This Is What Terrifies Me About the Mainstream Media


by Matt Margolis, PJ Media:

Recently, a few stories that highlight the vast gulf between the elite mainstream media and your humble correspondents at PJ Media caught my eye.

The first is Donald Trump’s hush money NDA trial in Manhattan.

Pool reporter Zach Schonfeld relayed that “Trump has been leaning back in his chair with his body turned slightly toward [Douglas] Daus as he testifies. The former president’s eyes have been closed for multiple minutes, though he has been fidgeting in his chair, suggesting he’s not actually asleep.”


Another pool reporter, Aysha Bagchi, wrote, “Former President Donald Trump is slouched back in his chair currently, with his eyes often closed for extended periods but sometimes opening slightly. While earlier today he didn’t seem to be watching Hope Hicks directly as she testified, he is now looking at her when he does open his eyes.”

Did any of that happen? How would we know? New York law does not allow cameras in courtrooms, and so we must rely on a handful of privileged reporters to tell us what’s happening. Zach and Aysha may be very nice, but are they truthful reporters? Who knows, but they essentially get to write the history of the first trial of its kind of a former president of the United States. 

Even the Los Angeles Times questioned whether we are getting the truth: “At the trial’s outset, some reporters suggested that it appeared there were times that Trump drifted off to sleep while watching the proceedings. The former president’s campaign disputed that. With no video camera in place and trained on him, there’s no way of knowing for sure.”

CBS New York’s Alice Gainer was one of the Chosen Few reporters to be allowed in the courtroom. She described the media coverage there

I’ll have a guaranteed seat in the main courtroom for most of the trial, but during jury selection all but six reporters are in the overflow room because prospective jurors take up all available seats in the main courtroom.

In overflow, we have a video monitor with four different feeds. The six rotating pool reporters tell us what we can’t see happening in the main courtroom.

So essentially, we’re counting on six reporters to relay the play-by-play of the trial of the century. 

This is nothing new, but I’d hoped that we’d made more progress by now. PJ Media (then Pajamas Media) was one of the first websites to break through the control that media gatekeepers held over reporting in the United States. In fact, we were the first non-mainstream-media organization to have a booth at a Republican National Convention. That was back in 2008, and we all believed we were seeing a paradigm shift in media. No longer would the gatekeepers control the news and the narrative. The internet democratized things, giving start-up sites and mommy bloggers alike a voice. It was revolutionary in many ways. 

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