recentpopularlog in


« earlier   
Alt-Right Troll To Father Killer: The Unraveling Of Lane Davis
“Crazy attracts crazy. And people feed each others’ delusions on the internet.”

“It makes me sad,” Ralph told me. “I know what it’s like to be disconnected.”

If the Ralphs felt guilt over the killing, though, they felt an equal amount of anger and bewilderment. It astounded them that Lane had been serious all along. No one could really believe, they thought, in a Marxist plot to enforce pedophilia with antifa shock troops.

“He completely ruined his life with some stupid internet shit,” Ralph said. “He didn’t get the game.”

“I watch Alex Jones,” Nora told me. “To me, that’s entertainment. We don’t really think the frogs are gay. I don’t think the protein powder works. I never thought some people watch this stuff and are like, yes, this is hard-hitting journalism. I thought most of us could distinguish between entertainment and facts. I never really thought people were stupid enough to get caught up in this stuff.”
5 hours ago by henryfarrell
Yes, blame the media for Donald Trump. Up to a point. - Vox
Numerous studies have documented that Trump received far more media coverage than did his Republican rivals, even before any votes were cast. For example, one study finds that Trump received almost a billion dollars’ worth of free media coverage through February — an amount dwarfing that of any of his rivals.

Political scientists believe this outsize coverage likely produced several effects. First, it signaled that Trump’s candidacy was something to take seriously, rather than a novelty act that viewers might dismiss. Moreover, the disproportionate coverage of Trump’s views on issues like trade and immigration made these issues more salient to voters, meaning they were more likely to consider them when choosing a candidate.

Conversely, Trump’s media domination meant that his 16 Republicans rivals, and the issues they might like to see highlighted, were not getting beneficial exposure. Molly Ball’s defense of the media notwithstanding, it appears that by focusing coverage so heavily on Trump, journalists did, however inadvertently, put their thumb on the scale.

What about the argument that the media coverage followed Trump’s popularity rather than inspiring it? Importantly, the heavy media focus on Trump began before his rise in the polls and in the absence of other traditional indicators of candidate strength, such as campaign fundraising prowess. That’s suggestive of media influence, but research also backs up the idea that causality runs in that direction
10 days ago by henryfarrell
Trump v the media: did his tactics mortally wound the fourth estate? | Media | The Guardian
But these difficulties, humiliating at times though they were, pale in comparison with the overarching charge that TV – and to a lesser degree the press – was indiscriminate for far too long in its handling of Trump, engaging with him more like the Apprentice reality TV star that he was than the US president that he wanted to become. “During the primaries, cable news – in particular CNN and Fox, and to some extent MSNBC – gave Trump unhealthily generous, inflated coverage. That helped make him,” says Margaret Sullivan, media columnist of the Washington Post.

It takes someone with the on-the-ground experience of John Weaver, chief strategist to Trump’s rival John Kasich during the Republican primaries, to spell out the full impact of this media binge on the election. He believes it actively distorted the process, and even now, six months after Kasich dropped out of the race, you can still hear the fury in Weaver’s voice.

“I hope there’s some deep introspection at the networks and cable channels over the billions of dollars of free coverage they gave to Donald Trump, often without holding him accountable for his bizarre claims. He is judged by such a low standard by many of the news media, it’s troubling to me.”

The sense that the media allowed itself to be taken for a ride by the Trump campaign in exchange for stellar ratings came to a crunch on 16 September in Washington DC. By now enshrined as Republican nominee, Trump lured the pack of political reporters to a press conference by promising to make a statement – an apology, it was assumed – about his long-held and oft-repeated “birther” lie about President Obama having been born outside the US.
10 days ago by henryfarrell
Covering Trump: An oral history of an unforgettable campaign - Columbia Journalism Review
Andrew Kaczynski, Senior Editor, KFILE, CNN (formerly Political Reporter, BuzzFeed): If people had known that he was for real they might have covered him differently in the beginning. A lot of the criticism was that people were just airing his coverage live and were giving him so much attention. I think people did that because they just thought that he would be gone soon and that he was entertainment.

MacGillis, ProPublica: There was all this talk about, was the press being tough enough on Trump? Which I think kind of missed the point, or it was not the right way to think about it. The problem wasn’t that the press wasn’t doing good stories on him and scrutinizing him. What the press wasn’t able to do, and what it was almost not set up to do, was to get across the sheer ridiculousness or surreality of Donald Trump running for president. The press is all about the news, what has not been said yet, what is new. With Trump, you almost needed to have a story every single day saying, ‘Holy shit this guy still hasn’t released his taxes, and this will be first time in modern presidential election history that a candidate has not released his taxes, and he’s violating a major political norm.’ But by the end of campaign, there was barely anything about the taxes because that wasn’t news. Somehow, there was no way to get across, every day, that holy shit, Donald Trump is very close to winning the presidency, this guy who’s never been in office or served in the military–the first time in our history that we have someone becoming president who has done neither of those things–a reality TV [star] and real estate developer with a string of bankruptcies and really, really shady finances and tax shenanigans. We have our own Berlusconi, and even arguably more than Berlusconi: a guy whose campaign is being run for the last few months by a white nationalist who runs this really incendiary website, a guy who Roger Ailes went to advise his campaign after being ejected from Fox News because of all the sexual harassment stuff there, a guy who his campaign was in part being run by his children. The sheer strangeness and non-seriousness of his campaign and the lark of it–you could never bring it across entirely. We were unable to get across how utterly weightless this one person’s campaign was and how not legitimate it was at some basic level. The campaign has exposed again, in a whole new way, the real problem with us having such insanely long presidential campaigns. They basically go on for almost half a presidential term and we have hundreds of people covering these things instead of covering national government, and sending hundreds of people to debates to sit in a room to watch it on a screen, when no one is covering state government. The justification is this is the most important office in the world, and the point of this insanely long campaign is to vet people. You’re really putting people through the wringer to make sure you have someone serious and up to the job. How did that work out this year? Trump’s becoming president has completely put the lie to that justification. The sheer length of the process played to his strengths. If you’re going to have such a damn long campaign, you need someone who can sustain the show for that long. You need someone who can provide plot turns; it’s not enough to be Scott Walker. Donald Trump is the perfect person for that. This is a person who literally knows how to craft a TV show to last a full season, so if you make elections into this two-year spectacle, it should not be any surprise that process produces a showman.
10 days ago by henryfarrell
News Coverage of the 2016 General Election: How the Press Failed the Voters - Shorenstein Center
The real bias of the press is not that it’s liberal. Its bias is a decided preference for the negative. As scholar Michael Robinson noted, the news media seem to have taken some motherly advice and turned it upside down. “If you don’t have anything bad to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.”[3] A New York Times columnist recently asserted that “the internet is distorting our collective grasp on the truth.”[4] There’s a degree of accuracy in that claim but the problem goes beyond the internet and the talk shows. The mainstream press highlights what’s wrong with politics without also telling us what’s right.

It’s a version of politics that rewards a particular brand of politics. When everything and everybody is portrayed as deeply flawed, there’s no sense making distinctions on that score, which works to the advantage of those who are more deeply flawed. Civility and sound proposals are no longer the stuff of headlines, which instead give voice to those who are skilled in the art of destruction. The car wreck that was the 2016 election had many drivers. Journalists were not alone in the car, but their fingerprints were all over the wheel.
10 days ago by henryfarrell
How Trump Took Over the Media By Fighting It - POLITICO Magazine
But Trump has taken press-baiting further than anyone else in public life would have imagined possible. He has isolated the press as his genuine rival, campaigning harder against it sometimes than the other candidates. He's fought it on a personal level, ridiculing reporters—often by name—as “sleazy,” “extremely dishonest,” “a real beauty," “unfair,” and “not good people.” Until recently, he blacklisted individual reporters from campaign access. He mocked a disabled reporter; he called Brit Hume and Maureen Dowd “dopes." He’s fought it institutionally, slathering CNN with a barrage of insults, and castigating the New York Times and the "mainstream media" scores of times.

At his rallies, jabs at the press have proved to be a reliable applause line for Trump. He has consigned reporters to holding pens during his speeches and instructed security to eject those who slip the leash. Reporters generally have no trouble doing their work while being abused—as writer Jon Ronson once put it, "it's good for journalists to feel demeaned. It means we're onto a story"—but they've been unsettled by the way Trump has taken the bashing into the higher atmosphere, making journalists serve as proxy for the elites he vilifies in his speeches. He accuses them of being in the tank for his opponent: “The most powerful weapon deployed by the Clintons is the corporate media,” Trump told a crowd in West Palm Beach, Florida. “The reporters collaborate and conspire directly with the Clinton campaign on helping her win the election all over.”
10 days ago by henryfarrell

Copy this bookmark:

to read