Over at the New York Times, Jim Rutenberg suggested that, “The Republican Horse Race Is Over, and Journalism Lost.” Really? Exactly how did Journalism lose? And what does he mean by “Journalism”?
Journalist lost because they repeatedly got it wrong in reporting about the election. Rutenberg says news coverage of this election is “truly spectacular in its failings.”
Rutenberg suggests the problem is more than over reliance on faulty polls. He believes it exposes “lack of shoe-leather reporting.” And, he’s right — to an extent. Reporters have lost touch with the thinking of actual voters. The problem with journalism, however, is much deeper.
At fivethirtyeight.com, Nate Silver complained that, “there were a lot of extenuating circumstances that made the Trump story hard to call. Mr. Trump has rendered useless the traditional rule books of American politics.”
While admitting he got so many things wrong in reporting on the election and, on Trump in particular, Silver struggles explaining Trump’s rise to prominence. Perhaps it was “the way he dominated media coverage.” Or, maybe it is evidence of the “failings of the Republican Party as an institution.”
In the end, Silver believes that, “Trump’s main differentiator was doubling down on cultural grievance: grievances against immigrants, against Muslims, against political correctness, against the media…” Silver then suggested that Trumps strategy worked in “favor of those who see politics as being governed by cultural identity…”
Like so many others, Silver either doesn’t get it or doesn’t want to get it (or, both). Does he recognize that much of what passes for journalism today is “governed by cultural identity”? Reporters and commentators are largely required to do their work based on a set of presuppositions that serve the cultural identity of far left ideology.
Earlier in the primaries, The Huffington Post said you could relegate the Trump campaign to the entertainment section. They went so far as to put a disclaimer on their reporting about Trump, calling him “a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully…” Is this journalism?
Huffpost Media blogger, David Fuller suggested that The Huffington Post was misguided in placing the disclaimer on reporting about Trump. Almost prophetically, Fuller predicted that, “The Huffington Post’s disclaimer may have the effect of boosting Trump’s popularity even more, because it adds another major media outlet leveraging unfair political coverage against the Republican front-runner.”
Fuller was right. But he completely lost me when he warned The Huffington Post that, “they are potentially damaging their brand as a serious media resource.” Serious media source? Since when?
Predictably, Fuller challenged the Post to ramp up their role, not in reporting on news as it occurs, but in helping ignorant Trump supporters understand how damaging Trumps beliefs are to America.
“It is Trump’s supporters,” he said, “who need to be addressed most directly and shown the damage that their beliefs are causing to America. When we can change the culture within America, candidates with messages similar to Donald Trump’s will no longer gain a foothold in American politics. “
This kind of propaganda driven media so often comes with a smug and condescending air of superiority. Is this journalism?
Most Americans are well aware that mainstream media is a vehicle of propaganda. A growing number of reporters and commentators barely conceal their deep commitment to a worldview they prefer. But Journalism is not the work of those who report news to promote their way of seeing things.
True journalists do not ignore facts or selectively slant data in an effort to conform it to the world they want or against a world they want to save poor ignorant Americans from.
It’s almost painful to watch these reporters strain to convince themselves of alternate realities in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. A word to the wise — Americans are not as dumb as arrogantly supposed by fake journalists.
So how should we understand Trump’s surge?
Is America being swayed by Trump?
Or, more likely, is Trump being propelled by a longtime, growing disgust among the majority of Americans toward an arrogant, agenda-driven media and toward the political suck-up machine controlled by it?
see also – Adam Carolla Explains Trump’s Rise Perfectly