Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States, I have been concerned by the overall legitimacy that the media has given his candidacy. In their attempt to present the news without showing a bias or taking a position on anything, they have reported everything that the man has said and done in the campaign. Yet despite their attempts, within their notions of journalistic fairness and given their ideological bents, they still get criticized by Trump and his surrogates and followers for being biased. When the media covers a controversy Trump created, they gave equal time to Trump’s surrogates or supporters to justify his controversy (absurdity/profanity/racism/sexism/name calling or the like). The main broadcast and cable media have not done investigative reporting about Trump. However, they do report on investigative efforts by others—newspapers and bloggers. Then too, they have tended to give Trump surrogates and supporters equal time in decrying these uncovered facts. In both the media reporting of what Trump said or did and of 3rd party investigations either, Trump or his surrogates or supporters respond by making a charge about Hillary Clinton and how bad she is. The campaign message seems to be, “yes, but Hillary is responsible for everything wrong with the world and she is worse.” They absolutely do not respond to the questions asked; the surrogates and supporters copy their Führer. Indeed, the main stream media has bent over backwards to give him air time. When one of his Republican opponents in the primaries complained, on the air to a CNN anchor, the anchor replied, “Yes, when we call him he responds, comes in or picks up the phone. When we call you, you are generally not available to talk to us nor call us back.” So, in a sense, Trump’s availability made for more news that the media could cover. And, the media covered everything!
Over the past couple of days, I have seen a slight shift in the primary media coverage of Trump (except Fox which I have not seen in a week or so). Anchors point out, pointed and forcefully, that the surrogates are not answering the questions. The media has stopped bending over backwards to be fairer than fair and have had segments critical of trump in which the surrogates or supporters are not asked for comments or even present. Voting has already started in some locations. Indeed, here in Washington will have our ballots at least 10 days prior to the official finish line. So, is the shift in coverage, too little too late? Or, is the old adage the politicians used to utter, I don’t care if you call me good or bad as long as you spell my name right, true?
So, yes, I am still afraid my fellow Americans will vote this idiot into office. Regardless, we have to figure out how to make those who support Trump (and Trump himself) actually understand the values that make us one county; you know, the life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, all people are created equal and justice for all values.
Warmest regards, Ed