I have said two things for a very long time: (A) journalists's Trump-hate is personal, and (B) Trump knows exactly who the news media happen to be as he knew how to play them for years as he got great publicity from them once upon a time.
When he realized he can bypass the news media, he ditched them, and then unleashed, letting the world know who they really were, and the press never forgave him for speaking the truth.
If journalists were in a stronger position, they would get back at him for telling the world how rotten they are.
I won't recount New York Times' reporter Ali Watkins' horrific ethical missteps mixing business with having affairs with political sources. Of course, she succeeded at a faster rate than the more honest variety of reporter. You can get the memo here, here, here, here, and here, with a pathetic attempt to spin this as a "chilling effect on journalists" narrative here -- and with BuzzFeed once again proving it has no resemblance to an ethical news outlet as it knew all about it, but kept that transgression to themselves.
This episode is beyond bad. It is unprofessional and cannot be #MeTooed. It cannot be deflected in any way because a journalist cannot bed a source. It corrupts the journalist and rightfully calls into question their motives and angles.
It also gives the government the absolute right to snoop into the faux reporter's emails, notes, and phone records. We do not allow judges to bed witnesses because it would taint the trial beyond repair.
And Watkins tainted her product beyond repair in a different way, but for the same underlying reasons.
Journalists are now seriously worried about the optics -- and as the Washington Post confessed:
Yet this particular reporter-source relationship was also a romantic one, a twist that introduces questions about journalism ethics and could buttress Trump's characterization of reporters as creatures of the Washington swamp who will do anything for scoops.
Not could. Did.
This proves that journalists are untrustworthy and have underlying motives for doling out positive press -- and negative press.
Watkins is not the only one. She was just stupid enough to get caught. That she is a New York Times reporter sullies the Times and gives them no clout to go after others because they allowed it to happen. They should have caught the liaison and promptly turfed out Watkins on her backside.
But they were too busy focussed on hate rather than facts. While they were outlining their nemesis's every sin, they blithely ignored their own when they were in no position to do so.
This scandal doesn't just make the profession vulnerable to governmental enslavement; it merely reinforces what alienated audiences believed all along...