Reprinted with permission from TheNewAmerican.com.
Ideally, the relationship between the political class and the media should be an adversarial one. Media, after all, likes to relish its role as “the fourth estate,” the group that exists in order to keep the politicians honest. A proper news media should be skeptical about what politicians tell them and dig for truth in order to tell people what is really going on in Washington, D.C. A metaphorical line should exist between media and politics.
Over the years, however, that line has become blurred to the point where it doesn’t really exist anymore. Is a “fourth estate” of any use when, instead of holding politicians’ feet to the fire, they instead sit around that fire and roast marshmallows with each other?
When it was announced last week that former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders was joining Fox News as a paid contributor, the same hackneyed joke in different forms was making the rounds in Washington and the media. Basically, stated the joke, “So, how is this different from her former job as press secretary in the Trump White House?”
The satirical news site The Onion even posted a headline that read, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders to Join Fox News as a Contributor.” The joke possibly being that sometimes news is even funnier than satire.
But Huckabee-Sanders is far from the only former political official to join the cast of a major news network. In fact, she wasn’t the only one that day. Hours after Huckabee-Sanders’ deal with Fox was announced, CNN (that paragon of journalistic integrity) announced that it had penned a similar deal with former FBI Deputy Director and virulent Trump critic Andrew McCabe. The fact that McCabe was fired from the FBI for leaking stories to the media apparently doesn’t register on the irony meter for the “most trusted name in news.”