From the second Donald Trump came down the escalator in Trump Tower and declared his candidacy for president, the media had been in denial.
He was running as a joke, and his campaign wouldn’t last more than a few months, we were told. It did.
Sure he was still in the race months later, but he’d never be the nominee, we were told. Than he quickly picked off his competitors one by one.
But surely he’d never beat Hillary Clinton! Oops.
The media had pushed the narrative of an inevitable Hillary presidency so long and often even they (and Hillary) believed their own hype. Clearly they were wrong, and even as you see the crazies on your Facebook feeds continue to blame Trump’s victory on racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, some in the media are actually realizing how out of touch they really are.As Townhall reported: The media has been getting self-reflective all of a sudden after Donald Trump’s stunning landslide of a win… Anchors everywhere could not fathom a Trump victory and couldn’t wait to report on polls that consistently had him second to Hillary Clinton. They now have to call him President Trump for at least four years. After Trump proved all the polls wrong (except this one), The New York Times promised its readers that from now on it would report honestly.
Many media figures helped Trump’s competitors this past year in trying to define him as unfit for the presidency. The Huffington Post routinely called him a racist and stuck any coverage of his candidacy in the “Entertainment” section. CNN proved to be one of the guiltiest of the cable news networks, often mocking him subtly on their chyrons and not so subtly in their panel discussions, when analysts kept saying that Clinton couldn’t lose. On the weekend before the election, CNN’s Brian Stelter even hosted a special segment called Trump’s “War on the Media,” where he outlined all of the times Trump supposedly bullied the media. At the end of the program, Stelter encouraged his viewers to donate to journalism schools.
Fast forward a few days to Trump’s electoral win, and Stelter is trying to practice some humility. He admitted this weekend that viewers may have lost some “trust” in the network and that he and his colleagues have to somehow mend that relationship. “Chalking all of this up to a surprise victory is not enough,” he said. “This was a collective failure; a failure of imagination. In some ways, a mass delusion. And the media contributed to it. So now it’s time for some serious soul searching.”
Yep, “mass delusion.” Just let that sink in for a bit.
Well, at least one person gets it. Does anyone think the media will actually change one bit next election though? Nah, me either.
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]