How to Avoid Falling for the Main Stream Media Hype about the Election
April 13, 2016
The Main Stream Media (MSM) has pivoted from its focus on “Trump All the Time” to its more usual “horse race” perspective on calling the prospective winners and losers of the remaining primaries and caucuses. Both the focus on “Trump All the Time” and the horse race perspective on the nominating process are all designed to boost ratings and, more importantly, political advertising revenue.
CBS President Leslie Moonves made it unequivocally clear that Donald Trump’s presence was a good thing for CBS’s revenue, even if it was not good for the U.S. Cable networks seem to have benefitted even more than networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika have done more than simply highlight Trump; they have actively bolstered his candidacy under the guise of reporting on his campaign. As reporters, however, they failed for months to rigorously question as they highlighted him on their show. Instead, it was eventually left to conservative radio host, Charlie Sykes and their own MSNBC colleague, Chris Matthews, to uncover the depths of Trump’s ignorance and lack of policy understanding.
Matthews, for example, asked Trump how he would enforce illegal abortion if the Republican call for making it illegal became law. After hemming and hawing, and showing that he had never considered the issue of enforcing a prohibition on abortion, Trump admitted that women, as well as their physicians, would have to be punished.
Although Trump’s pronouncement was logical, it contradicted the conservative pretense that the instigator of a crime would typically escape punishment. Despite the outcry from liberals (because it actualized the illegality of abortion) and conservatives (because it put the lie to notion that a woman asking for an abortion could escape punishment), it showed that Trump’s notion of a conservative to be based on Stephen Colbert’s caricature of a conservative.
Now that any pretense that there is either intellectual substance to Trump or the Conservative Movement has been eliminated, the MSM has begun to focus on the usual horse race aspects of the election. MSM pundits have begun to blather about how the Hillary and Bernie contest is disintegrating into as nasty contest as the GOP and what paths still exist for the Republican candidates to get their party’s nomination.
While the tone of the contest between Hillary and Bernie may have sharpened as the end nears, both contestants have remained incredibly issue related compared to the Republicans. As a result of this difference, along with revelations Trump identified, the last vestiges of the GOP’s intellectual respectability has been undermined. Hopefully, the MSM will begin to report on these differences and what they mean for the country.
Until then, the MSM has turned to repeatedly reviewing the number of delegates each of the candidates will need at the conventions and how likely it is for them to pick up those delegates in primaries. A gaping omission in this coverage is how the candidates intend to pick up delegates in the interim between the primaries and before the convention.
Hopefully, the stimulus of major political changes, if not a realignment of the parties, will motivate the MSM to analyze those changes and what they may mean for the country.