Hey, so remember when the majority of the news media was like "Oh Clinton's going to win, it might get kinda crazy but she'll pull through." Remember them? Well, they were wrong, kinda. Why are we listening to them again?
The media is grossly out of touch, and only some are just starting to realize this after the #2016Election. It’s boggling to me how so many can be so surprised when the media, can’t understand why most were egregiously wrong even after they’ve had plenty of warning. They should have seen it coming. The writing was on the wall. I’m stunned that Democrats are still stunned they lost.
I know she won the popular vote, but she still lost. She lost. Done-zo. And let’s set aside the fact that only after her political party lost twice in this manner do they want to change the whole Elector College system now, yet were simultaneously calling up their electors and insisting that they vote for Clinton (or somebody else) instead. And we see how well that worked out. It’s been fairly evident for a long time the Electoral College needs a makeover. We’re not 13 states any more.
Either way, the media is still stunned. Maybe if some had read Jennifer Brandel’s piece on Medium, “A serious problem the news industry does not talk about,” they wouldn’t be so shocked. Or maybe they still would be anyway, as Biko Mandela Gray points out in his awesome article “Larry Wilmore and the White Media,” noting how uncomfortable many were when confronted with some truth bombs by comedian Larry Wilmore at President Obama’s last White House Correspondents' Dinner.
And you know the media has some serious issues when people from opposing political parties can agree the that the media is extremely responsible for the election results. I mean, even President Obama took a few of shots at the media recently, saying at his last annual year-end press conference,
I couldn’t be prouder of Secretary Clinton, her outstanding service, and she’s worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people, and I don’t think she was treated fairly during the election. I think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling.
One of the main narratives to come out of this election cycle is the "fake news vs. real news" and the role that played in the election results, sorta. The fact that toward the last few months of the election "the top 20 fake news stories collectively got more engagements — shares, likes, and comments — than 20 factually accurate news stories shared by mainstream news outlets" should put the news media to shame; like, everyone-who-works-in-news-media-should-resign kind of shame. And yet, despite the fact they seem more interested in propagating Drumpf’s Twitter ramblings, or falling for one of his many "press conferences" (which later turn out to be infomercials for steak), we’re still giving them clicks, likes, shares. But only recently has the news media joined the party about Standing Rock, or are briefly talking about Aleppo. And yet many are still wondering why fake news outperformed real news. Hmmmmmmmmmmm....
Maybe it also had to do with the fact about how Drumpf received two-billion dollars worth of free airtime. Maybe it had something to do with certain media heads chasing ratings instead of substance.
How the F**k We Got Here - Donald Trump's Candidacy-The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Video Clip …
let's talk about the vinyl sofa stuffed with racistrefrigerator poetry. I'm talking about Donald Trump. (laughter) With…
Some may point to the polarization of the media catering to only right and left leaning folks. Others may point to the lengths the media will go despite ever increasing conflicts of interest in order to have access to “insider information.” Yet others may point to the news media as a dying medium; going the way of newspapers, Blockbuster Videos and soon to be McDonald’s employees.
Granted, I understand that there’s a lot of bullshit journalists have to navigate through, as a means to stay relevant. But, perhaps it’s time we started putting the news media out to pasture instead of making the industry suffer along. I mean it’s getting embarrassing when the norm for news media these days involves watching shouting match after shouting match after shouting match. While that may bring in the ratings, the various channels lose credibility. Then it becomes even more embarrassing when folks are surprised that once in a while two people with differing opinions can sit down and have a non-shouting conversation.
Some journalists and organizations within the news media have done a little soul-searching, and that’s wonderful. But the fact remains the news media has utterly and totally failed not only in this 2016 Election, but has been for some time. The movie Network (1976) has never looked less like a movie and more like a Nostradamus prediction into the future.
But here’s the rub. Just labeling something "fake news" does ABSOLUTELY nothing, nor is explaining to someone why the source they’re sharing is a pile of greasy garbage socks. The people sharing "fake news" already feel like they’re on the fringes of society anyway, so they’re either going to double-down despite perceived persecution, or, respond with something like "Well, maybe what I just shared isn’t true, but I’m still going to get most of my stories from fake news source X26."
You actually have to talk to these folks and empathize with them. Find common ground when possible. I don’t care if you think the person is a few flies short of a turd sandwich. If you’re not engaging and talking to these people that are also part of this crazy mixed up planet called Earth, then you’re part of the problem, like the news media.
But, there’s nuance to talking and listening. It’s not easy. And perhaps this is where we are now as a collective.
Let’s all remember to empathize but set boundaries.
Let us remember to engage without condescension.
Let’s remember to show loving-kindness and compassion yet don’t normalize hate.
Speak from the heart yet don’t lose your head.
May we listen with love yet drop our projections and judgements.
Remember to love your enemies yet have no tolerance for bullshit.
Bryce Post has written some other articles on Medium too. Some are more political, like:
But others are about meditation, like: