Media – Impact, Responsibilty, and Consequences

The media these days seems to be very defensive. They do not like to hear that they may bear some responsibility for creating the disaster that is Trump. They also love to tell you that Hillary Clinton isn’t well liked. They will say that Donald Trump having 10M voters is incredible, they don’t mention that Hillary Clinton has more. Donald Trump had a landslide in NY but both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton earned more votes than Trump.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

The media will defensively say that not all of the media coverage they give Trump is positive. In fact, they will claim they give him a lot of negative coverage, and they do, in their own way. But rarely is it noted that they give Hillary Clinton more. The difference is in air time and approach. Donald Trump is on almost constantly. A rally of his is “breaking news”. He attacks Hillary and that is covered in a “how will she react” way. They do the same with Bernie. Rarely does someone in the media fact check the attacks. They say it’s impossible to fact check Trump because he lies so much but they give lies coverage without talking about it. They justify him constantly.

They will play Trump over and over again as he talks about BILL Clinton, his affairs, and then somehow blaming Hillary for it. Rarely does do you hear anyone say that the people persecuting the President were having affairs. That Donald Trump at that time was having affairs. He wrote about them. He bragged about them. Dennis Hastert was just sent to prison for paying off the young boys that he sexually abused because the statute of limitation had run out so he couldn’t be charged with those assaults. His colleagues wrote letters of recommendation for him. None of that gets airtime. They don’t have time for that. All they have time for is innuendo and tag lines usually from Trump or Bernie that will get them ratings.

And the attacks on Hillary for reacting when she learned her husband had an affair? Ask Trump’s wives how they felt. Ask Newt Gingrich’s wives. He was cheating while impeaching the President for lying about cheating – that isn’t mentioned. They impeached the President for lying about having an affair. I don’t know many people who come out and say yes they are having an affair first time they are asked. It may not be great behavior but it is what many men and women do when asked publicly if they cheated on their spouse. Is it right no, is it common yes. Do most women or men immediately embrace the person that cheated on them and do it publicly? So far the news organizations, who replay the comments that somehow Hillary Clinton enabled her husband’s affairs don’t talk about anything else. They replay Trump saying that she is “responsible” for destroying the “women” but don’t given that any context. They just wonder how she will respond. Who will attack in response. Can she stay about the fray? Do they ask is this charge reasonable or just ignore it because it’s not. They won’t not leave it alone because it has nothing to do with issues or note how hypocritical it is. The media also doesn’t seem to want to talk about what THEY did to Monica Lewinsky.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

The media so far has given Trump $2B in free media. That number is from a while ago. Its more now. When they aren’t showing his rallies they are talking about what he said. Continuously replaying choice remarks dissecting then over and over again. They theorize how Hillary will react. They question was he telling the truth, has he flip-flopped, but they just skim the surface. They know that Trump is using them to distract from what is a very weak candidacy, or where he has said something that is racist, xenophobic, sexist, misogynistic – the list continues. The news outlets say that they have to cover Trump because he is the front runner but they have never given Hillary Clinton, also a front runner equal coverage. They haven’t given the democratic party’s primary equal coverage. What they will cover is how “disliked” Hillary is but they won’t talk about the positive that SHE has more votes than anyone else.

The media is setting up Donald Trump as the “how did he do it winner” and saying over and over again that they bear no responsibility in where he is but maybe they should question how they covered him. They say that Trump is excellent at “winning the news cycle” but never acknowledge that they let him win the cycle. Places like CNN and MSNBC seem to have forgotten that there is other news. They only cover other things when they cannot be ignored but then they run back to Trump. These days it is a “battle” between Trump and Clinton because Trump is attacking Hillary Clinton.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

We’ve seen this before with Climate Change, with the Iraq war, with cigarettes. News organizations seem to be forgetting about their charge to cover the facts. Occasionally, it sneaks out but it never seems to last. The last 8 years have prioritized the Republican narrative that climate change is a hoax, that Obama was a failure, they gave incredible coverage to him not being born in this country, with not enough acknowledgment that he was. They rarely counter Republicans who come on and say all of this. Too frequently, they just put opinion against opinion and usually go on without showing the facts, the truth.

Maybe if we push, if we encourage them, if we give them our support when they cover the facts they will do it more. We can’t let this continue. Facts and the truth must be prioritized. When someone lies on air they must call out the lies. When it is opinion they must say so.

The media is the fourth, unwritten, branch of our democracy. It is faltering. We can’t allow that.

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