In the journalism game, a lot of things can get you in trouble that won’t get you axed. What can get you fired at many places is getting a story so wrong that your Public Enemy No. 1—in this case, the president of the United States—is laughing at you from the salad to the cherry pie of his patriotically charged Thanksgiving meal.
That’s just what happened to former Newsweek reporter Jessica Kwong after she wrote in an article on the holiday that President Trump and the first lady would be spending Thanksgiving “Tweeting, golfing and more.”
She was unable to see beyond her obvious animus (and the obvious animus of her editors) towards the president. If she had—and perhaps had cultivated some decent sources—she might have had an inkling that all was not what she assumed it to be.
But she didn’t. And hilarity ensued.
That mirth, for some of us, was watching Newsweek shimmy and shake to try and get out of the fact that the president secretly flew halfway around the world to have a holiday meal with U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Past presidents, those who liked the military anyway, have done this repeatedly. That should have been a hint to Kwong and her editors. But nah, better to have an easy day manufacturing slurs than reporting the truth.
Kwong’s and Newsweek’s defense, calling it “an honest mistake” and insisting “we will continue to review our processes,” would hold a little more water if the formerly respected news magazine was not known, even within the leftier-than-thou D.C. journo community, to be unhinged in their hatred of the president.
The cause of their splenetic froth? After the Newsweek print edition closed down a couple of years ago, the online version that remained hired a bunch of kids right out of journalism school. Now Newsweek has been far-left for some time. But these newly minted newshounds came straight from several years of conditioning at some of the worst, yet most prestigious, academic barns in the nation.
To them, journalism is not about reporting the facts. It is about a crusade for climate change, socialized medicine, third-wave feminism, abortion, and any other wacky notion that comes down the modern Bolshevik pike. Who is standing in the way of this glorious classic red future of yummy lollipops and rainbow-colored bunny rabbits? That’s right, the Bad Orange Man in the Oval Office. Thus anything besmirching him is legit. Anything.
But you have to give Newsweek a bit of credit here for public relations acumen. When the magazine’s leadership, such as it is, finally realized Kwong held them up to national ridicule (the amusing response tweet from Donald Trump, Jr. was retweeted more than 19,000 times by Sunday night) they dropped her like a live grenade, her ideology notwithstanding.
So what we saw in the end, like a unicorn, was the almost unreal apparition of a major media leftist publication taking responsibility and chopping heads when they made a mistake. This image, like all alleged unicorn sightings, is likely to be fleeting, however.
After all, you need a lot of people to run a proper coup.