In a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, Keith Olbermann ripped the media for essentially selling its soul in order in order to cover the endlessly fascinating spectacle of Donald Trump’s campaign.
Rather than penning some familiar requiem for a golden age of objectivity in journalism, Olbermann argues that for much of the history of reporting in America, “journalistic objectivity has been the aberration, and media advocacy has been the default position — not the other way around.”
The loss of objectivity that has characterized the media coverage of Donald Trump, on both ends of the political spectrum, has not been a matter of news organizations surrendering their objectivity in order to advance a partisan agenda. Rather, the razzle-dazzle of Trump’s campaign and the candidate’s singular gift for delivering controversy on an almost daily basis has resulted in the surrender of objectivity in exchange for viewers (or clicks).
With Trump stories, we can see “the most effective form of self-censorship in play,” he writes. “One not based on ideology nor on a silly harkening back to a neutral past that only briefly existed, but based purely on cash.”
“[W]ho will stand up and point at the emperor standing in only a comb-over and ask where in the hell his clothes are?” he asks. Rhetorically, of course.
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