After 21 years, Grenell, who had been appointed U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations, announced that he and others managed to broker a peace deal between the two nations.
It was a really big deal and, as it turned out, one of several peace deals brokered by the Trump administration in the final year of his presidency.
Two decades earlier, in the wake of the Soviet Union’s disintegration, rump regions of what used to be one of the USSR’s client states, Yugoslavia, broke up and began warring with each other. Serbia and Kosovo are two of those regions; Bosnia and Herzegovina along with Croatia were two other regions.
The Bosnian War got so deadly and threatened to spread so quickly that many leaders worried it would engulf Europe in its third continental conflict in a single century. Only after NATO and the U.S. intervened did the fighting subside; more than 101,000 people were killed and to this day, contingents of the U.S. Army and Army National Guard rotate through Kosovo to help keep the peace.
But as Grenell, who is gay, took to the podium, the reporters in the Washington Press Corps didn’t want to talk about the historic peace deal. One tried to ask Grenell about a push earlier in the year to “decriminalize homosexuality” in other countries.
The career diplomat cut him off immediately.
“Let me just talk about Kosovo and Serbia. I don’t know if you can find it on a map. But this is atrocious,” he began.
“You might be too young to understand what this issue is about. Maybe the older journalists should step up and say, ‘This is a big deal. This is a big issue.’ I’m astounded what happens in Washington, D.C., and especially in this room. I gotta tell you, it’s substantive, maybe it’s too complicated of an issue for you all,” he said.
After another reporter tried to interrupt, Grenell pushed back with a huge truth bomb.
“You guys don’t understand what’s happening outside of Washington, D.C. People aren’t listening to you anymore,” he said. “It’s really a crisis in journalism, and I think it’s because people are too young to understand issues like Kosovo and Serbia. How about a substantive question?”
Grenell was, of course, criticized for his admonishment — by the same media he chastised, of course. But he was right, and a recently released survey substantiates his claim.
Trust in traditional media has declined to an all-time low, and many news professionals are determined to do something about it.
Faith in society's central institutions, especially in government and the media, is the glue that holds society together. That glue was visibly dissolving a decade ago, and has now, for many millions of Americans, disappeared entirely.
For the first time ever, fewer than half of all Americans have trust in traditional media, according to data from Edelman's annual trust barometer shared exclusively with Axios. Trust in social media has hit an all-time low of 27%.
So — just want are ‘news professionals’ ‘determined’ to do about it? From an early assessment, we’d say they’re preparing to triple-down on what got them into the negative trust column to begin with.
Take the Washington Post. After four years of haranguing President Trump with something called a ‘fact-check project,’ the paper shuttered the operation no sooner than he left office and has no plans for a similar one now that a Democrat — Joe Biden — has moved into the Oval Office.
Yes, nothing says ‘Hey, we’re not Democrat sycophants!’ like refusing to cover a Democratic president with the same truth-o-meter.
Grenell was right. So is Axios’ findings. But as WaPo indicates, don’t expect anything to change.
See more reporting like this at NewsFakes.com.