The Oligarchy Strikes Back: Media versus President Trump

yoda

Press hostility to the President is so extreme that when he waves his hand he risks investigations as to whether he sent a secret signal to Russia and when he laughs he’s liable to be called a demented sociopath.

What is behind the virulent and unremitting attacks? The obvious explanation is that the political-media establishment, threatened by the grassroots movement that put Mr. Trump in the White House, has in effect declared war. The movement backing Trump is not like a conventional Republican takeover in the long-accepted rotation of parties. This is not politics as usual but rather an attempt to create a different package of policies. It challenges the authority of the oligarchy that stands for a similar agenda whether a Democrat or a Republican is elected President. Perhaps more important, it reduces the value of the contacts and skills accumulated by men and women who regard themselves as running the country.

The sudden and unexpected jolt was no doubt shocking. They had looked forward to Hillary Clinton as President and for themselves to continue doing whatever they do. The ground shifted under them, this was not supposed to happen, so they are angry, frightened and very much inclined to take it out on Mr. Trump.

While that is part of the story, the media has another reason to attack him: hitting him is good for business! In fact Trump bashing is the best thing that happened to the press in a long time, especially as he tends to hit back, thereby bringing the paper or channel into the limelight. A fight with the President provides priceless publicity.

Mr. Trump is right that the mainstream media is a dying industry. Attacking him is the solution they’ve found to slow their decline. The more they create a sense of crisis and danger, the more attention they get. Therefore they have a powerful motive to report that he is dangerous.

For now, that is better for media business than telling something like the truth. To report that Trump and his associates are pursuing a policy to work with Russia to stabilize the Middle East is nothing as sensational as hinting that they’re in Russia’s pay.

Three points about the media’s campaign merit attention. One, it is mostly just noise. Two, it is confined to some parts of the country, especially New York and Washington. Three, it feeds on the President’s willingness to engage; without that it would have little impact.

Mr. Trump is used to engaging with the media but in his current position this works against him. He should communicate directly with the public via social media and speeches in person or on television, not through press conferences or interviews. This will not lessen the mainstream media’s bias against him but will keep public attention on his direct communications, reducing the role of news cycles.

In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda tells Luke Skywalker: first you have to unlearn what you learned. Mr. Trump needs to unlearn his approach to interacting with the establishment media and instead engage only with the citizenry.

Chidem Kurdas

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One Response to “The Oligarchy Strikes Back: Media versus President Trump”

  1. FreedomNewsUsa Says:

    Oligarchy owns us.

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