Last night on Twitter, I noted that the national political press is itself complicit in undermining its freedoms and privileges. The press has given President Trump and others ample evidence of its biases and allowed others to make the case the press is not objective, but agenda driven.
Nussbaum put up two tweets that are relevant to this:
and then this one:
Does he not know how the Senate and the process works? Does he not know that the majority of votes in the Senate are not really partisan votes? Does he not understand that Ben Sasse is more conservative than those other Senators and his votes are a reflection of his conservatism? Notice the “as Trump wants him to” bit. Does he presume Sasse, a man who refused to endorse or support the President right up through the election is suddenly a Trump yes man in the Senate? Has he considered Sasse actually has his own convictions or is reflecting voter wishes? You would not think Nussbaum has considered those from his tweets.
Ben Sasse voting to name a post office really is not aligning himself with President Trump. But if Ben Sasse votes to name a post office and the President signs it into law, that’s data going towards Nussbaum’s 93.6%. Ben Sasse standing up to the President on Venezuela, Jeff Sessions, the budget, etc. sets him apart. Likewise, I would assume Nussbaum would realize that a lot of the President’s agenda that Sasse and other Republicans are opposed to would never even make it to a vote on the Senate floor.
Then there are the nominations, that also go to that 93.6% number. Did Nussbaum really expect Sasse to vote against Gorsuch or other nominees? And let’s use McCain as a comparison. Part of the reason Nussbaum can use people like McCain against Sasse is because McCain is actually more moderate than Sasse and opposed repealing Obamacare. Yes, that means McCain stood up to the President, but then both Sasse and McCain promised to repeal Obamacare and one of them lied to their voters. Hint: it wasn’t Sasse.
What Matthew Nussbaum’s tweets reveal is that he does not know as much about the political process as he might claim and that he also, as a White House reporter covering the President, lacks respect for Sasse for not standing up to the President he covers. At least I think that is the most obvious interpretation of his tweets.
That Matthew Nussbaum, who provides national political coverage of the White House for a reputable news organization, would tweet those two things hints at both his biases and his obliviousness to Washington’s processes. It suggests an open liberal bias that taints his coverage. He ignores that Sasse is standing up to the President consistently on big issues that define a Presidency.
He is providing President Trump ample ammunition with which to further attack the press as political and motivated by partisan politics. He has allowed others the ammunition to attack the press as oblivious.
I really am increasingly convinced Twitter is not a good thing for supposedly objective reporters to participate in unless they can truly figure out how to demonstrate their objectivity.