In a recent blog I discussed the media’s role in keeping the spotlight on unqualified dummies to get clicks. My opinion is that those who claim to cover hip-hop and mainstream political media, have allowed frauds to occupy positions of national influence. These media outlets instigate an atmosphere of stupidity or misinformation, by allowing the discussion of irrelevant facts skewed by their own intentional bias. Bias and prejudice are something we all have in varying degrees, but it seems that the media’s infatuation with trivialities and negativity has brainwashed many into staying stuck on stupid mode. That switch in a person’s mind that allows them to be willfully ignorant of facts and reality is a comfortable place for many. It allows them to suspend disbelief of what they see or hear for a much better version they picture in their mind. A recent set of videos seems to suggest my assertions about the media bias are true.
In the realm of politics, I talked about how Donald Trump is placed on an equal level to Hillary Clinton despite the lack of qualifications just as mumble rappers are placed on the same level as legitimate hip-hop artists. A study by Harvard attacks the media coverage of the 4 weeks surrounding the Republican and Democratic Conventions (RNC/DNC) held this past summer. Starting from one week before the Republican convention, until the end of the week after the Democratic Convention, the Shorenstein Center did analysis of TV media coverage from ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, the Los Angeles Times, NBC, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Washington Times. The results were discussed on The Young Turks, an internet media source that leads the Progressive-Left media which wasn’t represented in the analysis. Significantly however, during a discussion fo the article, TYT left out certain factors which they, indeed, contributed to.
They correctly stated that, astonishingly, 89% of the coverage was NOT about the candidates policies or qualifications. It was instead about the ‘horse-race’, close contest, media spectacle they’re trying to promote for ratings and ‘other’ things. The other things include Trump’s numerous outlandish statements which have nothing to do with policy that keep him in the headlines. For Trump, as an entertainer, all publicity is good when it dominates the coverage. For Hillary Clinton, less than 1% of the discussion of her was about her policy and the biggest category was on one topic, emails. CNN alone dedicated 17% of their discussion of Clinton to the email ‘scandal’ and how it was being perceived even though she was cleared of all criminal wrong-doing by the FBI. TYT pointed this discrepancy out but failed to emphasize that, for reasons outside of fake neutrality, they did the same thing. The Progressive-Left has mimicked the same smear campaign of not reporting Hillary Clinton’s policies in comparison to Trump. Instead, they have still been comparing Clinton to what they would have preferred with Bernie and how the Dems were wrong for nominating her. They have been flirting with the idea of voting Libertarian or Green Party just to make their protest known. Their position has been that no one can force them to do the right thing. TYT’s John Idarola admitted that they follow stories their audience, many of whom pay monthly memberships, wants to see discussed. During the primaries, the audience became almost exclusively, Bernie supporters, so even after they were over, TYT has tried to maintain YouTube click averages by continuing to do anti-Hillary stories. During the DNC, the analysis shows the uptick in negative coverage by the media.
It is indisputable that the RNC took on a much more negative tone than the DNC, which had a full Broadway ensemble performing “What the World Needs is Love”. However, notice in Week 3, during the DNC and Week 4, after it, the rise in negative coverage of the campaigns. The radical left media has also provided a steady stream of negative coverage, down to Kyle Kulinski of the internet show Secular Talk, toying with the idea of starting a new movement called the ALT-Left, patterned after the neo-white-supremacist group the ALT-Right. Cenk admitted during his segment (below) that people might make the wrong decision in this election and vote for Trump based on “theatrics” instead of being informed about policy. Cenk, who reluctantly says he’ll vote for Hillary, has yet to praise her without providing caveats as to why he’s still against her. That is to appease his Bernie-or-Bust crowd of viewers created during the primary, where he filled their head full of false promises that didn’t pan out (like he did during the SuperBowl). Now, through a guilty pause, he comes up with the idea of media theatrics misinforming the voters. It was really a reliance on negativity about Hillary created by their own, constant coverage on the optics of Hillary’s supposed ‘scandals’.
In that same study TYT cites, surprisingly two major points they are explicitly guilty of, are left out. One point is shown on the chart (which they didn’t use). It shows that the when you break down the numbers, you find an obvious pattern, which Thomas Patterson’s article specifically points out. He says, there’s an obvious tendency toward negativity in the coverage by the media. In essence, positivity, negativity and neutrality should all theoretically be in balance in the media unless there are more or less positive/negative stories to report. Still, negativity is the only number that starts off at that balance point of 33% (Week 1). Positivity starts at a deficit of -10% (23%) while Neutrality is higher than it should be by +11% (44%). During the negative RNC, positive media coverage increased by 1% and neutrality decreased by 1% to compensate. During the widely praised, positive DNC, one week after the RNC, positive coverage stayed the same (24%), while negative coverage rose by 5% along with the corresponding 5% drop in neutrality. One week after all races, genders, people of varying abilities and gender preferences recalled the help and support they were given by Hillary Clinton throughout her life, the coverage nose dived into negativity. Positive coverage decreased by 8% and neutrality further decreased by 1% while negative coverage increased by 9%. The Young Turks and the rest of left-wing journalists contributed to the perception of negativity around the Clinton campaign which may have inspired mainstream media to pursue the stories. The other guilty omission TYT left out from the Patterson’s article, is shown on the chart below.
Patterson believes that there’s a new emphasis on journalists dictating the news cycles instead of the events on the ground or the policies of each candidate. The chart above shows that journalists interpretation and discussion about the news made up the overwhelming amount of media coverage about the candidates, not the words of the candidates themselves. An article by Adrienne Lafrance on the Atlantic stated that …
As of March, journalism’s obsession with Trump had totaled the equivalent of about $2 billion in free media, according to an analysis by mediaQuant, a company that uses advertising rates to assign a dollar amount to the amount of media coverage a candidate gets. Hillary Clinton had garnered about $746 million in free media at the time, The New York Times reported, while Bernie Sanders free media totaled about $321 million.
The idea that Trump gets over double the amount of free media more than Hillary doesn’t overshadow the idea that journalists themselves are picking the stories and providing the interpretation. The journalists expectations of access to Hillary Clinton became a negative story that they harped on to discredit her. She avoided press junkets because every question was about emails and false scandals. Now we see how all that has played out so far. Now, so-called journalists are able to skew public opinion by the way they cover news. On one hand, for the sake of the horse race and false equivalence, and on the other hand, hurt feelings from Progressives who have to be begged to do the right thing, the media created a negative narrative of Hillary Clinton during and after the most openly positive convention in years. The most damning evidence may be that immediately following the DNC, Hillary got an enormous 10-15 point bounce which far exceeded Trump’s post-convention bounce. The people who watched the convention were not yet swayed by the coverage they were about to receive. After several weeks of relentless negativity, Hillary again finds herself locked in a dead-heat with an unqualified candidate who is afforded every privilege a low bar of achievement brings. Meanwhile, Hillary is scrutinized for transgressions like email safety and non-existent pay-for-play schemes from her foundation. The Young Turks just barely avoided telling the story of how Hillary has had the deck stacked against her for 25 years and now we have more proof of it.
In the 1960s, journalists began shifting from their traditional descriptive style of reporting— “who, what, when, and where”—to a more interpretive style that included the “why.” It served to shift control of the news to reporters. Newsmakers had the upper hand with the older form.- Thomas Patterson, Harvard, Professor