"Grab her by the pussy-gate", Caterwauling in full throttle, Cried wolf too many times, Delusional excess of journalism, Distrust, Eroding Trust, God is not less Soveriegn, He brings down rulers, He lifts up the humble, Luke 1: 46-55, Mary's Song, Mistrust, Mistrust and the Media, PBS Newshour, Rex Murphy, Steve Deace, The media got it wrong, The problem with the governing elites, Trump - Clinton
You will know that I am political but not partisan. As I wrote in “Mistrust, Media and other Advertising Scams (Elections)“, I was not interested in who would win the U.S. Presidential election – as much as I was interested in the eroding trust of “The Fifth Estate.”
Now the caterwauling is in full throttle amidst the cacophony of Trump’s improbable and unpredicted triumph. Unpredicted, that is, by the media who analyzed, selectively reported, and who now have to admit they skewed the news to celebrate his opponent.
The media hand wringing at how they got it so wrong has become the story.
Tina Brown of the Guardian comments on how “liberal feminists” like herself were suffering from “media hyperventilation”:
Here’s my own beef. Liberal feminists, young and old, need to question the role they played in Hillary’s demise. The two weeks of media hyperventilation over grab-her-by-the-pussygate, when the airwaves were saturated with aghast liberal women equating Trump’s gross comments with sexual assault, had the opposite effect on multiple women voters in the Heartland.
These are resilient women, often working two or three jobs, for whom boorish men are an occasional occupational hazard, not an existential threat. They rolled their eyes over Trump’s unmitigated coarseness, but still bought into his spiel that he’d be the greatest job producer who ever lived. Oh, and they wondered why his behaviour was any worse than Bill’s.
The National Post asked “Did Liberal excesses buoy Trump wave?” Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who knows something about being politically incorrect, and who is no fan of Trump, wrote this the night of the election (and this is surely the only time I have quoted Mr. MacFarlane):
… it can be argued that the left expended so much energy over the last several years being outraged over verbal missteps, accidental innuendo, ‘tasteless’ tweets… that when the REAL threats to equality emerged, we’d cried wolf too many times.
Rex Murphy further aims his sights on the delusional excesses of journalists who covered the election:
… many media outlets carried their support for Clinton to delusional excess – a blot on journalism that will take a political eon to fade. On the eve of the vote, with the confidence that only hypnotizing progressives can bring to a lost cause, the Huffington Post was eagerly boasting that the chances of a Clinton victory were a whopping 98 percent.
I quote Conrad Black as sparingly as I quote Seth MacFarlane, since these are two fellows with whom it would be unlikely to enjoy a dinner date, but here’s his bit of cogent spice:
The wellsprings of public anger and frustration were not exploited by Trump alone…
No informed person could be unaware of the depth of America’s problems, but the governing elites who were collectively responsible for the steady proliferation of those problems did not see what they had wrought. American democracy is undermined by corruption and misinformation, but it is still vital and healthy on election day…
Yes, the media got it wrong
… and there ought to be some self-reflection, as if their careers and credibility depended on it. Nevertheless, among the more evenhanded journalists was the PBS Newshour panel:
Pollsters, pundits and many journalists seemed confident that Hillary Clinton would clinch the win. Steve Deace of the Steve Deace Show, Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post and Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times join Judy Woodruff and Hari Sreenivasan to discuss how the media failed to fully grasp the dynamics that propelled Donald Trump to the White House.
It was Mr. Deace’s comments that spoke to why the media should have been as disturbed with Clinton as they were with Trump:
You know, what Margaret said about some of the things Trump said, I mean, that’s why I was #NeverTrump. I was disturbed by those things.
But you know what also disturbed me? To hear Hillary Clinton say that I am her — quote — “enemy,” the comments that were made in the previous segment from the WikiLeaks e-mails calling Christians backwards, the fact that those of us who think that we shouldn’t have men in bathrooms next to our young daughters are called bigots, when we used to just call them parents.
Those things create a backlash as well. So, I don’t fault the media for thinking that Trump couldn’t get elected because of his incendiary comments. The fault, though, comes in the fact that an equal light was not shed on Hillary’s incendiary comments and the backlash that created against her, which we saw in the vote total last night.
Finally, I was interested in CT’s interview of how 20 Evangelical Leaders feel about the election:
Justin Taylor, Author, blogger at The Gospel Coalition is quoted here:
I feel relief Hillary Clinton will never nominate a Supreme Court justice. I feel empathy for those evangelicals who voted for Trump on the calculus of the better of two bad choices, but I feel great frustration at evangelical leaders who excused his many sins, distorted the gospel, and tried to make a positive case for Trump’s virtues as commander-in-chief. I feel a deep sadness for our minority brothers and sisters who feel further alienation from white evangelicals who excused or ignored Trump’s racism and misogyny. Finally, I feel hope. We do not put our trust in such rulers, but in the reign of our Lord (Ps. 146), praying for our leaders so that we would be free to live peaceful, quiet, godly, dignified lives for the earthly and eternal good of our neighbors (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
God is not less sovereign the day after the election than He was before.
And as Christmas approaches, we do well to remind ourselves of the song of Mary – that poor, improbable, powerless woman who understood something about God’s sovereignty that remains true today:
My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant…
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.