On American television, the last few days have seen an unprecedented amount of conversations concerning the television media’s role in Donald Trump’s rise in the 2016 presidential race. These conversations, held on panel television shows by the same talking heads who couldn’t get enough of Trump a week ago, sound like excuses. This “mea culpa” from Nicolas Kristof of The New York Times is a good first step towards diagnosing how the media aided Trump’s ascendancy. However, as I’ve written before, it may be too late for the television news media to start standing up to Trump. He’s already captured the imaginations of a huge population of Americans. We can all hope that he won’t be the Republican Presidential nominee, but beginning to question him now may be too little too late. The news media should do all it can to rectify the damage it’s already done acting as “lapdogs” rather than “watchdogs,” as Kristof says. However, at this point, the purpose of the media acknowledging its role in Trump’s prominence should serve as a wake-up-call and a reminder to never allow financial concerns and audience building outweigh the duty of any news organization: to question, analyze, contextualize and inform. Read the full article at The New York Times.
Photo credit: Andrew Spear for NYT