Press your luck

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Jason Willick, writing for The American Interest:

The media’s approval rating has been declining for a generation, but it entered freefall over the last year. Among Republicans, confidence in the mainstream media is close to destroyed, with just 14 percent saying they have even a “fair amount” of trust in the press, according to Gallup. Democrats are significantly more trusting, at 51 percent, although that is down from 70 percent in 2005. Among independents, the figure is 30 percent, closer to Republican levels.

High levels of polarization and partisanship mean that most Republicans will take the president’s side and Democrats will take the media’s side in their ongoing wars of attrition. If the press is to continue to hold sway, it will need to win the confidence of independents, who don’t hold Donald Trump in particularly high regard (by historical standards) but who do not exactly have warm feelings for the media, either. As Rutenberg says, high-level failures of judgment by major news organizations will continue to wear down the press’s approval ratings among this critical group. So will the ongoing perception of liberal bias, even if unintentional.

And there's a price to be paid. Ann Althouse:

Should [the press] be ousted [from their space in the White House to a different building] if they are not playing the role the place supposedly symbolizes? Are they representing us, the People, who, collectively, elected Trump, or are they representing the Democratic Party?

I don't know that the symbolism is what should determine whether the press has that space or some other space, but I don't think the press — with respect to the Trump administration — represents the people. I think the statement "They are the opposition party" is much more accurate. Too bad they did that to themselves. We could use a vigorous, professional press.

We could. I can envision countless reasons for the future Leader of the Free World to be held to account, but at this point, aside from maybe Jake Tapper, how can you take any of these reporters seriously?