We had such high hopes for The Atlantic when it was bought out by activist and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs a few months back. It’s a century old publication with an esteemed reputation, but that became part of the problem over the past few years as the previous owner used that reputation as cover for dragging the publication into the tabloid gutter. There had been some recent signs of hope that The Atlantic might be turning things around – until a particularly stunning hit piece surfaced this week.
In the past few years, The Atlantic has largely only existed to rack up as many cheap page views on the left as possible by creating phony controversy for the left. Disingenuous attack pieces on liberal politicians. Flat out fictional attack pieces on liberal media pundits. It got so bad at one point last year that a certain Atlantic writer was only writing columns that falsely accused his publication’s smaller liberal competitors of being fake news, and any time he was invited on television, he would use that time to continue yelling “fake news” at his competition.
At least that level of cartoon villainy has subsided since Powell Jobs took over. But even as we keep waiting for The Atlantic to contribute anything vital to the Resistance, we’ve instead been treated this week to an attack piece on the Resistance. Sober evaluations of any political movement are necessary, when they’re accurate and honest. Instead, the Atlantic is leading with the clickbait headline claiming that the “Democrats’ ‘Resistance’ to Trump Is Eroding” along with an article which is essentially fiction.
To set the record straight, no, the Resistance is not “eroding.” No, the poll numbers are not shifting away from the Democrats and toward Trump. No, Democratic leaders are not handing Trump everything he wants. No, the sky isn’t falling. No, Trump isn’t magically winning. And no, the Resistance isn’t a punchline that’s being mocked by the left, center, and right, as The Atlantic so bizarrely claims. The Atlantic has spent years becoming a toxic cesspool, and we didn’t expect that Laurene Powell Jobs would be able to pull it out of the gutter overnight. But this kind of tabloid trash is as embarrassing as it is harmful, at a time when the American left can’t afford these kinds of disingenuous antics.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report