Thursday, March 31, 2016

“We were lap dogs, not watchdogs.”

Nicholas Kristof says it right out loud:
The news media and the cable TV talking heads are helping to sustain the terrifying Trump thing.

Kristof’s March 27 op-ed in the Sunday New York Times quotes the Times’ own finding that “we in the news media gave Trump $1.9 billion in free publicity in this presidential cycle.” That’s almost 200 times as much as Trump has spent for advertising.

The facts are clear: the news media have given Trump pretty much a free ride because Trump-talk pumps the audience ratings.

Kristof points out that the news media “were largely oblivious to the pain among working-class Americans and thus didn’t appreciate how much [Trump’s] message resonated.”

Of course some journalists have challenged Trump’s preposterous claims and his lies, but Kristof quotes Tom Brokaw about the impotence of fact-checking Trump: “His followers find fault with the questions, not with his often incomplete, erroneous or feeble answers.”

The op-ed concludes: “…on the whole we in the media empowered a demagogue and failed the country. We were lap dogs, not watchdogs.”

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.

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