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political media trends

trump6(In Part 1 I blogged about the Great American Stupid. In Part 2, about voting numbers and trends.)

There is no question that corporate media (CM) horrifically failed the American people in the 2016 election cycle. By treating Hillary’s email server as the very scandal of the millennium, while Donald Trump’s virtually endless litany of failings as a candidate for the highest office and as a human being were presented as just more tidbits in the here-today-gone-tomorrow news cycle (in which actual policy issues went virtually unmentioned, in any meaningful way), CM unquestionably played a key role in the disastrous outcome.

I’ve never seen anything like CM’s open, flagrant bias in this one, and my paying attention to presidential campaigns goes back to 1972. (Yeah, I was all of 11 at the time, but intellectually precocious. And a fervent Nixon Republican. But that’s another matter.) But the thing is, I don’t know that much of CM really wanted Pr*sident Trump to actually win; I don’t think they actually believed that he really could, any more than, for example, I did. Trump was seen more as ultimately harmless entertainment (and, of course, ratings-bait) than as a real threat. The intent was to create a close election, and blunt Democratic downballot gains. And as far as the fallout now coming down on corporate media, because of it all…well, everything about “President Trump” is too serious, and disturbing, a matter for any gleeful schadenfreude, on my part.
As always, sweeping statements like those in the first paragraph above, while possessed of ample truth, require a measure of qualification, here in the messy, uncertain world of…reality. How much influence does corporate media really have? Let’s consider some numbers.

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Are more people spurning corporate media?

by Dan Burns on December 5, 2012 · 1 comment

The trends in where people are going for political news and analysis are readily apparent.  It is important to note that “Internet,” in the image, includes corporate media’s online presence.  (“Corporate media” means, for example, most broadcast and cable news, and daily newspapers;  you know it when you see it.)

The above is based on this and other studies.

The numbers portray a diverse landscape in which no platform dominates as the place for politics, and the vast majority of Americans say they regularly rely on multiple platforms to get political information. Just 6% said they turn regularly to just one platform.

It’s no secret that the performance of corporate media “analysts” for the election cycle that just ended was entirely wretched.  “Dead heat”…”Mitt-mentum”…”center-right nation”…whether they were deliberately dissembling in order to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, or are just plain incompetent, the result was the same.  Corporate media is useless, and deserves to go under unless it changes its ways.

Are remarks like those in the preceding paragraph making a difference?  I don’t flatter myself so.  But they’re obviously not hurting, and they’re fun to type.

To be clear, these numbers are nothing to get too excited about.  More than half of the increase in politically-oriented internet use is to corporate websites, not – alas! – to the likes of MN Progressive Project.  As with so much else, real change is a long, hard, often frustrating trek.

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