The media has sunk to lower lows in dishonesty this campaign season. Against Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and others.
One example is the Clinton Foundation story:
Democrat Pat Caddell (who is an honest man) called the Clinton foundation “the greatest scandal in the history of the United States”. But this story has not received the attention that the greatest scandal ever should get. Instead it’s been swept under the rug.
By the media’s reaction, one might think that Donald Trump saying something politically incorrect is the biggest scandal ever.
Bernie Sanders got a hard dose of media bias himself. As the wikileaks e-mail dump showed the media actively colluded with the DNC to help Hillary defeat Bernie.
The people have caught on to the medias deceptions. Only 6% of people trust the mainstream media. The loss of credibility is one reason for it’s decline in ratings.
It doesn’t get more mainstream and establishment then print media. Look at the clear downtrend in Newspaper circulation:
Evening news has also taken a ratings hit.
There was a time when the evening news was the main news source for most people. For those decades up until 1980, there was one 1, 2 or 3 choices. All were pretty much the same thing. There was no cable news, no internet. Today we have thousands of different political shows on TV with various styles and formats.
The increased competition is good for democracy. It breeds innovation, efficiency, and quality. Evening news shows and their continued bias continue to decline in the ratings:
In 1980, CNN started the first 24 hours news channel. FoxNews, MSNBC and other smaller outlets joined the market later.
It has been a hit. Making massive profits while providing more interesting and entertaining news coverage.
But like newspapers and evening news, cable news demographics skew older. The average age of a cable news viewer is mid-60’s. This raises concerns about future prospects.
Ratings peaked in 2008, but since has suffered a 1/3 drop:
One reason why is that more people are turning to the internet as their news source. Many people get their news on facebook, websites, blogs, YouTube, etc. More convenient. Virtually anything can be found with a few clicks on the computer.
From 2010 – 2015, usage of the internet as news source has more than doubled.
Quickly gaining ground on cable news.
The problems with cable news are many:
1. The format. Usually the format is one host with different guests debating an issue.
Often times the guests have financial incentives to maintain their current position. They are strategists or campaign managers or some other job tied to their career. This makes honest discussions between these commentators very rare.
2. Misinformation. In a 5 minute clip, a guest may rattle off 5 factoids in a paragraph. In real time the host or opponent may not be familiar with whatever that person is bringing up. Fact-checking the guests assertions after the interview is rarely done.
This misinforms, confuses and frustrates viewers.
3. The facts are not presented in a succinct manner. Too much fluff.
4. The commentary isn’t very good. Yes there are some good people on cable news offering insights. But the problem is most of the people adhere to political correctness. Political correctness is lying to be polite. Most viewers don’t want that, most people want to know what the truth is. This is one reason why Trump yields huge ratings. He tells the truth and doesn’t adhere to political correctness.
It’s why Trump clashes with the media. Even FoxNews has a contentious relationship with him over political correctness. Exposing FoxNews for some of it’s faults.
Some of these issues in this campaign have caused me to turn to the internet as my primary news source. I have found…. I should have done it so much sooner!
It doesn’t have to be done sitting in front of a computer screen. Any LCD TV can double as a computer monitor. A few extension cables for mouse and keyboard and it can be just as comfortable as watching a TV program.
I’ve found some excellent sources that I enjoy for their smart, logical commentary: Stefan Molyneux, Paul Joseph Watson, Adam Corolla, Anne Coulter, Black Pigeon. Some people on YouTube make long or short documentaries about different subjects, those can be very informative and entertaining. I’m sure there are many more good videos and sources I have yet to discover. It is practically limitless.
We do not just vote in November. We vote every day with our viewing choices. This either aids or harms existing media outlets.
The people’s revolt against establishment media propagandists has already begun.
Some media outlets who trade in dishonest propaganda are suffering because of it. Some are off the air entirely.
The more battles like this are won, the more chance honest discourse can breath in our democracy.