23:07 GMT +324 March 2017
    President Donald Trump calls on a reporter during a news conference, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, in the East Room of the White House in Washington

    Two Months Into Trump's Term, Media Still 'Doesn't Get' Message Voters Sent It

    © AP Photo/ Pablo Martinez Monsivais
    Get short URL

    Nearly two months have passed since Donald Trump's inauguration, but most of the US mainstream media still refuses to accept the election results. The core of the problem, says US politics commentator Dmitri Kosyrev, is that mainstream journalists have refused to accept alternative viewpoints. The country's media landscape is changing accordingly.

    On Monday, President Trump will mark the end of his second month in office, nearly four months after his election victory, unexpected by the vast majority of US media and pundits. Since his win, many of these same outlets and pundits seem to have made it their goal to discredit, defame and perhaps even depose him, publishing and airing story after story filled with unconfirmed, opinion-laden, combative material meant to degrade the president's credibility.

    In his op-ed analysis about this ongoing Trump vs. media war, RIA Novosti contributor and US politics observer Dmitri Kosyrev suggested that Trump's election was seen by the mainstream media as "the largest disaster in the world history."

    What's the essence of this catastrophe?, the journalist asked. "A disaster is when all the mainstream TV channels, newspapers and other media turned themselves into instruments for the bulk processing of the brains of US voters, telling them that Donald Trump was an ignominious fringe candidate who would never get elected. And then they got what they got."

    Since then, the commentator noted, the mainstream media has been licking its wounds, reflecting on the experience, ordering up analytical reports, "and squabbling among themselves over the question of what kind of journalism is the right kind, what the truth is, what a lie is, etc." And this debate is very informative, Kosyrev explained.

    Last week, a small conservative publication by the name The Daily Signal stirred up controversy after being invited into the press corps covering the White House and Vice President Mike Pence. The Washington Post, the powerful but dilapidated flagship of the US press, was outraged by the move, intimating that The Daily Signal was not "a legitimate news outlet," due to its preset ideological views, and arguing that unlike such smaller outlets, the mainstream media were "at least committed to factuality and truth."

    President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, right, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, left, walk together on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington to greet Harley Davidson Harley Davidson executives and union representatives
    © AP Photo/ Pablo Martinez Monsivais
    President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, right, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, left, walk together on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington to greet Harley Davidson Harley Davidson executives and union representatives

    The polemic continued, Kosyrev noted, with The Daily Signal asking why it should not be considered "legitimate" while openly liberal, ideological and agenda-driven outlets like The Huffington Post are.

    The Washington Post's response was revealing, Kosyrev stressed, in that instead of arguing directly with the other outlet, it "factually apologized to its audience for its 'failure' on November 8, and explained what caused it."

    Washington Post columnist Marget Sullivan, the journalist explained, placed the blame squarely on "the numerous conservative outlets, which have gained influence over recent years. These outlets created an 'isolated media system' distinguished from the mainstream with its 'fundamentally false' view of the world. As a result, she suggested, conservative Americans completely lost faith in the 'good' media. In addition, this 'isolated system' also influenced even the 'correct' media, which picked up on the themes that were raised. And this resulted in the 'disaster' [of Trump's election]."

    And this tendency to 'apologize' for Trump is taking place across the mainstream media, Kosyrev emphasized, often to a perverse and absurd manner.

    "For example, the recent CNN film about Vladimir Putin ('The Most Powerful Man in the World') is a clear case of this kind of apology. 'Why did everything go wrong for us during the election?' CNN asked. 'It was this all powerful figure Putin, who really hates Hillary Clinton and decided to get even with her', the outlet answered. 'We [the media] did everything right – don't take offense with us.'"

    Kosyrev recalled that he had accidentally stumbled onto The Daily Signal about two years ago. Its articles, he said, assisted him in understanding the election campaign, and what was going on in the US in general. "Had I not found it…on the morning of November 9, I would feel just as foolish and terrible as the Democrats, who believed their 'correct' media, did."

    "In other words, these once-respectable, Democratic-leaning publications simply betrayed me – tricked me as a reader. And they continue to do so, building up their dreary campaign against now President Trump. At the same time, they are trying to explain that they are the real and fair media – that they are striving toward the ideal, but being dragged backward."

    The problem, Kosyrev stressed, is that the mainstream media has lost the plot of what their role actually is. "The ideal for journalism is this: not to lie (i.e. not to invent non-existent facts in the heat of ideological battles), and to separate fact-based journalism from opinion and commentary." Unfortunately, the analyst noted, modern-day America has demonstrated very well that in its purest form, this ideal seems to have become unattainable. A couple facts from the Washington Post-Daily Signal conflict demonstrate this.

    "Firstly: it is estimated that 96% of private donations from US journalists to the 2016 campaign went to Hillary Clinton ($382,000 against $14,000)." Secondly, "journalists, those who call themselves 'real' journalists – they are taking their 'failure' with Trump personally." And these facts lead to an interesting question, Kosyrev wrote. "How is it that the ranks of the US media came to be filled with people with only one ideology?" The answer, he suggested, isn't actually so difficult to figure out.

    "First, it's because that's the way they are taught at universities which the liberals have clenched. Secondly, as Margaret Sullivan lamented, those with conservative-leaning views who had previously worked in 'real' media gradually started to leave. From here, they set up this alternative, this 'isolated media system' of people with conservative views, factually establishing it in its current form."

    President Donald Trump reads from a teleprompter during a speech aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., Thursday, March 2, 2017.
    President Donald Trump reads from a teleprompter during a speech aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., Thursday, March 2, 2017.

    Until November 8, "this system seemed to be on the fringe – made up of some sites and blogs. After that, everyone came to understand that its power is equal to the so-called 'real' media." In the end, American society split into two, roughly equally strong sections, each with an equally strong media. 

    The key message from all this, according to Kosyrev, is that it's naïve to think that some external or internal force can even in principle turn all journalists into neutral 'human sponges of information' – who simply collect news and publish it. "Human beings are not neutral. They go into journalism to explain something to someone. They do this even when simply reporting on a fact, and find ways to deceive their overseers."

    For that reason, Kosyrev suggested, "there isn't and cannot be such a thing as objective journalism; journalism is also promoting something. There are a million ways [to present opinion as fact]: the simplest among them is to only report those facts which fit into your predetermined idea, and validate it. The facts will be real, but the picture of the world that emerges for your audience will be false."

    In practice, Kosyrev noted, journalists will always inhabit their own corners in the political spectrum, wherever it is that they feel more comfortable. Therefore, he emphasized it's up to the viewer, the reader and the listener to be taught the skills to effectively perceive information, and to recognize opinion, when formulating his or her picture of the world. "People must, from childhood –i.e. from school, learn to understand that there are different sources of information, given by different people, and that it is impossible to believe anyone through and through."

    Accordingly, the journalist hinted, people should get into the habit of reading, listening to or watching news from a variety of sources, both liberal and conservative, if they want to get a more complete picture of what's really going on.


    Obama's Ghost Haunts Trump: Is the US Ex-Leader Really Still Behind the Throne?
    'Crime of the Year': WSJ Smear of Flynn for Chat With Russian Girl Stuns Twitter
    Kellyanne Conway on White House Press Secretary Job: I’d Rather 'Slit my Wrists'
    Flynn's RT Case: What About Hillary Clinton Taking Fees From Foreign Gov'ts?
    As MSM Twiddles Its Thumbs, Reddit Finds Obama Link in Judge's Travel Ban Block
    House of Cards: Is Assange Right About Hillary Clinton's Plot Against Trump?
    Trump Doubles Down on Obama Wiretap Accusations
    Why CNN's Film on Putin Resembles Soviet-Era Propaganda Piece
    Plowing Through a Blizzard of Disinformation
    White House Says Stealing, Publishing Trump Tax Returns ‘Totally Illegal’
    journalism, media, journalists, opinion, Donald Trump, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment
    • AnomicDust
      Obviously there is no static 'complete picture' of living processes. If there were computers would make our miserable lives unnecessary. Sharing Information always promotes the source's worldview. A few tidbits is usually enough to unmask it. Without ability to identify & reject foundational errors the consumer of second-hand worldviews becomes isolated inside a world someone else created.
    • avatar
      Marques rougesin reply tomarcanhalt(Show commentHide comment)
      marcanhalt, or a public "fifth column", although the term is maybe not kosher, if I guess its origin correctly...
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      The MSM pushes their parties agendas. They won't report on anything that goes against that agenda and will do anything the can to deligitimize anything or any alternative outlets that challenge them. This hasn't been working for them so they resort to more of the same dirty tactics. All this has achieved is an increasingly divided nation, as well as an embarrassment.
    • Alan Reid
      Trust is a very hard thing to keep if you are untrustworthy. Why would we as a group trust a beastly system (that we know very well) for even a single minute? Trump is sitting on a powder keg, either he goes with the flow of the many that put him into power or he gives into the evil scum that are our enemy. Either he does the right thing, or he blows up like every other president since the CIA shot Kennedy in the back of the head. Trump does not have 4 or 8 years to get his shit together, He has very little time left to gather trust to this side and march the right actions into the places they need to be marched. He was given ONE chance to fight this evil beast, And seems to be losing this battle very quickly. A very short time remains for this man to shine or blow up.... Unfortunately the 2 or three meters of fuse shoved into that keg he sits is burning it's way to BOOM! Time is wasting President Trump, Your at the top and are expected to do as your people have commanded not what your MSM expects or commands. We are very intently watching the fuse burn.
    • avatar
      Or perhaps it is Sputnik (and/or all state-sponsored Russian news) that doesn't get it.

      231 million voters in the U.S. in 2016
      59.93 million votes for Clinton 2.0
      59.70 million votes for Trump

      So a mere 25.8% of the registered voters chose the electors whom chose the "elected" president.
      That means over 74% of all voters rejected the electors choice.
      And the U.S. is a democracy (er, representative republic)?

      Since when did "democracy" become redefined as rule of the minority?

      I read a lot of opposing media - from mainstream, to independent, to underground, to state-controlled, etc. because I like as much information as I can absorb. You can never trust one view, or opinion, or source. And because the history of the "news" media is the history of information manipulation.

      Sputnik (and similar state-sponsored) sure whine a lot when they're labeled "fake" or "propaganda" by other media organizations, yet they continue to clearly present highly biased news (as biased as that from "other" media organizations). It's interesting that Russia is so obviously pro-Trump, and is trying so hard to sell him to the public. They are so biased, skewed, and full of misinformation that they continue spinning the 25.8% of voter approval for Trump, and somehow defining it as "mass support".

      In reality, Trump has anything but "mass support" in the U.S. He, like Clinton 2.0, represent a mere minority. 74% of the voters chose someone else.

      From the book "Propaganda" by Edward Bernays:

      1. Any institution or scheme for propagating a doctrine or system.
      2. Any effort directed systematically toward the gaining of public support for an
      opinion or a course of action.

      Propaganda becomes vicious and reprehensive only when its authors
      consciously and deliberately disseminate what they know to be lies, or when they
      aim at effects which they know to be prejudicial to the common good.

      To-day...a reaction has set in. The minority has discovered a
      powerful help in influencing majorities. It has been found possible so to mold the
      mind of the masses that they will throw their newly gained strength in the desired
      direction. In the present structure of society, this practice is inevitable. Whatever
      of social importance is done to-day, whether in politics, finance, manufacture,
      agriculture, charity, education, or other fields, must be done with the help of
      propaganda. Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government

      Both sides are full of crap. Apparently neither side can recognize their own prejudices and campaigns of distortions and misinformation.

      The Russian government really wants people to believe Trump is popular in the U.S. They are doing their damnedest to try to shape public opinion. Now that's scary.

      "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"
      Charles Darwin - The Descent of Man

      "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure, and the intelligent are full of doubt".
      Bertrand Russell
    • arpito
      One important thing about the mainstream media is to understand that they are not infiltrated with just some misguided pundits, they have been bought and paid for by the rich essentially. And anyone who presents an alternate viewpoint from within will be fired, quite literally. So it is damned important to put these mainstream instruments of the wealthy classes into the garbage and read alternate news sources, especially international ones.
    • avatar
      BobbyMysehin reply toJet fuel can't melt steel beams(Show commentHide comment)
      Jet fuel can't melt steel beams,
      So was it called "conservative denial" when D'Ohbama was in office?

      Please define the terms "liberal" and "conservative".

      It has become apparent that most self-proclaimed "conservatives" are truly pseudo-conservatives. They don't understand the values of true conservatism. Hint: bowing to a strong authoritarian leader (like Trump) is not a true conservative value. Conservatism includes independence, not blind obedience.
    • John Twining
      The slang word "bolshie" comes to mind. Ideology-driven fanatics showed throughout their heyday in the 20th century how completely intractable and uncooperative they are - Bolsheviks, Fascists, Nazis, Maoists, etc, and now Takfiri Jihadists, they all share the same trait with today's dug-in US Left. And it goes way back before the 20th century - Protestant v Catholic wars in Europe, for example. Wherever ideological worldviews take a firm hold, NOTHING else gets a look in, certainly not real democracy, often not even civilisation.
    • arpitoin reply toBobbyMyseh(Show commentHide comment)
      BobbyMyseh, the article simply points out that the establishment, through its mouthpiece, the so called "main stream media" is still fighting against the new president. This is something unprecedented in 20th-21st century USA history. I would also agree that given the amount of negative propaganda that Trump endured, his victory is all the more remarkable. So i do not think that you have much of a point here. The definition of propaganda is good, but if you compare RT state propaganda to the major USA propaganda outlets, i must say that RT is far more objective and balanced. Maybe it does help that the USA is on the wrong side of history now, an instrument of the super-wealthy and the Zionists, bent on world dominance. So in as far as relative importance of issues, i think it is more important to recognize that the Western main stream media is in the wrong hands, bringing the World to destruction. Would you not say?
    • arpitoin reply toJohn Twining(Show commentHide comment)
      John Twining, funny that the word "Corporatism" does not appear in your dictionary, yet that is a force of greater destructive power than all the other ones that you enumerated. It is destroying the environment, people's dignity, enslaves millions, thrives on wars and exploitation. It is responsible for our steady march towards a nuclear Armageddon. In case, you had your eyes closed my friend.
    • John Twiningin reply toBobbyMyseh(Show commentHide comment)
      BobbyMyseh, Spoken like a true ideologue. The immutable fact remains: Trump WON. Clinton LOST. The days of weasel words and finely honed intellectual arguments are over - for now anyway. More broadly, the Left has done its dash. The world of HUMANITY has arisen again to repossess itself and its world.
    • John Twiningin reply toarpito(Show commentHide comment)
      arpito, Nope, eyes not closed here. And funny that you can't see it, but my library contains abundant instances of the word "corporatism". I started questioning corporatism back in the '60s, but I'll leave my current views on that topic for another time. Ciao bambino.
    • Jet fuel can't melt steel beamsin reply toBobbyMyseh(Show commentHide comment)
      BobbyMyseh, Dude i'm not a us citizen yet trump is far better than clinton and her ties to the neocons, MIC, second by liberal in the msm meaning (progressive , braindead well the perfect citizen for the oligarchy..)

      About obama are you really trying to defend what he has done for those 8 years?
    • avatar
      the 'right kind of journalism'? What truth is and what is a lie? These people should go back to kindergarten. Posing these questions seems to be nothing more than a rhetorical exercise to make themselves appear relevant or 'concerned'. They are a very poor joke.
    • John Twining
      Oh and I like Dmitri Kosyrev's views given above. Hope he continues his intrepid exploration of this ever more complex topic of mass communications, and wish him much success.
    • avatar
      Heritage Foundation? Neocons, NOT conservative. Just the fake opposition, bunch of neocons. I'd suggest someone who is really different from the establishment hacks, Sibel Edmonds, James Corbett and some from the true alternative media that are on the refined side. Kind of amusing for The Washington Post to pretend that the Heritage Foundation isn't part of the same spin machine, just different roles.
    • avatar
      A "reporter" from the Blaze, writing for the media branch of the Heritage Foundation is NOT alternative media. lol
    • avatar
      2 months on and main street media doesn't get the message the voters gave? I beg to differ. Main street media gets it very well. They know they lost the 'people'. You know, they lost the battle for the hearts and minds of the people. Their 24/7 tantrums prove that.
    • avatar
      jasin reply toDonny(Show commentHide comment)
      Donny, I think you're right. What appears to be lashing out at Trump is really the media lashing out at Trump voters.
    • avatar
      Lickie Weeks
      [Accordingly, the journalist hinted, people should get into the habit of reading, listening to or watching news from a variety of sources, both liberal and con-servative, if they want to get a more complete picture of what's really going on.]

      I don't know? Apart from its obvious biases, the Russian Media strives very hard [with a comprehensive maximal effort] to report things in a factual and objective accurate manner. Both the conservative and especially the liberal US Media are totally full of **** in their own way. But, the Russian Media tries to cut through it; and tells the totally honest and factual truth, about as close as it can possibly be done, given where they are coming from!
    Show new comments (0)