December 26, 2015
The Vast Right-Wing Media Conspiracy

By this time, it is of course a cliché that Traditional Media does not merely react to the phenomenon known as Trumpism; rather, it is deeply involved and implicated in the creation of its own favorite story. The outrageousness, and the outrage thus provoked, are great advertising, analogues of politicians’ earned media. And the best part is, once press coverage boosts it to critical mass, it achieves perpetual motion by feeding on itself.

I’m not by any means saying that Trump is succeeding purely through media attention. He is a consummate salesman whose senses are so closely attuned to his customer that he knows what they want to hear yet fear to speak, and he gives voice to these repressed feelings. His short-sighted selfishness attunes to our less developed instincts of tribal cohesion and external aggression, aspects that manifest more often when we’re feeling stressed. And Trump supporters, who seem from his rallies to be overwhelmingly white and half of whom have high-school educations or less, are objectively under a great deal of economic stress given our current policies and outlook. He is also a master of social media despite his clear inability to grasp what, in fact, the internet is.

Still, the gap between coverage of what can only be called Trump’s antics and that of the serious social policies offered by Bernie Sanders is evidence of a yuuuuge media conspiracy. One, of course, that the participants do not realize they’re involved in; were it otherwise, the veil of secrecy would be easily pierced for all to see. Trump is clearly not 81 times as newsworthy as Sanders; but that’s the ratio of time ABC News, for example, has been clocked at for the entire year. The explanation is simple: covering Trump is simple. No understanding is required; simply record his reality show, as journalism over the past few decades continues gradually slipping into the role of stenographer. No analysis of substantive issues which might provoke backlash from knowledgeable readers or conspiracy-minded cranks, no need to think through the problems involved, in fact no need for conscious thought on the part of writer or reader.

No need, either, to point out that Trump and Sanders have about the same amount of support nationwide, as the Washington Post’s new real-time tool demonstrates.

[screenshot of the WaPo tool]


Posted by Chuck Dupree at December 26, 2015 05:50 PM
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Nailed it.

I will add people here are fine with this shit. If only they would turn off the tube and think a bit for themselves but they're not going to do that.

Posted by: One Fly on December 26, 2015 6:57 PM

I don't see it as out of the ordinary for commercial media to ignore serious discussion of issues. They've done that in every recent election. The media are interested in spectacle, controversy, the "campaign strategy", the horse race, anything but the issues. This year is no different.

Trump's idiotic statements are far more likely to boost viewership and ad revenue than Bernie's issue-oriented speeches. The fact that Hillary Clinton is getting anywhere near the Donald's level of coverage is the statistic that jumps out a me. Hillary Clinton is not interesting, she isn't a made-for-reality-TV candidate like Trump. There's really no excuse for spending time covering her boring campaign.

Posted by: Charles D on December 27, 2015 12:04 PM

I'm not sure who's working hardest to stomp Sanders, our corporate (fascist) media, or the democrats.

Posted by: Ten Bears on December 27, 2015 1:40 PM
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