Turn on any cable news channel. What do you see? Well, if it is MSNBC, then you have anchors and panelists declaring that President Donald Trump is the biggest racist in history and that he will exterminate anyone who isn’t white. If you endure a brain aneurysm and you have the tragic misfortune of tuning into CNN, then you have endless reports, some of it good old fake news, on Russia. Over at NBC, CBS, and ABC, it’s continuing coverage of porn stars and porn lawyers.
It is a barrage of negativity for a man they loathe. Don’t believe it? Since Inauguration Day, President Trump has received 90% negative press coverage, which has likely shaped public opinion of this administration. Despite other world leaders having lower approval ratings than Trump’s (46%), they receive far more favorable press – at home and abroad.
While the president has governed as a moderate Republican, the media has portrayed Trump as a right-wing zealot bent on nuclear war, concentration camps, and other nefarious trumped up conservative plots from the paranoid minds of Don Lemon and Rachel Maddow.
Is it working? That won’t be answered until the mid-term elections in November and the 2020 presidential contest.
What we have learned, however, is that the media has discovered an important rule from Saul Alinsky, the influential author of the 1971 book, Rules for Radicals, who states in Rule Seven: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” He adds:
“Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)”
Has the left accomplished this? It’s complicated.
The Ism Narratives
From the moment the real estate billionaire mogul announced his presidential intentions and Make America Great Again platform, the media hyperventilated and went into pearl-clutching overdrive. They had to come up with something to ensure his White House aspirations would be dashed. With former President Barack Obama increasing racial tensions and hostilities, the propagandists had their eureka moment: Accuse Trump of being a racist. And, not just any racist, but a white supremacist, too!
For months, anchors broke into tears, reporters delivered opinionated statements, and commentators were meretricious and scornful in their punditry. Racism was the order of the day.
Every time Trump was victorious in a primary contest, the media ramped up the racist label.
When they discovered that this was a failing strategy, the mainstream press remembered Alinsky’s teachings, leading them to conjure up another -ism: Sexism!
Days leading up to the election, the media depicted Trump as a sex fiend who was the biggest pervert since former President Warren Harding – forget former President Bill Clinton; he was protected by the left, until, of course, after the election, when the Clintons became useless and #MeToo became a thing. This narrative backfired as well, especially when the public noticed that cable news networks placed the WikiLeaks emails in the background to concentrate solely on Trump’s infamous “grab them by the p—y” remarks a decade earlier.
Like racism, the media realized sexism wasn’t working. Frustrated by Trump’s ascent to the second most powerful position in the country – the first being head of the Federal Reserve System – the media had to somehow question the integrity of the election, and, thus, Trump’s rise. What did they do? Perhaps watching too many James Bond pictures, the media selected a Cold War nemesis: Russia.
Regurgitating a lie that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies believe Moscow to have meddled in the 2016 race by posting outlandish memes and bogus Facebook accounts, the press had the excuse for getting it so wrong. For nearly two years now, the nightly news, articles, and late-night comedy routines have all circled around Moscow, President Vladimir Putin, and neo-McCarthyism.
Has this driven down Trump’s poll numbers? Perhaps, but not to the level the press had hoped, as was recently admitted on MSNBC.
You Are Fake News
To keep the audience awake during Chris Cuomo’s night terrors, which often include The Red Menace, the media had to search for another tactic to denigrate the Trump family. It might not have been ethical from a journalistic standpoint, but the press had one last desperate measure: fake news.
You would need to sit in a lounge chair, drink a bottle of bourbon, and listen to Glenn Gould playing J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” to both comb through the comprehensive list of fake news put out by the mainstream press over the last 20-plus months and maintain your sanity.
ABC’s Brian Ross claimed that then-Candidate Trump ordered Michael Flynn to initiate contact with Russia, not President-Elect Trump. CNN claimed the Trump campaign had early access to WikiLeaks documents. CNN also doctored a video to show that Trump overfed fish and disrespected Japanese customs. Every media outlet parroted the fib that 17 intelligence agencies confirmed Russia hacked the 2016 election, but it turned out that just four organizations made the assertion. The Washington Post reported that the Russian government infiltrated the Vermont power grid, but this never happened.
These were all stories that were meant to paralyze the administration, spur conflict, and embarrass President Trump. The strategy backfired, intensifying distrust of the press by the American people.
Like a spoiled child, the American people may vote for Trump’s opponent in 2020, whether it is Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), otherwise known as Spartacus, or Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), otherwise known as Fauxcahontas, just to keep the press quiet and help them return to their old objective: Reporting on news, not anonymous, fabricated sources.
Less is More
In the world of marketing, you are taught that less is more. The press may have missed this lesson.
We have discovered that the newsroom has been hijacked by activists posing as journalists. They may believe that repeating the same story ad nauseum will mold the minds of voters. But what they are doing is insulting their viewers’ intelligence, particularly when they get the story repeatedly wrong.
Saul Alinsky recommended activists prevent allies from getting bored. This is why the media, except CNN, regularly modifies the story. It went from racism to sexism to Russia – and then back to racism. You can expect this to be the formula for the remainder of Trump’s reign, whether that concludes in 2021 or 2025. Is it any surprise that the public is changing the channel on cable news? The coverage has become too predictable. When that becomes ubiquitous, leftist media executives need to remember: Don’t let the tactic drag on for too long.
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