For Trump read Boris Johnson or it could equally be Kardasian or Price!

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Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins
Greg_L-W

eMail: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

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Hi,

Trans Atlantic politics would seem to be sliding into the same sorry muddle largely of the old style struggling media’s making!

This article from this weeks New York Times makes an interesting read – made all the more interesting when you realise that with a few minor ajustments it could just as well be from a British publication and with regard to Boris Johnson.

It would seem there are two ends to the media the one manufacturing sex idols like Laura Croft, The Kardasians (whoever they are!), Cheryl Cole, Jordan (now rebranded Katie Price) and at the other end the likes of Donald Trump & Boris Johnson all nobodies with little more to offer than being media created ‘slebs’ willing to be exploited, enriched and promoted by what passes for journalism in todays shallow world of 3 minute attention spans!

THOSE of us in the news media have sometimes blamed Donald Trump’s rise on the Republican Party’s toxic manipulation of racial resentments over the years. But we should also acknowledge another force that empowered Trump: Us.

I polled a number of journalists and scholars, and there was a broad (though not universal) view that we in the media screwed up. Our first big failing was that television in particular handed Trump the microphone without adequately fact-checking him or rigorously examining his background, in a craven symbiosis that boosted audiences for both.

“Trump is not just an instant ratings/circulation/clicks gold mine; he’s the motherlode,” Ann Curry, the former “Today” anchor, told me. “He stepped on to the presidential campaign stage precisely at a moment when the media is struggling against deep insecurities about its financial future. The truth is, the media has needed Trump like a crack addict needs a hit.”

Curry says she’s embarrassed by the unfairness to other Republican candidates, who didn’t get nearly the same airtime.

An analysis by The Times found that we in the news media gave Trump $1.9 billion in free publicity in this presidential cycle. That’s 190 times as much as he paid for in advertising, and it’s far more than any other candidate received. As my colleague Jim Rutenberg put it, some complain that “CNN has handed its schedule over to Mr. Trump,” and CNN had lots of company.

Larry Sabato, a politics professor at the University of Virginia, says television networks “have a lot to answer for.”

“We all know it’s about ratings, and Trump delivers,” Sabato says. “You can’t take your eyes off him. When Trump is on, I stop what I’m doing and wait for the car crash.”

Sabato is particularly critical of Sunday morning news program hosts who have allowed Trump to “appear” by telephone, instead of in person.

Although many of us journalists have derided Trump, the truth is that he generally outsmarted us (with many exceptions, for there truly have been serious efforts to pin him down and to investigate Trump University and his various business failings). He manipulated television by offering outrageous statements that drew ever more cameras — without facing enough skeptical follow-up questions.

It’s not that we shouldn’t have covered Trump’s craziness, but that we should have aggressively provided context in the form of fact checks and robust examination of policy proposals. A candidate claiming that his business acumen will enable him to manage America deserved much more scrutiny of his bankruptcies and mediocre investing.

All politicians spin, of course. But all in all, I’ve never met a national politician in the U.S. who is so ill informed, evasive, puerile and deceptive as Trump.

When the fact-check website PolitiFact was ready to choose its “lie of the year” for 2015, it found that the only real contenders were falsehoods by Trump. So it lumped them together and awarded the title to “the many campaign misstatements of Donald Trump.”

That pattern of prevarication is what we in the media, especially television, didn’t adequately highlight, leaving many voters with the perception that Trump is actually a straight shooter.

The reason for this passivity goes, I think, to a second failure: We wrongly treated Trump as a farce. “The media made a mistake by covering Trump’s candidacy at the start as some sort of joke or media prank,” notes Danielle S. Allen, a political scientist at Harvard. “The repeated use of references to ‘the Donald’ across all platforms structured the conversation around ironical affection for a celebrity rather than around serious conversation of character and policy.”

“Trump was quite literally a laugh line,” says Ralph Begleiter, a former CNN correspondent and communications professor at the University of Delaware. Begleiter notes that Sarah Palin received more serious vetting as a running mate in 2008 than Trump has as a presidential candidate.

I personally made the mistake of regarding Trump’s candidacy as a stunt, scoffing at the idea that he could be the nominee. Mea culpa.

We failed to take Trump seriously because of a third media failing: We were largely oblivious to the pain among working-class Americans and thus didn’t appreciate how much his message resonated. “The media has been out of touch with these Americans,” Curry notes.

Media elites rightly talk about our insufficient racial, ethnic and gender diversity, but we also lack economic diversity. We inhabit a middle-class world and don’t adequately cover the part of America that is struggling and seething. We spend too much time talking to senators, not enough to the jobless.

All this said, I have to add that I don’t know if more fact-checking would have mattered. Tom Brokaw of NBC did outstanding work challenging Trump, but he says that when journalists have indeed questioned Trump’s untrue statements, nothing much happens: “His followers find fault with the questions, not with his often incomplete, erroneous or feeble answers.”

Likewise, Bob Schieffer of CBS tells me: “I’m not sure more fact-checking would have changed that much. We’re in a new world where attitude seems to count more than facts.”

That may be true. But I still think that we blew it and that this should be a moment for self-reflection in journalism.

Despite some outstanding coverage of Trump, on the whole we in the media empowered a demagogue and failed the country. We were lap dogs, not watchdogs.

To view the original article CLICK HERE

Regards,
Greg_L-W.

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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain having only 8%, if united, say. The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy; yet The EU & many of its vassal States are willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States to impose The EU’s chosen brand of democracy on them!

The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.

There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, when we leave the EU, using a better negotiated & updated version of the ‘Norway Model’ as a stepping stone to becoming a full member of the Eropean Economic Area, where all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU’s vassal regions, with an EFTA style status and can trade and negotiate independently on the global stage, as members of The Commonwealth and the Anglosphere.

One huge benefit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly in our own interest and that of our partners around the world in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and term imposed by unelected EU bureacrats and their ionterpretation of the rules handed down as if they were some great achievement by the EU.
The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.
How we go about the process of disentangling our future wellbeing from the EU is laid out in extensive, well researched and immensely tedious detail see >FleXcit< or for a brief video summary CLICK HERE
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