or work in the beltway. I live among “regular people” for a reason – and that is because I believe my job is to address their concerns and report on politics that impact them, not repeat beltway narratives made up by smug elites living in ivory towers.
My job is to listen to the people, not try to win approval among the cool kids by repeating beltway bullsh*t and lazily intoning with self-righteous ignorance that both sides do it equally.
No, they don’t. They don’t. Democrats did not elevate a Donald Trump. Democrats gave us Barack Obama — a moral leader, family man, a deep thinker with an even temperament and great reverence for democracy. A man who cares so much about the “regular people” of this country that he moved heaven and earth to pass a healthcare law to protect them. He was often left alone, even by his own party, in the face of the press carrying water for Republicans and claiming Obamacare was the end of the Democratic Party.
It was not. But the misleading and skewed reporting about Obamacare might well have contributed to the Republican takeover.
The media loves to ingratiate themselves with “real Americans” by pandering to the only “real Americans” they recognize, and those “real Americans” are flyover country white conservatives. Could they be more ridiculous? They should try pandering to the entirety of “real Americans” – Muslims, African Americans, women, LGBT people — everyone. Not just angry and loud white conservatives.
This Donald Trump presidency was brought to you by many failings– a lot of voter suppression, perhaps Democratic complacency, a Democratic Party that relies too much on President Obama, and a lot of anger.
But it was also brought to you by a corporate media that could not be bothered to differentiate between emails and being Putin’s puppet, and even decided that emails were more important. It was brought to you by a media that repeated that Hillary Clinton was seen as dishonest and untrustworthy even as Donald Trump broke PolitiFact by lying so much.
It was brought to you by a narrative fed by a corporate media smug in their safety, even as Donald Trump threatened reporters. It was brought to you by a media so entitled that they believed a glitch in the Obamacare marketplace system – a system sabotaged by Republicans, by the way – meant that Obamacare would not be needed or wanted. The glitch was the story, not the need. Not the desperate need of “regular people.”
The media has a lot to answer for, but they won’t. They are already busy blaming Hillary Clinton, Democrats, and anger at vague “elites”.
Elites are people who have power. Media, meet yourselves.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.