quarta-feira, 9 de novembro de 2016

The Apocalypse of the American Mainstream Media

Some rules have changed, for the USA 2016 presidential elections. The changes were decided by a loosely-affiliated group of organizations from mainstream Media, shadowy politicians, large social media companies, big financial players, foreign NGO's (Non-Governmental Organizations) top-positioned government members and staff from one of the candidates.
They agreed to follow special guidelines for covering Trump's campaign. To justify the changes and the existence of the new guidelines, they used the same arguments that neo-nazis use to take the blame of the Holocaust out of Hitler's regime: it was the Jews fault, they brought it upon themselves, with their own segregationist behavior and lack of integration in the German society.
Some journalists elaborated, later, in order to make those guidelines more clear. Many of them used their own newspapers to explain to colleagues why and how they were allowed to liquidate Trump. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, for example, referred that applying "fairness" to the billionaire candidate could risk "normalizing Donald Trump", without the public "fully acknowledging what an abnormal candidate he was".
BuzzFeed News published a memo telling it's reporters that it was fine to call Trump "a mendacious racist" on social media. Donald Trump received a "different, harsher treatment than any candidate in memory", according to Ezra Klein, from Vox news site - something that "he deserves", she stressed.
"Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory", the columnist of Vox news site said. To Erza Klein, the different nature of Donald Trump made "members of the media think he is a threat to the free press as an institution" and believe "there is something abnormal about him, about his campaign".
The above specific characteristic made Trump "too dangerous for normal rules" - meaning, applying principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability was no more possible, wrote Howard Kurtz, a Fox News analyst.
The same opinion had journalist Gleen Greenwald, who told Slate magazine that “the U.S. media is essentially 100 percent united, vehemently, against Trump, and preventing him from being elected president” - a strategy that Greenwald has no problem with.
Michael Kinsley, from Vanity Fair, considered that "treating Donald Trump seriously was a serious problem". The billionaire "is utterly unqualified to be president of the United States", for the Vanity Fair journalist. This assertion took "Media outlets and candidates alike" to ponder "how to take down Trump", revealed Kinsley.
Another prestigious journalist (Liz Spayd), from a highly considered newspaper - New York Times - analysed the problem from another point of view. She considered that it was not possible to "belief that Hillary's mistakes (...) were even close to par with Trump's".
Doing that, would be to distort the reality and create what is called "false balance": to present each side of a debate as equally credible (both presidential candidates) when Trump was a abnormal person, completely unqualified to be president.
So, during this presidential campaign, American mainstream journalists acted like a lynching mob, carrying torches and following orders instead of principles taken from a Handbook of Journalism. But they failed to tie the noose around the neck of the victim. It's only a question of time until they find themselves hanging from a tree, as their utility, after this failure, was greatly reduced.

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