Remember what the wizards of smart said about Trump's budget?
The big media are full of smart boys and girls. They have the educational pedigrees from Ivy League schools or similar elite institutions. As the wizards of smart, they proclaim themselves all-knowing. In their reporting, they tell everyone they are "fair and balanced," ironically borrowing a term from Fox News, a network that most of them despise – unless, of course, their paychecks comes from Fox.
As president, Donald Trump submits a budget – more a formality than anything legislative, as Congress is charged with creating and passing a budget. Despite this constitutional requirement, the U.S. Senate in 2015 passed its first budget in six years. They are way too busy doing nothing to get around to doing their jobs.
Trump appropriately named his budget "A New Foundation For American Greatness" in keeping with his campaign theme of "Make America Great Again." As for great expectations, Trump's budget predicted annual economic growth of 3 percent. How did the media react? Predictably.
NBC said it was "optimistic, to say the least," reminding readers that Trump's expectation was "[a]lmost double the country's 1.6 percent growth in 2016, and a pace that hasn't been seen in almost 20 years." NBC trotted out Clinton treasury secretary Larry Summers, who remarked, "Such a budget would only work if you believe in tooth fairies." Careful, Larry – that sounds like a microaggression.
This is the same Larry Summers who, way ahead of his time, was "Googled" by Harvard University, meaning fired, because he dared to initiate a discussion of differences between the sexes in engineering fields. It is fun to watch when the left eats its own.
CBS News joined the chorus, asserting, "Achieving 3 percent GDP growth is highly unlikely." U.S. News jumped in, describing Trump's budget as "indefensible" and "totally unrealistic." CNBC would give Trump only 1.9-percent growth rather than the 3 percent he predicted, calling it "unrealistic given the current trend line."
FiveThirtyEight, which predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide victory, said, "Trump's budget is built on a fantasy." Slate channeled its inner child with this headline "Trump's Growth Forecasts Are the Budgetary Equivalent of Putting Your Fingers in Your Ears and Yelling, Na Na Na Na Na."
You get the point. The wizards of smart weighed in, declaring the science settled. They had their 97-percent consensus that Trump was an idiot for making such a prediction – much like how he was an idiot for believing he would win the Republican nomination and then the presidency. We know how that worked out.
Imagine their surprise when the smart set read this Reuters headline from a week ago: "Atlanta Fed estimates U.S. third-quarter GDP growing at 4.0 percent." That's a full point higher than even Trump predicted.
Running a quick Google search on "Atlanta fed GDP 4 percent," I did not see many mainstream news sites listed. Newsmax, Breitbart, and The Conservative Treehouse were the primary sites reporting this. These are websites that are not part of the journalistic NeverTrump swamp. Where were CNN and CBS on this story?
Answer? Too busy piling on President Trump to report anything favorable to him or his administration. The other night, CBS Evening News dedicated 100 percent of its newscast to Trump's Charlottesville news conference. All told, the big three newscasts spent 77 percent of their broadcast time on Trump and Charlottesville the evening of his presser.
That was only after tearing themselves away from barking at the Trump Russia collusion moon incessantly. Or claiming that the Barcelona terror attack was a copycat of Charlottesville, having forgotten dozens of "vehicle-ramming attacks" going back as far as Beirut in 1981.
It's no wonder that only about 20 percent of Americans trust the information they get from local or national news, according to the Pew Research Center. It also explains why President Trump keeps using his Twitter account, much to the consternation of the media. How else can he get his message out? Or share good news?
If President Obama had 4-percent economic growth at any time during his presidency, that would be the lead and likely only news story on the evening newscasts. Instead, Obama's average annual GDP growth rate was 1.48 percent, never a single year above 3 percent, making him the only president in history to never hit the 3-percent mark. I don't recall hearing much about that on the evening news.
Imagine if Congress were on board with Trump and his budget. Economic growth would be through the roof. Republican congressional majorities would grow. Sideshow stories of Russian collusion and White House staff shake-ups would be irrelevant. Too bad Congress's main accomplishment this year has been criticizing and obstructing the president.
What's the lesson? Aside from not taking mainstream news seriously, be skeptical and read behind the headlines. Choose your news sources carefully. Understand that the big media have long given up any sense of objectively reporting the news. Instead, they are part of an organized effort to rewrite history and destroy President Trump, his agenda, and his supporters. With that as your premise, discerning the real news becomes much easier.
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.