The media continues to spin the narrative that the wheels are falling off the Trump campaign.
If I didn’t consume as much news as I do, and just watched the networks sparingly, it would look to me like Trump was still kicking babies out of his rallies when in fact, his campaign has shifted its message. He's been softening his rhetoric on immigration and reaching out to minorities. He recently held a national security roundtable, which wasn’t covered by the media until days later.
This election year has put media bias in the national spotlight. Donald Trump has repeatedly called out the media for its biased reporting. At times, he has even revoked news agencies’ press credentials after they published a negative story — which I do not support.
It’s understood that writers generate sensational headlines to grab the reader’s attention, but that should not carry into the news story as it so often has in this election year.
One example of over-sensationalizing the story was after a press conference in July when Trump sarcastically asked Russia to find Clinton’s lost emails. “Donald Trump asked Russia to ‘help’ find the missing emails,” read an NBC News story. Anyone who watched the press conference could tell that Trump said that in jest. Yet, few reports mentioned that his comment was sarcastic. Even when Trump said he was being sarcastic, the media continued to report on the comment seriously.
Meanwhile, Clinton is able to get away with not giving a press conference in over 260 days. Trump gets virtually every statement put under the microscope, while Clinton avoids holding a press conference for almost a year.
During an MSNBC interview, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said Clinton hasn’t held a press conference because “the press isn’t legitimate” and is “biased” against her, as evidenced by the coverage of her private email server.
It’s not my intention to defend Trump’s outlandish comments. Trump has certainly said some stuff that has made me cringe. However, the media regularly takes his words out of context in order to make them seem much more controversial.
CNN has repeatedly fact-checked Trump’s comments live on their chyron. Meanwhile,
I haven’t seen CNN fact-checking Clinton live.
Hillary Clinton is definitely a more calculated and prepared political speaker, often being accused of playing it safe. Her speeches can come off as boring and unable to prompt attention-grabbing headlines, so she often gets a pass from media scrutiny.
The media has a tendency to focus on comments by Trump for weeks on end, followed by wall-to-wall coverage of how the Trump campaign is spiraling out of control.
The media gave more coverage to Ryan Lochte’s possible lies about being robbed at gunpoint than to Trump’s long anticipated shift to becoming a more presidential candidate.
There is a certain duty to report on comments that a candidate makes, but readers and viewers should not have to dig and dig to figure out the context of a candidate’s comments.
It really isn’t difficult to add one or two sentences to provide context and make the story more balanced. Reporters have an obligation to give their audience unbiased, informative news stories.
The news outlets should certainly not serve as the Trump propaganda machine, but they shouldn’t be the anti-Trump propaganda machine either. Balanced reporting. Just do it.