Conservatives have been marveling at the hard 180 degree turn the media took following the election of Donald Trump. For months, shows like Morning Joe, for example, couldn’t get enough of candidate Trump before he became the actual GOP candidate, reporting all the nasty jabs from the debate stage like gossip girls.
Most other news outlets similarly kept candidate Trump front and center in the news. No less than now-Trump hater Brian Stelter, a media analyst for the network, promoted a report back in Dec. 2015 that the then- fledgling Trump campaign had already dominated news coverage.
Trump is “by far the most newsworthy storyline of Campaign 2016, accounting alone for more than a quarter of all coverage” on NBC, CBS and ABC’s evening newscasts, Andrew Tyndall said.Tyndall, the publisher of The Tyndall Report, meticulously tracks nightly news content.
Between January and November, according to his data, Trump’s campaign was covered for 234 minutes on the three newscasts. Jeb Bush’s campaign was covered for 56 minutes; Ben Carson’s, for 54.
The campaign for the front-runner on the other side of the aisle, Hillary Clinton, was covered for 113 minutes. (Coverage of Clinton controversies dating to her time as Secretary of State was counted separately, and totaled an additional 117 minutes, more than her campaign proper.)
No equivalent data exists for 24-hour cable news channels like CNN and Fox News, but Trump has also outranked other candidates there.
Of course, post-election, when the miraculous happened and the guy actually defeated progressive darling Hillary Clinton, the media began showing their teeth about him rather then simply laughing at the barbs being thrown at other GOP candidates such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. In fact, outlets like CNN have religiously covered the effort to oust him that began almost immediately after his inauguration via the increasingly silly Russian collusion investigation. CNN recently used the word “impeachment” or a variant thereof 108 times in an 18 hour span.
So it’s a bit jaw-dropping to watch newly-minted progressive twitter activist and former actress Alyssa Milano complain, in an interview with the always venerable Buck Sexton (former intelligence officer and radio host), that the media “normalized” Trump pre-election and how horrified she is because they helped get him elected (video at link).
Actress Alyssa Milano in an interview that aired Thursday on “Rising” said the news media has normalized President Trump throughout his campaign and the first half of his presidency instead of pointing out events she calls “crazy.”
“The media actually normalized some of what he did, and continues to normalize it instead of going ‘Can you believe how crazy this is? This guy wants to do this,’ ” Milano, a frequent critic of Trump, said to Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton on Tuesday.
Sexton noted that some in the media would probably say they have tried to “raise as many alarms as they can.”
“I would wonder if you were to have this conversation with any number of White House correspondents or major news anchors, other than at one channel that I’m sure you could guess, you would probably have a lot of folks saying they’re doing everything that they can to raise as many alarms as they can,” Sexton said.
Fascinatingly, Ms. Milano is correct. The media most certainly did normalize Trump. Many conservatives believe they did so intentionally to help promote him as the candidate because he was the one guy Hillary Clinton could likely beat.
But then…he won. And that wasn’t part of the plan. Apologies for the mixed metaphor here, but the turn of the screw is sometimes a tough pill to swallow.
In any event, it’s a bit late now to be angry with the media’s role in “normalizing” Trump, especially given, as Sexton notes, how vitriolic most have become toward the president.