Trump vs. Mainstream Media: A Two Sided Issue

Patrick Hauf, Staff

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From the election to Trump’s inauguration, there has been a growing conflict between Donald Trump and the mainstream media. Trump supporters complain that media outlets such as CNN and the New York Times have been unfair in their attacks on the President and that they promote “fake news.” Democrats and others from the left complain of Trump and his administration’s immature reaction to the media’s attack.

The truth is that both sides have a point. This conflict between Trump and the media is a two sided issue and anyone refusing to acknowledge this fact is contributing to the growing divide in the USA.

To deeply understand this issue, one must look to its roots. When exactly did Trump and the media’s interests begin to collide?

At the beginning of the primaries, Trump was the talk of the election. A wildly famous billionaire TV star running for president is something that the media drooled over. Trump received more and more coverage as his charisma and supporters grew.

The media then found themselves in the shoes of Victor Frankenstein. They created a beast that went against everything they wanted. After this realization, they became determined to slay the monster that they created, just as Doctor Frankenstein.

This is where the media made a huge mistake. They sacrificed journalistic values for their own political motives. This meant writing and reporting false stories, using strictly negative rhetoric when speaking of Trump, and refusing to report the flaws in Trump’s opposing candidate Hillary Clinton.

One of the worst examples of this poor journalism was when Buzzfeed reported a document that accused Trump of making deals with Russia during the campaign and mentioned graphic relations he supposedly had with prostitutes. This document was never confirmed to be true, but was picked up by CNN, a major network. The story was later proven to be false.

Another example was when Donna Brazile, a CNN employee, gave Hillary Clinton debate questions prior to the actual debate. This did not just cross the line, it also dropped a nuclear bomb on it. CNN made it clear that they were practically campaigning for a candidate in the name of news.

So rather than fairly criticizing Trump, who happens to be an easy target, the media became determined to stop him from being elected and later inaugurated. This of course made Trump, his administration, and his supporters very angry.

Donald Trump has every right to be infuriated with the media, but there is no excuse for how he has acted in response. Going on twitter rants about the “failing New York Times,” abusing the term “FAKE NEWS,” and declaring war on the media are only childish ways to rile up more divide in this country.

Instead of tweeting like a kid who is furious that Madden 17 on his Xbox is being ‘fake,’ President Trump should act like a mature leader. Maybe doing some research on how to treat others the way you want to be treated would help him out. Hate only stirs up more hate. We can only hope the President learns this lesson in the next four years.

The most recent instance of the President’s blatant hatred towards the media was at his press conference on February 14th that lasted over an hour. This consisted of Trump addressing the Flynn resignation scandal by ripping the media for exposing the leak. According to the President, “The leaks are real, but the news is fake.” If only we knew what that meant.

Obama had minor issues with Fox News because unlike the mainstream media, Fox fairly criticized his mistakes, but Obama tried to hide this conflict. His successor, Donald Trump, is not afraid to express his hatred which has helped him limit the mainstream media’s influence, but also made him look like a child at times. He needs to find a balance on how to be critical of the mainstream media while acting mature and reasonable.

Some of the White House administration is having trouble with the media too. After a false report that a Martin Luther King Jr bust was removed, Sean Spicer brutally criticized the media on his first day as the Press Secretary without even answering a single question.

The pathetic job that the media is doing gives President Trump and his administration leverage that they can easily use to their advantage by handling the situation like mature adults. Yet somehow their response to this media ‘war’ has only made them look like Miles Finch in the movie “Elf.”

This is clearly a two sided issue. The media needs to go back to following journalistic ethics and President Trump must begin to act as a positive example to the public. There is no need to pick sides in this issue, rather, we must face the facts and hold everyone to the same standards.

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