USA 2020 Elections: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at
Tue Sep 7 17:48:56 PDT 2021

> Donald J Trump won the 2020 US Presidential Election.

With the Media and Tech Bias and their Propaganda Brainwashing
Programmes so widspread and clear to any objective observer for
well over five years, it's a wonder the US Republicans got any votes
at all.

And the US Libertarians still can't get any airtime, any debates,
and print columns, etc.

Can The Media Survive Without Half The Population?
New Poll Raises Questions About The 'Openly Biased Advocacy' Of The 'News'

We have often discussed the increasing bias and advocacy in major
media in the United States. While cable networks have long catered to
political audiences on the left or right, mainstream newspapers and
networks now openly frame news to fit a political narrative. With the
exception of Fox and a couple of other smaller news outlets, that
slant is heavily to the left. What is most striking about this
universal shift toward advocacy journalism (including at journalism
schools) is that there is no evidence that it is a sustainable
approach for the media as an industry. While outfits like NPR allow
reporters to actually participate in protests and the New York Times
sheds conservative opinions, the new poll shows a sharp and worrisome
division in trust in the media. Not surprisingly given the heavy slant
of American media, Democrats are largely happy with and trusting of
the media. Conversely, Republicans and independents are not. The
question is whether the mainstream media can survive and flourish by
writing off over half of the country.

The new study from the non-partisan Pew Research Center shows a
massive decline in trust among Republicans. Five years ago, 70 percent
of Republicans said they had at least some trust in national news
organizations. In 2021, that trust is down to just 35 percent.

Conversely, and not surprisingly, 78 percent of Democrats and
Democratic-leaning independents saying they have “a lot” or “some”
trust in the media. When you just ask liberal Democrats, it jumps to
83 percent.

For those looking for echo-journalism that reaffirms their
assumptions, liberals are more likely to realize such confirmation
bias on networks and cable programs. For conservatives and others (see
below), they are largely limited to looking to Fox News and a couple
other sites to get the other side of stories.  This has worked
incredibly well for Fox which has rivaled the national networks in
some time slots. However, it is not good in the long run for American
media, which is jettisoning much of the country in its coverage.  We
need healthy and multiple news outlets to give citizens a reliable and
trusted body of journalism.

The question is whether news programs can sustain themselves by
effectively writing off half of the country.

It will require a higher percentage of liberals and Democrats reading
and watching these siloed programs.

That does not appear to be the case. Fox News remains the most
dominant cable network. (For full disclosure, I appear as a legal
analyst on Fox). The recent numbers are staggering.

Fox News Channel (FNC) was rated as holding 94 of the top 100 live
telecasts on all of cable TV in August. Fox’s average prime-time
audience (2.5 million) is now routinely double MSNBC’s (1.229 million)
and triple CNN’s (819,000). In “the demo” of viewers under 55, Fox is
also beating the other networks. Thirteen of the top 14 cable-news
shows were on FNC.

CNN has dropped in “trust” while Fox has risen.  Moreover, CNN has
lost 68 percent of its viewership. While all news outfits are down
from the heady days of the impeachments and elections, this is a
nose-bleed of a drop for any new organization.  I still have friends
working at CNN and I worked with the network for decades.  We need a
strong array of news outlets, including different views of stories on
opinion programs. This is an industry wide crisis of trust. This poll
is bad news for the industry which is based first and foremost on

Moreover, the Pew Research Center released a journalism project
entitled How Americans Navigated the News in 2020: A Tumultuous Year
in Review  that surprised many in showing that more Democrats were
watching Fox than assumed by most commentators. As Forbes reported,
“the Fox News viewership actually consists of more than just Trump
devotees — that, in fact, there are more Democrats on a regular basis
watching Fox than you might expect.”

I have been a columnist for three decades and I have worked for NBC,
MSNBC, CBS, BBC, and Fox as a legal analyst.  I have watched with
increasing alarm as the media has openly embraced advocacy journalism
even in mainstream news reporting. At the same time, we have witnessed
the drop in viewership and readership in media outlets overall.
Clearly, part of this trend is due to the rise of digital sources and
the impact of the Internet. However, fewer people trust the media and
the effect of the bias on many programs is to reduce the population of
news consumers to roughly half. While national media has always had a
liberal slant, the bias is now extreme, obvious, and consistent across
platforms. The result is like operating in a country with half of our
population by design.

The embrace of advocacy journalism has worked on an individual level
for journalists and editors to protect their own positions. However,
it could be killing the profession, particularly among non-cable
outlets. The fact is that people have become used to echo journalism
and it is not likely to change in cable programming (which has always
been heavily opinion based in the evenings). Yet, newspapers and
outlets like NPR are now openly and consistently biased in coverage
from avoiding coverage of some stories to soft-peddling other stories.
While NPR remains a massive news organization, it has also experienced
declining numbers.

Cable networks will continue to feature more opinion-based news.
However, it is the extent of the bias that has led to a stampede of
viewers. Viewers now face virtual blackouts of news like the Hunter
Biden laptop story on both cable and network shows. At the same time,
social media companies are actively banning opposing views on major
news stories. That leaves conservative, independent, and just
inquisitive viewers with few options for news. Yet, the alienation
from much of the country leaves most media outlets dividing up a
smaller and smaller pie of news consumers. The new poll suggests that
this is not enough to sustain many of our media platforms which may
have to return to the center or face starvation on the edges.

As a law professor, I am particularly concerned that the drop in trust
will impact our political system. People simply no longer believe what
is being reported on sites like NPR or NYT. The result is that it is
more difficult to identify what is false or unsupported.

I have worked in the media for almost three decades and, for the first
time, I am uncertain of the future for American media for the next
decade if these trends continue. At some point, the media will have to
recognize that journalism means little if fewer and fewer people want
to read it or watch it.

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