One of the biggest issues I’ve had throughout this very long 2016 election has been the way that the media has covered Donald Trump. Not to say that they haven’t been critical of his never-ending list of vile comments and idiotic behavior, but they really haven’t covered him the way that they should have.
You don’t have to take my word on it, just look at the Republican party’s behavior toward Trump since he’s become their candidate. The lukewarm reception (if not outright rejection by some Republicans) is proof that, for far too long, both the GOP and the media weren’t taking his horrific behavior seriously enough. Then when the Republican party was obviously trying to derail his campaign — it was already too late.
Donald Trump has benefitted greatly from the fact that, for most of his campaign, nobody took it seriously.
Well, the media still isn’t really taking the dangers of a potential “President Donald Trump” seriously enough. It reminds me of something Bill Nye once called the media out for when it came to how they cover climate change. They take one scientist who believes in climate change and put them side-by-side on a screen with someone who denies climate change, making both “sides” appear equal when they’re absolutely not.
This is exactly what the media has done with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They’ll use the same tone and style while discussing Clinton’s use of a private email server (even though nothing nefarious has been remotely linked to it) as they do with evidence pointing to the Russian government trying to manipulate our election to help elect Trump, and his blatant ties to white nationalism which has seen a resurgence since he announced his candidacy. By doing so, the media makes both candidate’s “issues” seem equal in severity — when they’re absolutely not.
This is a point former CNN host Soledad O’Brien made during an interview with her former employer where she blasted the network for “normalizing white supremacy” by not scrutinizing Trump like they should be.
“If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done, actually quite well, has normalized white supremacy,” O’Brien stated. “I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here is ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful. I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates. And they do a five-minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that.”
“And then Donald Trump will say, ‘Hillary Clinton, she’s a bigot.’ And it’s covered, the journalist part comes in, ‘They trade barbs. He said she’s a bigot and she points out that he might be appealing to racists,'” she continued. “It only becomes ‘he said, she said.’ When in actuality, the fact that Donald Trump said she’s a bigot without the long laundry list of evidence, which if you looked at Hillary Clinton’s speech, she actually did have a lot of really good factual evidence that we would all agree that are things that have happened and do exist. They are treated as if they are equal.”
O’Brien then called out cable news for embracing the kind of disgusting hatred that’s helped fuel Trump’s campaign by appealing to an “angry audience” to help boost revenue.
“So hateful speech brings a really interested, angry audience,” O’Brien said. “This is genius! We should do this more often. What shall we do when this election is over? We’re going to have to think about ways to really rile people up, make them angry and divide them.”
She also called out the fact that cable news rarely digs into the context of the issues anymore, instead choosing to “cover the back and forth” drama between candidates and their surrogates.
I couldn’t agree more with what she said.
We have a major party’s presidential candidate who’s using language that’s very similar to the rhetoric used by white nationalists; whose former campaign manager has extensive links to pro-Russian groups during the same time the Russian government appears to be trying to help elect Trump; and you have blatant white supremacy groups praising Trump’s policies — yet most of the media will discuss these issues in the same exact way as they do some ridiculous conspiracy about Clinton’s health or her email server which hasn’t been linked to anything remotely unethical or illegal.
It’s absolutely absurd.
Furthermore, O’Brien is spot-on when pointing out that much of the media has allowed people who are essentially white nationalists to have a prominent platform on which to peddle their racist and radical propaganda in defense of Trump.
The bottom line is this, the media has failed — miserably — when it comes to properly vetting and scrutinizing the type of danger a potential Trump presidency poses to our nation.
Watch the interview below via CNN:
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