In November of 2016, there was a clear loser outside of the two presidential candidates.
This loser had done everything in its power to make sure Donald Trump would lose, and that America would know how terrible a person he was and how terrible a president he would be. That 2016 loser was the national media and since their defeat in 2016, they have not done anything to learn why they lost, but doubled down on partisanship,
Four years ago, I laid out exactly what they would have do to in order to fix the errors they made.
Learn to connect with your audience. Don’t just preach to them.
The major outlets – your New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox News, etc. – have long relied on the data that told us what people think/should think. Polls were used frequently to explain to the American people what they believed. And I readily admit that I (and many of us here at RedState) relied on the same data and came to the same conclusions. I also think we’re not going to be so totally broken of that habit any time soon… nor should we be.
Using data as a piece of evidence backing up a claim is one thing. That is perfectly normal. That’s not what the Media – and, by extension, those of us who consume and report on the Media – were doing. That data was the only evidence used. It did not account for things like human emotion and free will.
Humans are strange creatures. They have emotions and free will and all sorts of things that make them regularly the exceptions to their own rules. Jeffrey Lord, a Trump surrogate and repeatedly an object of scorn among those who opposed Trump, said it best on CNN last night: You have to take these emotions into account.
Local journalism succeeds where national journalism fails, because they still maintain connections with their audience. A job at a local media outlet means connecting with your community, being out there, active, taking part, etc. But a job at a national media outlet is a sign of elitism, a right to act holier than thou, because they work at a legacy outlet everyone knows about. But, in reality, it’s a barrier they erect between themselves and their audience.
Half of the problems our mainstream media would face might disappear if those journalists would be open about their bias. The problem is that they pretend to be objective, while constantly condemning Republicans and propping up Democrats. If CNN’s Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo would just put up a disclaimer saying the views and opinions expressed on their shows are their own and informed by a certain worldview, it wouldn’t be so bad. They would still be insufferable, but they wouldn’t be lying about who they are.
But many of these journalists spent the last four years telling us Donald Trump was a vile, racist con man on the planet, and yet exit polling shows Trump made gains in every demographic group except white men. When you live in a bubble and see things only through the lens of the worldview inside that bubble, you are creating assumptions that may not match the reality, and the reality doesn’t match the outcome of the election.
The media blew this election in an even more extravagant fashion than the last one. Their only saving grace (among themselves) is that Trump appears to be on the path to losing the race. They had a direct hand in that, and they will think that was their job all along, instead of realizing they totally misread the electorate.
This election is as much a repudiation of the media as it is supposed to be a wake-up call for Democrats, but neither group will actually recognize that. The GOP made gains in the House and kept the Senate. The Democratic Party is about to enter its own civil war. But the media is going to focus on the defeat of Trump as the real victory and that everything else can be ignored.
And if Trump is really the loser here, that’s all they care about. They will stay inside their little bubbles and not come out for another four years… but in four years, the GOP will be on the rise again, while Democrats struggle to figure out who their base is and what it wants.