Feb 6, 2017

News In The Trump Era


Although, I thought that the news and media was biased during the presidential campaign of 2016, I haven't seen anything yet. Only President for two weeks, Trump has managed to alienate the press even more than before.  Now, I don't blame Trump, I blame the press. (I use the terms press and media interchangeably, and mean both print, internet, broadcast and cable)  The media knew what they were getting when Trump won.  I suppose that there might have been an expectation of a more presidential demeanor, but there should be no surprise that it didn't materialize.

As someone who looks for news and not attitude, my hunt has become more elusive.  Complicating the  endeavor, is that more and more news sources are being consolidated.  When the public is willing to accept the blurbs on facebook as news,  we are in an era of electronic tabloids.

News as entertainment isn't new, but when that's all there is,  democracy suffers. Previously informed people are reduced to this new diet. The Sunday edition of the Washington Post treats the previous evening's Saturday Night Live parody as news.   CNN has joined the official electronic tabloid club by refusing  to host Kellyanne Conway on their Sunday talking heads program, after being shut out of some access by the White House.  In this vacuum,  I expect that molovinsky on allentown will have to open a Washington bureau. I was hoping to devote more column space to local history.

11 comments:

Scott Armstrong said...

The media is doubling down on dumb and thinking they are doing a great job.Really...

Robert Trotner said...

Michael, your fallacy here is in uncritically buying into the Trump explanation for his failings and in misunderstandung the importance of a strong, independent investigative media. As to both propositions, I would point out that Trump received far more airtime than Hillary did on cable news, talk radio, and tinfoil hat internet news. Once he was elected, he cavalierly dismissed an FBI investigation into Russia as fake news, reneged on his pledge to drain the swamp, hung up on allies in fits of infantile rage, refused to even mention the word "Jew" in his proclamation on Holocaust Remembrance Day (renewing charges of antisemitism among his chief aides and cheering white supremacists), had the Bannon-Miller team draft a crazy antimuslim ban on ideological rather than constitutional grounds and refused to have it improved or altered or even reviewed by the people Trump had chosen as experts on homeland secirity, and blithely threatened war with about three or four different countries. To have the media turn a blind eye to all this would not be normal. More than this, Trump deliberately picked a fight with the media on his first full day in office with his absurd Alt fact inauguration attendance claims for the sole purpose of picking a fight with the media so he could immediately accuse them of bias. This was intentional and calculated to be the beginning of a war with the media. By any dispassionate standard Trump is the cause of his own misfortunes and has blamed the media as an ideological shock and awe campaign to try to weaken its credibility as a vigorous, independent free source of news. In these endeavors, he has unsurprisingly failed miserably. And if he keeps it up, he'll suffer the same fate as Andrew Johnson and Richard Nixon.

michael molovinsky said...

robert, i don't dispute anything in your comment, however, my greater point was not pro or anti-trump, but rather the media's reaction. for years now a large portion of the media has an agenda, either to the right, ie. fox, or to the left, ie. msnbc. now however, even cnn has forsaken any attempt toward objectivity. i agree that trump agitated for this result, however, the media of our parents rose above such provocations.

Dave said...

It's not Trump that is the media's enemy. It's any Republican that doesn't believe in the progressive policies that the Democrats have adopted as their own. They would act the same way no matter whom the Republicans would have nominated and defeated Hillary Clinton.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

There are only a few objective TV journalists left, Catherine Herridge is one, Mark Halpern tries, but has been sliding, It seems you could count the real journalists on one hand. The media has imploded during this election year, This rot is from the top, Until the management in the media decides to enforce reporting the news, rather than being part of the news, it will continue to decline. The credibility of the media has been severely damaged. In the end the viewer ratings and advertisers will eventually win out. What we have at the present time is a 24 hour Trump show, most other news lasts about 10 seconds and then it is back to Trump. Reporters are all looking for the magic bullet or the silver stake to put through the heart of Trump and his supporters. Just report the news and let the people decide.

doug_b said...

News 24/7/365 - they need to fill that space with something. I think I got just as much news in 1980 reading the WSJ for 1/2 an hour, than I do today with all the news channels and internet sources.

Then there is the obvious bias. Nobody ever questioned Obama using the U3 employment stats that have unemployment at less than 5% - now with Trump they are saying the U6 is more accurate (something like 12% unemployment).

I don't know if the press is this stupid but I heard a reporter ask about the wall - I forget who responded but the person said we will build a wall / a fence. The reporter was all over the guy "well is it a wall or a fence". Finally the person responded: a barrier, a wall may be suitable some places, a fence in others... what an idiot reporter. Probably went back and wrote that they aren't sure what they plan to do.

Scott Armstrong said...

The problem is that when Trump says or does anything that should concern the public many won't listen when the press try to raise a warning or cry foul. Many people, perhaps a sizable majority for good reason no longer believes the media.They have become collectively the "little boys who cried wolf". This is a dangerous. The media needs to regain credibility in order to be the watchdog on government that is essential to good government. They know what they must change their ways to get there, don't think they are interested in doing it.

Jamie Kelton said...

The media and Democrats essentially wanted Trump to concede that he lost before the election even occurred. Now as petulant little children, their chosen one lost. When they don't get their way they want to change the rules. That is truly the way they treat everything.

The overall goal of the media is to destroy and delegitimize President Trump. This is in contrast to how for the past eight years they have supported Obama no matter what he did. Facts have made no difference. They are glad to use fake news or Democrat talking points to push their agenda. It is no wonder there is so little trust in the media.

ironpigpen said...

Any person who ever lived behind the Iron Curtain could easily explain to the Lame Stream Media exactly why propaganda just doesn't work very well anymore once people actually figure out its propaganda. The Lame Stream Media here in America have truly been unmasked for who and what they are. And it's about time, too.

Geoff said...

I don't understand why refusing to have an "advisor" on TV counts as some kind of major failure. Access works both ways. If the White House wants their spokesperson on cable channels.

I'm a bit concerned by those who believe that they no longer have the responsibility to be conscious of their governments actions (or even critical) because they disagreed with past news coverage. So if a politician does something illegal and a citizen chooses to ignore it--it's now the media's fault?

TRENT HALL said...

CNN didn't cut Conway because Trump previously forbade his surrogates from appearing on CNN. They could care less; there are plenty of talking heads & commentators to fill their panels and front set up interviews. They cut (momentarily) Conway because she simply continues to sprout falsehoods & lies. Not mere political puffery which is acceptable & expected from her, but, out right falsehoods. Sean Spicer has already become a "Baghdad Bob" who has lost all respect and even Trump will soon replace him with a "Fox News blonde in a red dress type" because at least if his Press Secretary has to say nonsense, Trump insists they look pretty doing so. When you are parodied by Melissia McCarthy even Trump is smart enough to know you are toast in Apprentice Land.

I guess all the Republicans in the South will soon be claiming the Russians hacked the Falcons in the fourth quarter.