The mainstream media's credibility was damaged by covering up for former President Barack Obama – and now President Donald Trump has the chance to significantly hurt it even further, said conservative columnist Ben Shapiro.
The comments from Shapiro, who is editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, came in a column for CNS News.
"Trump has the benefit of occupying the presidency after Obama," he said. "The media was highly critical of President Bill Clinton — even they couldn't ignore the juicy scandals dripping daily from the White House in the 1990s. They were even more critical of President George W. Bush — they were more than willing to misreport in order to undermine a war and destroy a presidency"
But that all changed when Obama became president, Shapiro said.
"Obama was the first indicator that the media would simply refuse to cover stories they didn't like about a politician they did," he said. "Obama had to be protected at all costs, including the cost of the media's credibility.
"Trump didn't do anything aside from failing to comply with media's standards of behavior. He didn't pander to them or treat them with respect. And the media melted down. They treated Trump horribly, of course — but they'd already treated Bush and Romney just as badly.
"It matters because conservatives would be wise to understand that Trump didn't destroy the media; he inherited the shell of a media ready to crumble. He tapped the shell, and it fell apart."
Shapiro said the media is looking to re-establish its own credibility by attacking Trump. But, he added, Trump can severely impact the media, but first has to demonstrate he has credibility.
"So far, he hasn't," Shapiro said. "Trump can do significant damage to the media, but only if he tells the truth. Now would be an excellent time to start."
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