Monday, November 07, 2016

The Worst Election Coverage Ever

I'd mellowed a bit on my media criticism in recent years. Probably some of that's just due to the fact that I don't watch as much cable news as I used to, but still I've thought that many of old flaws of politics coverage had faded somewhat. Somewhat is a key word there, but for a variety of reasons I thought there had been some improvement.

And then campaign 2016 hit. Presidential campaign coverage is always the worst, of course, but this coverage was bad in a way that managed to transcend the worst of 2004 and 2008 (I think 2012 was overall not so bad, relatively speaking). Individual reporters and individual publications always understandably object to being lumped in with "the media" but they also tend to circle the wagons in a way that any group does when it is attacked. Can't have it both ways. If you identify with a group, you acknowledge the group exists. And this year, coverage of a white nationalist presidential campaign, and the concerns of its supporters, was given top billing at every step. Sure there was negative Trump coverage, but all coverage, positive and negative, went through Trump. It was all about him.

Though at least, late in the campaign, a few journalists are starting to get publicly annoyed by what a hack Mark Halperin is. I'm not sure if they object to his role as a hack Trump fluffer, or the fact that he gets paid 7 figures to be a hack Trump fluffer, but either way.