Some if not most on the left are skeptical that the press will responsibly confront that most malevolent enemy of valued American political traditions, Mr. Trump. They say they've yet to see evidence of such a needed transformation in political journalism, nor do they expect to see it. Stenographic sloth, both-sidesism and journalistic gutlessness will persist, they say. If they're wrong, they add, then someone needs to show them.
I've lost count of the counterexamples to leftist assumptions that I've run across in the past several weeks, each one of which, regrettably, I've not taken the time to feature. This one I will. It's a morning piece titled "Trump’s voter fraud claims undermine the democratic process and his presidency." It's penned by that dean of Beltway journalism, the Washington Post's Dan Balz, and it appears not in "The Fix" or on the op-ed page, nor is it spinelessly designated as "analysis." The article is, rather, published as straight news, and it begins thus:
There is no benign explanation for President Trump’s false assertion that millions of people voted illegally in the last election. It is either a deliberate attempt to undermine faith in the democratic process, an exhortation to those who favor new restrictions on access to the ballot box or the worrisome trait of someone with immense power willing to make wild statements without any credible evidence….
Trump is now striking at the foundation of a democratic society. This is yet another example of Trump being willing to cast doubt on information, individuals or institutions that he believes threaten his legitimacy, challenge his authority or question his actions.
Balz's straight-news piece continues:
Trump is chipping away at a shared public confidence in a system that is fundamental to a representative government for no apparent reason other than that he’s bothered by the fact that, although duly elected and now in the White House, he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes.
And it concludes:
The president has preferred his own version of what happened in November in the popular vote, even if that damages the very system of government atop which he now sits.
Now tell me again, my fellow lefties, that no fundamental transformation in American journalism is taking place. If the Beltway's Dan Balz is undergoing one, then something seismic is indeed in the works.