CBS, Daniel Boorstin, Donald Trump, Les Moonves, Moyers & Company, Neal Gabler, Pseduo-Candidate, Pseudo-Campaign, The Media
Some blame the media for giving Donald Trump so much (free) coverage and believe it is this totally unbalanced coverage that has helped him get to where he is today.
Neal Gabler, in the article linked to below, however, states, “The far more grievous crime is what the media have been doing to our politics for decades now – something for which Trump just happens to be the chief beneficiary.”
Gabler concludes, “Trump could only make a mockery of our politics because the media already has(d).”
Take a look at this relatively short article, which is less about Trump than it is about the media.
How the Media Enabled Donald Trump by Destroying Politics First, by Neal Gabler, March 4, 2016 on Moyers & Company.
Let me and others know that you think.
Bob Thurston said:
Good find, thanks! It’s good to re-connect with the work of Daniel Boorstin. Might as well learn something from all of this even if things remain scary.
Richard Margolies said:
Gabler blames the media. Blame does not point toward what we can do. Blame is a defense against feeling hurt, dehumanized, or disrespected, and an expression of anger.
More helpful than blaming is understanding the system that the media is a part of. The media is an epiphenomenon, a byproduct or a part of a larger whole. The media is entertainment. It could be more, but today it is focused on what they call ‘attracting eyeballs’. Entertainment includes sports, movies, ‘news’, spectacles of all kinds. And TV, the press, and the internet are tools or pipes for delivering the entertainment. What pays for those entertainments? Advertisements from corporations, or in this political season, candidates’ advertisements. Entertainment attracts viewers, who take in the advertising and buy ‘products’. Candidates market themselves as ‘image products’. Trump is an accomplished marketer of himself. Les Moones describes this from the inside of an entertainment corporation.
The base that creates this culture of entertainment-advertising is the economic system driven by profit. If we want to seek information and insight without the entertainment we can go to PBS, NPR, BBC, CBC and to a somewhat lesser extent, but still better than the entertainment-advertising media, to CNN and Al Jazeera. But even with these six sources we need to watch and listen and read carefully and below appearances.
Gabler minimizes how the Republican Party since Goldwater in 1964 has been moving away from its roots in the Lincoln, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower interest in the common good. The Republican Party has increasingly become reactionary, with no vision, and no interest in the ideals their party was founded on.
One wishes that Gabler, rather than focusing on the byproducts of the system, had looked more broadly and deeply.
The purpose of linking to this article isn’t to call for any specific action. Rather, it is to understand how we have gotten to where we are.
I don’t see Gabler blaming the media so much as simply explaining what has happened.
I agree with your analysis of the Republican Party moving from its roots. They have used the media cleverly in so doing, and the media has used them for audience and profits in return.
Land Wayland said:
We have had several earlier cases of celebrities who successfully ran for high political office and won Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Neither had a political service background and the media was very skeptical about their abilities to govern a State. But they were both given the closest scrutiny by the media and made it clear from all of their public statements that they were capable, both intellectually and emotionally, of handling the job.
But those were the days before the vast majority of voters began to watch TV continuously and spend hours each day looking at the screens on their cell phones. This is truly the age of Celebrity, with Facebook and YouTube giving everyone a shot at 15 minutes of fame, and the author is right about the dangers of the growth of this phenomena. Hopefully the final results will be so catastrophic for Trump and those who support him throughout the country that both political parties and their financial PAC’s will mumble “Boy, did that experiment fail. Never Again” and will go back to a more traditional way of identifying and nominating qualified candidates. The only good thing I can say about Trump’s campaign is that it is going to prevent a more dangerous person (Ted Cruz) from being nominated.
Susan Givens said:
It is so totally sad to realize the power of the media. I believe that was your point for sharing this article. While we have been exposed to propaganda by the media, my disgust is in the political system in general. The growth of SIGs, Power PACs and the general atmosphere that money talks and gets action regardless of what is really the right thing to do. A perfect example is the federal vote for a better system of obtaining background checks for the purchase of hand guns. Mitch McConnell polled his state of Kentucky and the vast majority of his citizens supported this action. This ignorant Senator decided on his own to vote the Republican Party line against this action rather than vote in favor of his constituents. THIS highlights 2 things wrong with our system. The Republican stance was more important than the people’s decision and that these same people keep voting to keep this ignorant person in office. Hail the stupidity on both sides.
A commoner or one that is not monetarily supported by the machine or independently wealthy has no chance at all of being elected to represent the “people’s” will. How pathetic has our “DEMOCRACY” become? Too pathetic in my book.
As a result of the ignorance of all in Congress, Donald Trump has emerged as the man who can bring the government back to the people. No one who is educated at all should be surprised. And no one should be surprised that the “machine of politics” today will do anything and everything to stop him.
While I have very mixed opinions about Donald Trump, mind you that is not the debate here at all. I am sure that I am sick and tired of the “political machine” and “money talks” method of governance. Because now the “shit walks”.
This will indeed be one of the most historical times in our history.
I think it’s the combination of where the media has gone, the role of money in politics, and the change in direction of the Republican party over the past 50 years which has brought us to where we are. The Dems have contributed by participating in the money aspects of politics and not taking on forcefully or effectively what the change in the Republicans’ agenda and (successful) actions have been.
We are reaping what we have all sowed/sown.
I have only one comment:
“You would think that the Republican Party, which has been, let’s face it, hate-spewing, poor-bashing, government-stopping and corporation-loving for decades, ought to be the leading culprit for having paved the way for Trump’s success.”
Spewing hate? How so? Poor bashing? How so? Government stopping? How so? Corporation loving? How so?
As opposed to the democrat party, that solely exists to divide us…in order to keep minorities in the metaphorical chains of entitlements (since the republicans ended slavery) in order to keep themselves in their cushy jobs………
Concerned about “money in politics”? I’m reminded of Willie Sutton (why does he rob banks? “cus that’s where the money is…”)……..reduce the power of government, and guess what? Money has less influence!