And I’m pitting the media, which was all in for Trump.
“Huh?” I hear you saying. “They hated Trump! They loved Hillary! They couldn’t stop taking about how horrible Trump was!”
Of course they hated Trump. As individuals. But media as a business, media as spectacle…they made Trump. They built him up. They hung on his every word. And why? Because he was a spectacle. He made news every day, every time he said something awful or did something horrible. And the media loved him for it. Just like the crowd loves the heel in wrestling, even as they boo and hiss.
Our dysfunctional media circus created Trump, our first Reality TV president. They invented him, they lovingly cherished him, they built him. And while Trump will be a disaster, and each and every media person hates Trump, they’re going to love covering his outrageous hijinks over the next four years. They hate Trump just like a junkie hates his pusher, and keep handing over fistfuls of money to him.
The Trump coverage played to what excited his base - the non-PC, friend of the common man, attacker of the establishment.
The Hillary coverage played into the existing perception that she was a corrupt criminal. In particular, Comey reigniting the controversy before anyone even had a warrant to determine if there were any Hillary emails on Weiner’s laptop and firing up another week of talking about what turned out to be nothing had to have hurt.
Because his outrageousness connected with more people. People - the deplorables and they are legion - equated his secrecy with her secrecy, but they liked his racism, xenophobia and misogyny. Those traits of his mobilized people who might otherwise would not have voted. They embraced his outrageousness. She didn’t have that same emotional, gut calling with any of her foibles.
I didn’t see a single story explaining why Hilary’s e-mails were a thing; in this part of the world it was just a constant stream of either “Here’s the latest outlandish thing Trump said lolololol” or “People carrying on about Hilary Clinton having a private email server and being potentially in legal trouble as a result” without explaining why having a private email server would be an issue.
The media really is caught between a rock and a hard place nowadays, though - if it reports what people want to read, there’s none of the hard-hitting investigative stuff (which doesn’t bring in advertising revenue) and people complain they’re not doing their jobs and you end up with an entire planet getting blindsided by an unexpected presidential victory.
If they do the hard-hitting investigative stuff, people complain it’s boring or they don’t read it and advertisers don’t support it and you end up caught in that unpleasant “can’t pay for quality journalism” vortex.
It was quite interesting how staggeringly out of touch the US media seemed when I was there recently, though.