Credit: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

As Kim Mulkey goes on offense against a sportswriter reporting on her coaching career and the United States ramps up toward another presidential election, the news media is under scrutiny once again. Longtime columnist and TV host Jemele Hill believes how journalism has been weakened over the past decade is as much the fault of the media industry itself as its opponents.

In an appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on Tuesday, Hill highlighted the recent fight within NBC News after the outlet hired former RNC chair and Donald Trump crony Ronna McDaniel as a TV contributor before firing her days later as just one example beyond Mulkey’s conquest against the Washington Post.

“Everybody has boiled everything down to a disagreement, but we can’t have disagreement about facts,” Hill said. “That’s what we can’t do. And unfortunately, we are in the age where it’s OK if the sky is blue and we all see it, for somebody to call it red and for everybody to say we should tolerate that opinion. You can’t debate and disagree with a fact.”

Hill explained that bringing someone who was part of a campaign to overturn an election, as McDaniel allegedly did, shows not only how American news media disagrees over basic ethics but also that it refuses to learn lessons about how to cover Trump in particular.

“The news media has learned absolutely nothing from how it covered the last two elections,” Hill said. “They are platforming people who can drive ratings, and most of the major corporations are run by people who are more interested in … the financial interests of the company. They are not interested in the journalism. The who, what, when, where, why of it all is boring now. You have to have this scintillating entertainment that has made political journalism and journalism period feel a lot more like wrestling as opposed to feeling like something that should matter to people.”

Hill sees examples across the industry of corporations chasing clicks and views over pursuing the truth that Americans actually need.

“Part of the reason this democracy works is we have a functioning free press,” Hill said. “Well, that free press is on life support right now, not necessarily because it lacks the freedom, because they lack the guts and the honesty and the grit that it takes to do this kind of reporting. Journalists aren’t supposed to be liked. We all knew that when we got into this job. But we are supposed to tell the truth, and once you eliminate that part of it along with the accountability … this is why you have this entire conversation going on in our business.”

Hill even admitted defeat in the battle against corporate interests and fascistic politicians.

“I feel like we’ve already lost,” Hill said. “It has destroyed the business.”

There are numerous examples to back up Hill’s concerns. Venture capital and other entities have gobbled up and stripped down nearly every journalism outfit in the country and driven it toward maximum profit with little creativity or care for the news as a “fourth estate” in society.

Still, these trends have existed for a long time, long before NBC hired McDaniel. They are not solely linked to Trump. For as long as journalism has existed, journalists have worked hard to find ways for it to make money and for people to care about it.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz on YouTube]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.