How Trump saved the media from itself
Updated: May 3, 2020
What I'm about to say is probably going to sound heretical to many of my liberal friends but I'm thoroughly convinced that Trump is the best thing to happen to the media in a long time! Now before you start labeling me a Trump sympathizer or a member of the alt-right, hear me out.
As a self proclaimed independent, not beholden to any political affiliation, I can admit that many of my views are probably skewed more left than anything. Therefore, during the Obama era, while many of my friends were telling me that the media was biased I just kept thinking that it was hyperbole and that they only covered the good stuff because Obama was a good President. While my belief that he is and was a great president still holds true, experience has proved to me that if you turn over enough stones you're bound to find worms. Even stranger or enlightening is that if you turn over the same stone in the same location you'll always find people surprised to find the same thing.
Think 50 First Dates meets politics. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result, and in Root cause analysis theory it is common knowledge that correlation does not infer causation. Therefore, just because there is smoke, doesn't mean there is fire, and it's important to remember that incipient smoke is only good for signaling whereas incipient fires can provide warmth.
Nevertheless, media outlets will usually have more tinder than logs and can only produce so much news from it. One may even argue that the integrity of news is at jeopardy when left to the vices of anecdotes and conjecture. I mean remember the Obama Bieber issue? For better or for worse, when Fox News attacked Obama at least there was some level of creativity that ranged from his use of mustard and his pants selection, to his citizenship and illegal executive orders, but at the end of the day it was all smoke.
There will always be a media slant from the "for profit" news agencies, but it's important that we hold our respective media sources to a higher standard. It's easy to feed into hate. But we have to recognize that our hate can sometimes blind and trick us into believing whatever story best satisfies our personal beliefs and narrative.
That said, if you carefully listen to the tone and banter of major news outlets, you will hear a subtle shift in their effort to be more honest. AND WE OWE IT ALL TO TRUMP. One good example is the 17 intelligence agencies who "collectively" agreed that Russians hacked the election. Most news agencies have tried their best to correct the record and state it was 3 - 4.
Frankly I haven't seen the media held accountable for the things they say in a long time, if ever. Now I'm not saying all news outlets are adhering to this shift, and many have gotten away with blatant fake news stories without much fanfare (i.e. Fox News coverage of Obama's citizenship) but I have to commend those outlets that do make the attempt.
I think it's even safe to say that many more people are becoming critical of the actual reporters providing the info. It's important to remember that people like Wolf Blitzer, Sean Hannity, or even Rachel Maddow are not reporters. They rely on the hard work of folks on the ground doing the leg work and their editors to craft the message they present on air. Lots of Americans get their news from television, a terrible medium for obtaining good information.
So how did Trump help save the media? Well if you follow news closely, you've probably seen an uptick in the stories the MSM retracts, or just simply stop covering. The term Fake News has become so common in our English Lexicon I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the most used word in 2017, and again, we have Trump to thank for that!