Press Should Be “Watchdog, Not Partisan Attack Dog”

(p. 7) WASHINGTON — I’ve been waiting for this moment. The moment when some on the left would react indignantly to journalists doing their job.

It was so enthralling and gratifying to assail Donald Trump as a liar and misogynist that it was bound to be jarring when the beast slouched out of town and liberals had to relearn the lesson that reporters don’t — or shouldn’t — suit up for the blue team.

. . .

. . . , the left declared it a national emergency and acted as though all journalistic objectivity should be suspended. Some thought that the media should ignore Trump’s news conferences and tweets and that the only legitimate interview with Trump was one where you stabbed him in the eye with a salad fork.

Many reporters offered sharp opinions, the kind not seen before in covering a president.

. . .

A whole generation of journalists was reared in the caldera that was Trump’s briefing room.

Some Washington reporters have been worried about this for some time, that the left would “work the refs,” as one put it, and turn on the media and attack if they dared to report something that could endanger the Republic (a.k.a. hurt a Democrat).

But the role of the press in a functioning democracy is as watchdog, not partisan attack dog. Politicians have plenty of people spinning for them. They don’t need the press doing that, too.

For the full commentary, see:

Maureen Dowd. “Democrats, High on Their Own Supply.” The New York Times, SundayReview Section (Sunday, February 28, 2021): 7.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Feb. 27, 2021, and has the title “High on Their Own Supply.”)

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