Donald Trump is why we must be wary of not owning up to our biases and going to extremes.
The Media created Donald Trump.
To illustrate my point, I will first tell the story of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 70s-80s; a time of shocking upheaval in America’s largest denomination.
The trouble began when the Southern Baptist seminaries (particularly Southern and Southeastern) began to tolerate theological liberalism.
At first the problem was not apparent, but when local churches (who were much more conservative) began getting these new seminary graduates they noticed something odd and disturbing.
They were teaching in their language, but using a different vocabulary.
Concerned, the conservative churches in the convention appealed to the moderates, who controlled the SBC at the time, for help.
The moderates placated the conservatives, but did nothing to stop the liberals from teaching their theology in the seminaries.
After repeated attempts to change the moderates’ “big tent” perspective, conservatives launched an all out political war to take back the seminaries.
What started as a means to restore biblical orthodoxy, became a fundamentalist crusade, engulfing the entire denomination.
Today, the SBC is decidedly conservative and any attempts to add even some more moderate ideas have met with disapproval and even dismissal.
Had the moderates listened to the conservatives and chased out the liberals from their seminaries, Paige Patterson and Dan Sutton would never have had the political ammunition to purge the convention of dissenters and install a conservative regime.
But the moderates were arrogant, and they thought the conservatives were too stupid to figure out the denomination’s political structure.
They were wrong.
For years political conservatives have complained that the “mainstream media” has a liberal bias.
And the truth is that it honestly does.
The creation of talk radio and Fox News are a direct result of conservatives not trusting the media to tell the truth.
Liberals in the media have derisively dismissed conservative claims, chiding them for being angry that the “facts” that don’t go their way.
While there are some networks that try to hide (unsuccessfully) their liberal bias (CNN for example), there are others that are as shamefully left as Fox News is shamefully right (here’s looking at you MSNBC).
Media has always been biased, even when facts are reported; facts can be reported in a biased way.
Their is no such thing as a objective truth coming from a subjective media source.
There is nothing wrong with that, when journalists and media outlets are honest about their bias.
Transparency fosters trust and open discussion; but when the media pretends to be objective…that’s when the problems start.
Also, media should try to curb its bias; a journalist will always have biases, but they should be reduced as much as possible or someone else should cover the story.
Our media today is an amplification of bias, even while still trying to stick with a veneer of objectivity.
And the people watching have taken notice.
Enter Donald Trump.
Donald Trump has said some of the most outrageous things, and for a normal person that would mean instant “death by media.”
However, Donald Trump is not a normal person.
Donald Trump is a very smart, very deceptive person who pretends he is not very smart.
All of Trump’s racist comments.
All of Trump’s vague policies.
All of Trump’s “we will be great,” and, “do a great job.” statements.
All of Trump’s “the media is not being nice to me” complaints.
They are designed to ingeniously resonate with a conservative base that does not just distrust the media…
They hate the media.
So, when media personalities like Jake Tapper or Chuck Todd try call Trump out on his blatant lies, they have no credibility.
Look at the internet comments under news stories like:
“Why don’t they talk about the lies that Hillary Clinton has told…”
“Why don’t they expose the lies of this “Liar-in-Chief” who is destroying our country…”
These are much more common than comments saying Trump should apologize or drop out of the race.
The media has been soft on their respective parties/candidates for too long, and it has finally caught up them.
They wanted to be smart, intelligent, snarky talking heads…well, that’s all they are now.
Without an ounce of credibility.
Even Fox News, the bastion of conservatism since its inception, has been the subject of Trump’s criticism and has received the ire of the conservative base.
Fox News may be the conservative media, but they are still part of the media.
When journalists like Megyn Kelly try to call out Trump, surprisingly objectively, they are ridiculed for being biased and unfair toward the candidate.
Like a bacteria that survives a powerful antibiotic; one of these days there was bound to be a super-candidate who could be media-resistant.
Trump, in true postmodern form, can now declare what he says to be true and no one can call him on it.
Whether that is…
… Muslims celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers in New Jersey.
…mocking the disability of journalist who disagreed with him.
…saying the Megyn Kelly has blood coming out of her “wherever.”
…disregarding Sen. John McCain as a true war hero.
…calling most Mexican immigrants as addicts and rapists
It doesn’t matter because the only institutions who can call him on it, the church and the media, have given up their objectivity one too many times.
The Media, exasperated at Trump and his disregard for truth, needs only to look in the mirror.
Maybe its time to trim back the bias, and apply some facial scrub to the elitism.
Before Donald Trump, or someone worst, becomes the leader of the most powerful nation on earth.
I realize that all politicians tell lies despite what party or political ideology they hold. Clinton, Bush, Obama, etc. have all told lies of some sort. Hillary Clinton as candidate is unappealing to me also for this very reason. However, the quality of lies that Donald Trump is being able to tell are far worse and have more far-reaching consequences on our nation’s stability. That’s why it is important that the church and secular journalism both do our jobs to expose such egregious error. When we become too one-sided we lose our credibility, and thus our ability to speak prophetically against lies and deceit.