As I wrote here, I find it interesting that in one sitting so many contradictions regarding Donald Trump’s rise to power are being put forth. In one sitting, media are blamed for giving Trump “too much” attention while that same Donald Trump lambastes not only individual members but entire media and press itself. This is not a superficial or light matter. In fact, Trump’s remarks against press and media were of such volatile levels it caused a Newsweek article writer to write and quote:
So what’s the plan? How can journalists prepare themselves for the age of Trump?
Aaron offers some advice. “Don’t normalize; scrutinize,” he says. “Don’t be a stenographer. Stay away from the press conferences and golf courses and dig into the documents, appointments, and policies —including policies that will shape journalism, the internet and the media business.”
What else? “Stand up for those asking President Trump hard questions. Show solidarity with everyone committing acts of journalism even if they don’t have fancy credentials. Get a good lawyer on speed dial. And encrypt everything.”
“Donald Trump’s Threat To Press Freedom: Why It Matters” Mirren Gidda, Zach Schonfeld
Of users of social media that actually clink links that lead to articles and not just scrolling by imbibing headlines, Facebook users rank higher than Twitter users. However, it should be noted that most of all clickable content posted to both Facebook and Twitter is simply shared(or ‘retweeted’). That is, these types of posts are shared simply because of their headlines, but rarely are they clicked for further reading. A study completed by Columbia University in conjunction with the French National Institute, clickable content such as news articles posted on Facebook or Twitter are 41 times out 100 to be clicked.
One issue I do take with all this is that both Hillary and Trump had moments of highly concentrated media coverage. Both of those moments detailed what many would regard as “negative” coverage. And yet, as I stated here, only Trump is being considered for gaining a benefit. Even given processing fluency, both Hillary and Trump had headlines repeating and reiterating their opponent’s branding of them. I feel it necessary to mention that Hillary’s entire campaign pitch when not an appeal to historical identarian possibility, is an attack on Trump. Meaning, much of Hillary’s campaign is using media to put Donald Trump in media. At some point, I have to question Hillary, and thus this entire Democratic Party, for making US Left-leaning thinkers focus on Donald Trump instead of focusing on ideas and interests that mattered outside of a campaign against Donald Trump for US President.
Part of my reasoning here is to expose this notion that Donald Trump received “billions of free media” as if Hillary one) did not, and two) did not also give Donald Trump same amounts of “free” media coverage. My line of thinking here wishes to not dispel but at least seriously question this notion that Facebook not censoring media outlets that lack credibility aided Trump in a way it did not also aid Hillary. Deep down, I do feel it must be written, it is media, stupid, of course, they reported every scathing thing that came across a Twitter feed. But, that same media was not exactly reporting every great quality of Donald Trump or his campaign.
These spectacles created by Trump and exploited by media existed in a space where they are considered “negative”, “hostile”, “embarrassing”, and “detrimental to a presidential campaign”. I really dislike finding my Self defending US Media outlets, but there is a reality that must be addressed here. Despite hundreds of comments made by Trump that deserved head tilts signaling disbelief and disgust, most media outlets– including FOX news— reported them as such. I refuse to be upset at media outlets for doing their jobs and voters still deciding to elect Trump. My question now becomes: do we want people to be informed, or do we simply want them to be robotic regurgitators of responses when respectability is on our ballot boxes?
No one had a problem with anyone making fun of Donald Trump or using him as butts of jokes until he became their forty-fifth President, defeating Hillary Clinton, thus defeating Democratic ticket. False news stories circulated before Donald Trump ran for president. This is not to say I do not understand him being elected as part small and light thing such as a piece of straw accumulating to point of being able to break any animals back let alone a camel. It is, however, to say, that if people are so gullible as to elect a president based on Facebook false facts unflagged, then did that gullibility start after or before electing Obama twice? Or has it not sunk in by now that many of those that pushed Trump into office, also helped push Obama in that same office?
As a Buzzfeed article suggests, both Left and Right leaning(biased) news outlets have been found spreading false information on Facebook. This is not a factor of Facebook not culling its user’s newsfeeds enough. (While we are on that subject, let’s please be honest here, if Zuckerberg & Crew had decided to implement such invasive strategies, they would still be that targeted end of flak). People choose to believe what they wish to believe. In one breath you have CNN president Jeff Zucker stating that CNN should not have aired Donald Trump rallies in their entirety, and in that next breath, people are upset that false statements are being attributed to Donald Trump. Contradictions of this variety scare me more than Trump’s actual presidency.
I fear a democracy that attacks free speech when it does not get its way. I sense that some are not upset that media did its job for once, I sense they are upset that media did not do job they wish media had done.