Truth Post-Trump: How The Media Erred

Posted by Abhijit Bey in GlobeScope
February 3, 2017

The world seems to have come to an end after the recent American election. The election, which was declared very much in favor of Hillary Clinton went “shockingly”or rather “surprisingly ” in the hands of  a “clown faced bigot” (not my phrase). This created ripples across the political sphere with every intellectual giving their points related to the results.

However, there was a  section of people who could not digest the results: the mainstream liberal media. Before we start dissecting the mainstream media, let’s put some facts straight. : Only 1 out of 50 media houses saw the wind coming. The L.A Times was the only newspaper that predicted a Trump victory; giving trump an edge of 5.4% against the Democrat’s stalwarts Hillary Clinton. All other major organization including the media Behemoths CNN, The New York Times, The Washington post among others  predicted Hillary as the 45th president of the United States.

The New York Times stated, “Our endorsement is rooted in respect for her intellect, experience, toughness and courage over a career of almost continuous public service, often as the first or only woman in the arena.”

Now  with Donald J. Trump sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the American media should smear their heads in shame and apologize for misleading the public. The  media, which, on one hand  calls itself the epitome of journalistic ethics, not only took sides but even forged data to make one candidate look superior to another.

A major pollster has some stark news, “Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media ‘to report the news fully, accurately and fairly’ has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32 percent saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year,” writes Art Swift, an analyst for the Gallup poll, which first asked the nation to weigh in on the press in 1972. These surveys shows that the trust deficit in media is rising constantly.

So, how exactly did Donald Trump interact with his audience and where did the media go wrong? Trump had a very special weapon which is one of the most abstract invention of human intelligence – The Social Media.  He used it and conveyed all his messages and ideals (even the ridiculous ones) through the social media.

But how could did Donald Trump win? Let us talk about what propelled the American people to vote for a person who was “a misogynist”, “anti Black”, “anti Latinos”, and most importantly “anti Muslims”.  He was all of those during the Primaries and his initial rallies. But chanting the “Anti Muslims”, “anti Black” rhetoric  was not the sole characteristic of his rallies. In fact he talked about the things which mattered the most to the general public. He talked about jobs creation, tax reduction, defeating ISIS and most importantly not being what is called “politically correct”. He referred  to terrorism (as said by his rival) as, “Radical Islamic terrorism” which gave the American voter the impression that he is someone who could take stern stands and.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton and the liberal media kept  playing the  broken records; his 20 year old tapes and the interviews of women who were allegedly assaulted by him in the past. Apart from sole rhetoric and allegations against Trump,  Clinton lacked  vision and her policies never  met the ears of her voters. She was further humiliated with the FBI  re-investigating her alleged corruption case, further engulfing her in negative publicity.

So, with the  inauguration of the new president the media must introspect within and also realize that there is no such thing as Post Truth. Even if there is, it’s certainly not a byproduct of the American election or Brexit. Lastly, there is a nexus which has been there for a long time, not only in western countries but also in other democracies like India. When everything happens according to the media , everything’s fine; but as soon as the people reject their  version of philosophy, they call it unbelievable, surprising, and even discover new words such as “Post Truth era”.