Leading up to last night’s Super Bowl, one of the most anticipated ads to be run was a minute-long clip by the Washington Post. They spent big money to run the ad and brought in Hollywood heavy-hitter Tom Hanks to narrate.
The overall message of the commercial was truthful, albeit a bit corny and pretentious. But there’s nothing wrong with a Super Bowl ad being either corny or pretentious. For the premium dollars spent on it, companies should do what they can to make the most of it.
Their messages were summed up in three lines preceding the tagline of the ad – “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”
Knowing empowers us.
Knowing helps us decide.
Knowing keeps us free.
Many of President Trump’s supporters instantly took to social media to call out WaPo for the message, but this was misplaced. Nothing in the message itself was in poor taste or outwardly critical of the President. However, given their history of bias against the President, the underlying message they were delivering was tainted.
As Donald Trump Jr. pointed out:
You know how MSM journalists could avoid having to spend millions on a #superbowl comercial to gain some undeserved credibility?
How about report the news and not their leftist BS for a change.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 4, 2019
Therein lies the problem with the ad. It attempted to paint an image of their brand of journalism that was incongruous with reality. Their reports heavily favor leftist perspectives, making it disingenuous for them to channel their own messaging as a beacon of light against the darkness.
America’s press have been in a downward spiral for decades. Some argue it started with a shift in perspectives around the end of President Reagan’s last term. Others point to their appreciation of President Clinton. To me, the real shifts came from three distinct events. First, the overt attacks on President George W. Bush set a tone of partisanship that wasn’t as unambiguous as they were in the past. Then, the unabashed adoration for President Obama left no doubt the political leanings of most in mainstream media.
Of course, President Trump’s election sent them into an unhinged tizzy that may never be matched.
It’s fine that WaPo wants America to trust the media again. That part of the message was fine. But it would behoove them to start practicing delivering the truth before proclaiming themselves as arbiters of knowledge. In that regard, they’re failing miserably.