29 January 2017

Media, you're fired!...aren't you?

Kellyanne Conway, one of the President's senior advisers, believes that the media was wrong about Donald Trump, given that he won the late election, and that there should be consequences for being wrong.

Who is cleaning house? Which one is going to be the first network to get rid of these people — the people who think things were just not true, it happened last week. I went on three network shows and spoke for 35 minutes on three network Sunday shows. You know what got picked? The fact that I said ‘alternative facts,’ not the fact that I ripped a new one to some of those hosts that they never cover the facts that matter....Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go. They are panels every Sunday, they are on cable news every day. Who is the first editorial writer? Who is the first blogger that will be left out, that embarrassed him at outlets? I’m too polite to mention their names, but they know who they are, and they are all wondering who will be the first to go. The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go.If the mainstream media were a thriving private sector business that actually turned a profit, which is not true of many newspapers, 20 percent of the people would be gone.

This is the latest disturbing comment from Trump's inner circle indicating that they really have a Putinesque notion of the media's role in public life. They didn't learn it from Putin, of course, because Putin didn't invent any of those ideas, but those ideas are identified with him right at the moment so the comparison remains apt. The idea seems to be that the news media's business is to relate that the President did this, the President said that, and nothing else. The media should not have opinions about politics, and before you're tempted to nod your head bear in mind that Conway isn't referring specifically to reporters or newsreaders. She's talking about programs or segments dedicated to analysis and opinion, and saying that critics of Trump who appear on those should be fired. Why? Because they don't reflect public opinion -- which Conway, presumably, identifies with the consensus of states in the Electoral College rather than the actual number of people voting last November? That's not how the news media work, or how they should work. She seems to think the President is owed some deference to which he has never been entitled in the United States, and that the corporate media has some obligation to trim its sails to the changing political winds as a service to their viewers or readers. Conway claims to believe in a "full and fair" press but complains against "incomplete coverage" that gives inadequate emphasis, by her measure, to the new President's accomplishments. The President of the United States is a powerful man, but neither he nor his minions get to define what "complete" is. So long as the news media are privately held, they owe the President nothing, and the fact that Conway and others like Steve Bannon think the media do owe their master something is far more alarming to me than anything Trump is doing to foreigners trying to enter the country. Let's hope people who agree with Trump on the latter don't give him a pass on the former.

1 comment:

hobbyfan said...

I would have Dr. Phil on speed dial to attend to the head cases President Trump has surrounded himself with.......