Ever since Donald Trump’s precipitous dive in the polls resulting from the leaked video of him making lewd comments about women to former NBC personality Billy Bush, the disgruntled Republican nominee has been making the same claims over and over again at his rallies.
“It’s a rigged election.”
“There’s a media conspiracy against him.”
The cries from Trump have become so incessant that even President Obama told him today to “stop whining.”
To that end, the first claim is pure poppycock. Disregarding the fact that the election hasn’t even happened yet, there are few more closely regulated processes in our country than voting.
Voter fraud is so rare that it’s almost nonexistent. But because Donald Trump keeps warning his followers that it’s a near certainty to happen, he’s essentially deputizing his supporters to police polling stations on Nov. 8 using intimidation tactics and any other means to prevent people from voting for Hillary Clinton — particularly those in the inner cities.
In other words, if the election is indeed rigged, it will be in his favor.
Now to his second point about the media being biased. He’s much less wrong about this one.
And don’t get me wrong. As a former journalist, I have plenty of faith in today’s media, even if they do tend to over-sensationalize and spend too much time harping on the “hot item of the day,” whatever it may be, rather than informing viewers of the things that they really need to know.
But anyone whose been trained as a journalist understands the importance and responsibility of remaining impartial and reporting news objectively.
Does bias tend to creep in? Sure. But that’s just human nature.
The singular question that journalists have been facing this election cycle, however, is how do you fairly report on Donald Trump? The man breaks from all conventional political decorum, disrespects the media, and lies through his teeth.
I hate to say this, but there is a reason why Trump’s primary supporters lack college degrees. Meanwhile, The overwhelming majority of journalists — especially those on major networks — likely went to multiple schools of high repute, and thus are informed enough to understand the severe implications of a Donald Trump presidency.
And if that’s the case, then it is not only a moral obligation for journalists to call out Trump when he lies, or to dig into his questionable past — but a necessity.
By treating Donald Trump like a normal presidential candidate — which he is anything but — the media would become an accomplice to his political malfeasance.
So if you think the media is out to get you, Donald, then you’re right. But it’s because you feed them ammunition with your revolting behavior. Deal with it.
It cannot be overstated how dangerous Trump’s allegations against the media are, given the anger he’s stoked among his supporters.
If you don’t believe me, just look at the fallout from the Arizona Republic’s first endorsement of a Democratic candidate in the paper’s 125-year history.
After weeks of receiving death threats, the newspaper’s president and publisher, Mi-Ai Parrish, wrote an eloquent, humanizing response to their opponents, using the names of colleagues and family members to convey that they, too, are people who each have their own American experience, and that they simply made the choice out of their best interests for our country.
And yet, we make them out to be the bad guys?