If The Party Doesn’t Decide, Does The Media?

If The Party Doesn’t Decide, Does The Media?

Rachel CohenMonday,7 March 2016

If you’re not tired of the oversaturated media coverage of the 2016 election, can you give me any tips? Honestly, I’d love to write about anything else, but it’s like celebrity gossip, I JUST CAN’T HELP IT. Actually though, it’s not just like celebrity gossip, that’s exactly what it is.

Here’s the deal, the media is deciding this election, and I’m not sure it’s going to work out in the long run. You see, page views are important (support your local blogger!) and the more salacious, the better. I get it. But, by focusing on certain candidates like Drumpf and HRC over and over again, the media has made them the frontrunners – and let’s face it, the likely nominees – from nearly day one. That’s…democracy?

In an effort to not be a total hypocrite, names have been changed to protect the not-really-innocent-in-any-way.

The Drumpf Paradox

I guess when it comes to Drumpf, the media’s idea is that the more scandal and mud flung his way, the less people will see him as legitimate. WRONG. And, we already know this. When someone is positioned against the establishment and the establishment continues to attack them, guess what, it just adds more fuel to their fire.

I will respect the views of the NYT reader who wondered if maybe it was time to stop talking about Drumpf. Which of course, showed up on the digital main page surrounded by stories about him.

Help Us HRC, You’re Our Only Hope

Of all the candidates, it can’t be said that HRC doesn’t want the presidency the most. And there are tons of people in the country who have been waiting for her to ascend to her destiny. However, from day one she was painted as the only hope to win. #FeeltheBern was immediately unelectable, and had to fight against that label – the one the media perpetuated.

Here’s the other problem, one that I’m not sure isn’t a bit of a fail. HRC has been painted as a career politician, a long-time part of the establishment, despite the fact that she actually doesn’t have that much political experience. Maybe you can count her time as First Lady, but that doesn’t sit quite right. With eight years of a somewhat questionable stint as Senator, and four years of Secretary of State (probably not the best fit for her) she comes in at a whopping 12 total. This verses #FeeltheBern’s 23 years of experience as mayor and congressman. And yet, HRC is the “career politician” while #FeeltheBern is an outsider.

In a campaign where the focus is on anti-establishment, it’s a wonder if things could have looked differently for HRC had the media not taken such a heavy-handed stance on her as the insider who can get things done. The creation of story lines by the media may drive page views, but what’s the long term consequence?

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Image Credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr

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