The great American media dumpster fire

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Author: Sam Rolley

Following an extremely embarrassing failure to gauge the national zeitgeist ahead of the 2016 election, the American media establishment is desperately attempting to find any reason to justify all of its claims that Donald Trump could never be elected president. That, of course, isn’t going to happen because… Covfefe!

Sooner or later, the U.S. mainstream media establishment is going to learn that it can’t have things both ways. It can’t claim objectivity while making obvious efforts to pick sides as it did throughout the 2016 presidential election. It can’t feign thoughtful maturity while taking the bait every time Trump fishes for a reaction. And, most importantly, it can’t continue to call itself relevant when its pronouncements hold up only in its manufactured reality.

And if the media establishment doesn’t shape up, it’ll simply fade away.

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Though higher than last year when the media establishment was prematurely calling the election for Clinton months before it happened, American trust in television and mainstream print media remains extremely low. The most recent numbers out from Gallup reveal that just 30 percent of Americans feel confident that the mainstream media provides accurate information.

It’s worth noting that American distrust in mainstream media is nothing new. The highest confidence has been in the media in the past 30 years, according to Gallup’s numbers, was 39 percent way back in 1990.

Still, if the media establishment is interested in improving its image with the American public, here are a few suggestions.

CNN just had a pretty embarrassing week. First, the news network was forced to retract a story which it billed as the smoking gun in its Trump/Russia collusion narrative. The network’s panicked reaction when its fake news story was figured out was to fire some folks and issue a retraction.

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Too little, too late.

CNN, and kinds of other mainstream media outlets, have taken to reporting stories that lack provable facts based on information gathered from secret sources.

Real sources, and real documentation to back up claims in reports would have prevented the entire situation.

Once these outlets relearn how to properly source their material, here’s another idea. Reporting facts is never controversial for the messenger. And stating facts, followed commentary isn’t either. It’s just that you have to start with something that is factual. If you have facts, go ahead and have an agenda–  just don’t pretend you don’t.

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