I have never been a fan of Trump. I was stunned when he won. Ever since I have been trying to understand why he won. Where did I go wrong. But hell, I’m a foreigner, and have only an outsider’s perspective. I’m not too hard on myself. Its not as if I thought there was no Modi wave in May ’14.
But the broad majority of “respected” journalists in India did think there was no Modi wave. And everyone in US thought Trump would surely lose. There was talk of this being historic landslide for Hillary. Obituaries of Republican party were being discussed with ill-concealed glee. Headlines of “Madam President” were ready for print. What must be happening in their heads? What kind of introspection must they be undergoing? Read a few headlines and judge for yourself. “Shock and unease as Trump rises to power”, “Anti Trump protests spread across the country”, “A time to keep fighting”, “The populist fury that may damage global prosperity”, “How Hillary handles pain”, “Not my president”, “Trump won. Here’s how to fight back”, “Trump’s win is a reminder of the incredible, unbeatable, power of racism”, “White women sold out sisterhood by voting for Trump”, “Its not melodramatic to fear for our safety after this election”, “There’s a simple reason people don’t like Hillary. She’s a woman”
No sign of introspection. Also no report of Trump victory parties, just of protests. Surely some celebration must be happening too! No reports from the point of view of trump supporters. Not even a pretense to look neutral. Just blatant opposition and disgust. Assumptions of racism, sexism, and bigotry. And then they wonder why they are losing money and why people don’t trust them. Twitter is even worse. The cries of sexism and racism ignore all reality and impartiality.
These “journalists” hardly ever see anything wrong with Clinton and Obama. I like certain things about Obama, but many of his policies have been a dosaster. Obamacare, his healthcare plan, is failing. The average healthcare premiums rose by 25% this year. But when that news came out, all the media headlines were about worrying that Republicans would take advantage of this news. No attempt to question Obama or to ask Clinton how she will fix it. Trump, frankly, has no alternative to Obamacare. he just says he will scrap it and bring something better. Media makes lots of jokes about it. But what is Hillary’s plan? Nothing. Rather its exactly the same. She says she will make it better. And she gets a pass. She also gets a pass on all the complaints about corruption. Not just because she’s a woman and they want a woman president, and not just because press has deep ties to the Clinton machine, but because its a world view they are unwilling to challenge.
Indian media is the same. Any deviation from the standard centre-left monopoly on “opinion” and “intellectualism” is always dismissed. The media remains closed to new perspectives. American media is now talking about regulating social media. Social media is taking more of a role of being a source of information for people. Media wants Facebook to control what narratives spread there. Basically preventing anything they don’t like. The people who claim to be on the side of the marginalized are the first to demonize the common people if they speak anything but official narrative.
And thats why, media folks, you are dinosaurs. Traditional media is dead. It just hasn’t fully realized it yet.