Capitol Hill

Unearned White Privilege Embodied: The Juxtaposition of the Trump Presidency against the Obama Presidency

Juxtapose for a second the no drama Obama White House with the constant chaos, constant allegations of law breaking, questions debating actual treason, not just hyperbolically, but in a very literal sense, and the constant diplomatic and communication blunders of the current administration.

Consider then the media coverage of the Obama administration which was largely negative as it pertains to most questions of substantive measures of policy carried out by President Obama even while being largely effusive of him as an individual.

The Trump presidency has definitely brought with it a boon not just for comedians but for print Journalists as well, surprisingly. It has provided quite the opportunity to showcase the best of American investigative print journalism, with all the scoops revealed by the Washington Post and New York Times in particular.

Cable TV news however has not quite measured up against the excellence on display in its often forgotten cousin that is print journalism. Rather than behaving as an honest arbiter of truth, in recent years, cable TV news has allowed itself to be just a platform for reporting what politicians say. This has had the effect of an environment where the politicians and pundits who shout loudest are the ones who are heard.

On the occasions when President Obama messed up, the news coverage was disproportionately negative. For example, the healthcare rollout of was definitely not smooth, but it really was hardly as big of a deal as everyone made out.

The other instance, also to do with healthcare would be around the so called promise that “if you like your doctor, you can keep them”. Again, the coverage here was so extremely disproportionate.

Contrast all of the above with coverage of Trump where yes the coverage is largely about Russia, which of course is negative. However, to hear the amount of excuses and explanations made about what truly appears to be acts that are clearly very suspicious is astonishing. The amount of the benefit of the doubt granted Jared Kushner and Trump in particular is just enough to cause a head explosion.

Suggestions that it’s possible that Kushner may have forgotten to disclose meetings with the Russian ambassador are laughable. The firing of Come, and the U.S. attorneys, meetings between Trump campaign operatives inducing Jeff Sessions, the non-recusal recusal of Sessions from all Russia investigations; all such extremely astounding events. Imagine for a second if Obama had said or done any one of the things that Trump has been accused of. To be clear, my suggestion is not that the fourth estate should get ahead of the investigations and declare guilt. However, the kid glove coverage including on so called liberal media is actually alarming. So much so that David Frum, the Editor of the Atlantic pointed out recently that within days, he wouldn’t be surprised if the debate doesn’t become whether or not treason is such a serious thing after all. We are watching right before our very eyes the extent to which unearned white privilege serves to protect, carry and reward straight, white men in situations that would otherwise sink pretty much anyone else.

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