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(7,178 posts)
Sun Nov 6, 2016, 10:24 AM Nov 2016


Last edited Sun Nov 6, 2016, 05:13 PM - Edit history (1)

During the primaries, the cable TV networks virtually handed a free microphone to Donald Trump, while giving other candidates a small fraction of his attention. By February, Trump had “earned” nearly $2 billion of free media, more than six times that of his closest Republican competitor, Ted Cruz, and almost nine times the next closest candidate, Jeb Bush.

The tens of millions of Americans who most often get their news from television, 57 percent of U.S. adults according to the Pew Research Center, had been fed a steady diet of Trump PR.

TV gave scant attention to the long history belying Trump’s claims that his personal successes would surely “Make America Great Again.” Instead, the all-Trump-all-the-time media attention permitted the presidential candidate to perpetuate the myth he had built as the savvy billionaire who would be America’s savior.

Millions of Republican voters fell for it. Even during Republican primary debates, many of the questions were Trump-centric, focusing on his statements and positions. While Trump sucked up air time, little was left for other candidates, a huge disadvantage in their efforts to connect with the American public.

As ratings soared, CBS CEO Les Moonves said of Trump’s dominance in the election coverage, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.… The money’s rolling in and this is fun.”

Indeed, the Trump ratings boost has been manna for an industry that had been under assault from the internet, suffering years of shrinking audience, a rapid aging of viewer demographics and declines in profitability.

So, why shouldn’t TV executives be celebrating? Because the news business is about more than making money, more important things like ensuring the public is well informed. An informed electorate is crucial in a democracy where citizens are responsible for electing their leaders.

Unfortunately, millions of Americans who rely upon television as their primary source of news were misinformed; TV news coverage of the primary season, particularly cable TV news, failed the American public.

It’s true that earning a profit is important to sustaining any business. The days of news as a prestige loss-leader for the TV networks are long gone. But, the news business must measure itself by factors other than ratings and revenues because of its responsibility to the public.

So, it’s high time for TV news organizations to take a look in the mirror, commit to a serious review of their coverage of the presidential race and determine how they can better serve the viewers who depend upon them for accurate information.

Here are a few suggestions for starters: http://www.newsweek.com/blame-rise-trump-failure-tv-news-516162

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They knew the lies but covered him like a reality TV show - a hugely profitable one. dalton99 Nov 2016 #1
Greed Lotusflower70 Nov 2016 #2
And conversely aquamarina Nov 2016 #4
And consequently we have a society built on LuvNewcastle Nov 2016 #6
I also blame idiotic voters. LuvNewcastle Nov 2016 #5
^^^THIS EXACTLY^^^ Ligyron Nov 2016 #39
"The media is only as liberal as the conservative corporations that own it." CrispyQ Nov 2016 #7
+1 appalachiablue Nov 2016 #22
let's not forget the 2 BILLION dollars of free airtime for mr con man spanone Nov 2016 #8
FYI, Madam DUers for legal reasons are limited to 4 paragraphs of direct quotes librechik Nov 2016 #9
Absolutely. Bill Maher said it perfectly: "Media DO YOUR FUCKING JOB!!!" still_one Nov 2016 #10
failure? Idon't think so. They are doing exactly as they planned librechik Nov 2016 #11
The 4 paragraph rule is a legal copyright issue. It's a good article cry baby Nov 2016 #13
We Need To Keep Hammering Them colsohlibgal Nov 2016 #14
I don't want to hear about Trump's "patriotic supporters"... First Speaker Nov 2016 #15
The media IS the story of this election underpants Nov 2016 #16
bookmarked..n/t BlueCollar Nov 2016 #17
"The fact is, news organizations were well aware Trumpís image was based on a long series of lies." Martin Eden Nov 2016 #18
Amen! Soooooo much truth!!! mfcorey1 Nov 2016 #19
All the Media were interested in was a horse-race election. Paladin Nov 2016 #20
Spot on, but rather late. TexasMommaWithAHat Nov 2016 #23
If we don't get the money out of the process, nothing will change. CrispyQ Nov 2016 #25
Oh look, Trump's star got vandalized. CrispyQ Nov 2016 #24
Give that man a metal for trying to save our country. Jim Beard Nov 2016 #43
Excellent, excellent article!I sure hope we can find a huge pin to let the air out of this type Akamai Nov 2016 #26
Not only the 'Trump as reality television star' non-stop coverage, Stonepounder Nov 2016 #27
+1000 smirkymonkey Nov 2016 #28
The voters voted. Why do we always have to find an "other" to blame? nt MadDAsHell Nov 2016 #29
In the old days. paleotn Nov 2016 #31
And corporate media is still licking his arse Iliyah Nov 2016 #32
Amen DonCoquixote Nov 2016 #33
Yes. LuvNewcastle Nov 2016 #37
Print & web media much better than TV: WaPo, HuffPo, Atlantic, New York mag, NewsWeek. . . nt Bernardo de La Paz Nov 2016 #34
Well that sure is accurate AllyCat Nov 2016 #35
This is chillingly true, but I also blame liberalhistorian Nov 2016 #36
This article could have easily been written in 1985 tenderfoot Nov 2016 #40
print media does NOT get a pass here, they are complicit irisblue Nov 2016 #44
Dec 1969 #
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