Op-Ed

In trying to hurt Donald Trump, the biased media helped him

GOP strategist Ana Navarro criticizes Trump supporter during CNN interview with Chris Cuomo in June.
GOP strategist Ana Navarro criticizes Trump supporter during CNN interview with Chris Cuomo in June. CNN

The Cubs won! The Miami Dolphins are winning after a spectacular turnaround!

And there a new dawn in America!

And the morning after, the pollsters, who are actually paid for their inaccurate information, the commentators and the media were all shocked — shocked — and blown away by the results of the presidential election. Pundits, pollsters, and talking heads still stumble about in attempts to explain why their predictions were absolutely wrong. They try to blame unexpected results from black, Latin, millennial, female, white blue-collar workers, high-school drop outs, college grads and others.

That's not it. I can tell you whom to thank, or “blame,” for the “astonishing” results. The media.

The unfair media managed the news, ignored stories that might have benefited Donald J. Trump, and published embarrassing stories that were either fabricated, exaggerated or otherwise untrue.

A few editors even admitted participation, “for the good of the country.” That is not, and never was their job. Their job is to report the news fairly and objectively. They abdicated their responsibility. As s result, one bright, sophisticated voter wrote me to say she “feared for the planet,” should Trump be elected. The media helped create that sort of hysteria. Donald Trump is not the bogeyman.

When I could not bring myself to vote for another Clinton White House, I found that many friends were secret Trumpsters,embarrassed to admit it because of the media. I knew it might draw a few slings and arrows from those with different opinions but intended to set a good example. One should never be embarrassed about voting their choice. I posted my intent to vote for Trump on Facebook, and what an interesting insight that was into human nature. People seem to forget that in America we can have our own opinions and express them. The resulting vitriol, angry and ugly comments blew me away, especially since many were from journalists, including former colleagues.

Comments were always welcome on my Facebook page — even if I did not agree with them — but the anti-Trump bunch evolved into a gang of bullies, with personal, nasty, and often obscene comments. It became more and more unpleasant and insulting to civil Facebook friends. How do these working journalists and other so-called intellectuals find the time to labor over their cleverly sarcastic, denigrating personal remarks and observations?

The media, of course, unwittingly assisted President-elect Trump. The more unfairly journalists treated him, the more it ticked off law-abiding, hard-working Americans. The unfair media woke the sleeping giant — the American people — and what began as a campaign evolved into a movement. Decent law-abiding, hard-working Americans of every age, color and ethnicity believe in fair play.

God bless them.

As a former journalist who loved to venture out each day to seek the truth I found one during the campaign that I didn’t like so much: I learned how insidious and ugly social media can be, how lonely, impressionable and bullied teenagers can even be driven into such despair that they harm themselves. Luckily I have a thick skin.

I love journalism, still wear my old T-shirts one with the slogan “If the press doesn’t tell you, who will?” Another identifies me in Spanish: “I’m a journalist. Don’t shoot!” And a Tropic Magazine T-shirt, from the Herald’s terrific former Sunday magazine, brings fond memories.

A believer that Trump could win, I began to doubt myself when the pollsters unanimously agreed that Hillary Clinton would be president. After all, pollsters and journalists are so much more sophisticated, with far more resources these days. In fact, as the polls closed, one talking head confidently predicted that election night would be over by 8:15 PM, with Clinton declared the winner. Two of his colleagues were a bit more cautious. One predicted the time would be 11 p.m. The other said 11:20 p.m.

Trump’s gracious speech after Clinton’s concession made it clear that he is eager to be president of all the people as, along with his running mate, his family, and staff, he also expressed his humble thanks to the Secret Service, and the NYPD. He stressed unity. Yet the media continued to beat up and insult him. After Trump’s healing speech NBC re-broadcast unfortunate footage contributed to election night coverage by former anchor Tom Brokaw. It replayed all Trump’s alleged mistakes and missteps, most of them used in Clinton attack ads.

I hope the media’s divisiveness and provocation do not continue. When the media became part of the Clinton campaign, they threw away ethics to become participants. Shame on them! It doesn’t work.

This season, I felt a pulse, the feelings on the street, about this election, that the people were on the move, going to the polls determined to do the right thing. I should not have doubted myself. I respectfully suggest that news editors encourage their reporters to step out of their little cubicles, quit writing nasty Facebook posts to people who don't agree with them and venture out onto the street once in a while. Sniff the air, see which way the wind is blowing, talk to people. Better yet, listen to them.

Next time the news may not come as such a shock.

Edna Buchanan is an author and former reporter for the Miami Herald.

  Comments