American journalism knows that it is in trouble. It is more than just egg-on-their-face due to the countless media predictions of Clinton’s win, telling audiences that Trump had “no path to the presidency,” whereas the Trump phenomenon then prevailed, leaving many reporters speechless. A few days after the election, President-elect Trump tweeted “Wow, the NY Times is losing thousands of subscribers because of their very poor and highly inaccurate coverage of the ‘Trump phenomena.’” (‘The Guardian’ ‘Trump uses Twitter to bash New York Times coverage and letter to subscribers’ 11.13.16) However, the Times was unrepentant and even insinuated Trump was at fault. There was a private meeting between corporate media and President-elect Trump this week where reportedly Trump had a meltdown; and today where a meeting between Trump and the New York Times was canceled. Donald Trump wrote in today’s tweet “I cancelled today’s meeting with the failing NY Times when the terms and conditions of the meeting were changed at the last minute.”
Journalism and the angry voter
It could be that American journalists are veering off into “Activist Journalism.” According to the International Center for Journalists, “The shift toward online and mobile media has blurred the line between journalism and activism, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing.” (www.icfj.org ‘How to define the line between journalism and activism in the digital age’ 5.2.16) Perhaps advocacy was more important than objectivity in standard reporting, and therefore, conventional media missed the two biggest stories of the year: Donald Trump’s election win, and the propelled, angry white male voter. As ‘PBS NewsHour’ reported, “This year will be remembered as the year of the angry voter.” Or as one non-mainstream blogger by the name of Wayne Allyn Root noted, “I wrote the book ‘Angry White Male’ to describe the coming Donald Trump victory, led by 40 million angry white males.” (www.townhall.com ‘The angry white voter election’ 11.9.16) . Many of these angry voters believe that there is a Trump media bias, and that the New York Times represents a primary offender.
Media bias propels Trump voters to the win
People are angry about the state of the nation, offended by politicians, and irate at the predominant media. However, popular media’s coordinated efforts against Donald Trump possibly mobilized his supporters more. And therein lies the irony: while many in the media were leading the cheers for a coronation -rather than election- of Hillary Clinton, their widespread backing and obvious bias possibly galvanized many Trump voters to the polls to prove them wrong! The New York Post was one newspaper that pointed out some of the seeming bias of the mediators during the debates - the softball questions to Hillary Clinton by Lester Holt of NBC News in contrast to hardball questions to Donald Trump being one stand-out example: “Holt is part of the Big Media establishment that has uniformly protected President Obama and broken all its own standards to trash Trump and elect Clinton.” (‘New York Post’ ‘The media loves Hillary-and it could cost her the election’ 9.27.16) A reader of the Post by the name of David Paler wrote to reporter Michael Goodwin stating “It occurred to me that the election might actually be a referendum on the media and its role in today’s world events.” Well said, Mr. Paler.