Various news outlets this week have started to publish polls regarding the treatment of President Donald Trump. MSNBC past polls have shown that 82% believe the treatment of Trump in media is “Unfair”
Gallup polls, also out this week show a majority of Americans polled believe the media coverage is “Unfair.”
I am not a supporter of any political party, but what I do support is the notion of an informed public. I have never voted in any election, but I have completed a journalism degree and what have seen since has shocked me.
“Politics is Downstream from Culture”
Andrew Breitbart, the late controversial right-wing journalist spouted a saying that “politics is downstream of culture.”
Now it is nothing new to acknowledge that people generally put more of their hearts and free time into cultural pursuits – from mass media and video game consumption to film and T.V.
However, it does lead the crowd into a dangerous and blinkered world view, devoid of any opposing voice or facts that would be relevant to a debate.
Young people in particular, are much more susceptible to getting their values and “facts” from cultural rather than explicitly political or neutral sources.
Take last night’s offering from SNL for example. A show built up for an entire week on the premise of ridiculing its nation’s President.
It must be frightening to think about the sheer amount of people whose world views on important matters are shaped or influenced by such shows as SNL.
It is quicker to be part of this collectivism. To adopt the opinions Meryl Streep expresses at an awards show rather than formulate your own.
Now it is 100% ok to hold her opinion that people who support or assist Donald Trump are in some way relatable to Nazi brownshirts as long as you get to that point yourself.
“It’s terrifying to put the target on your forehead, and its sets you up for all sorts of attacks and armies of brownshirts and bots and worse.” (Streep)
However, what is worrying is the amount of reporting and championing her speech will receive across mainstream media outlets that will offer no investigation into her statements and by proxy will only serve to reinforce it as the correct view to hold.
Trump has precious little in common with Ronald Reagan, but he has this: like Reagan, Trump came into politics from a position of being a familiar figure on American TV (Reagan, after his film career and before he ran for Governor of California, was the popular host of the weekly GE Theater).
Among other things, Trump was a well-known to fans of pro wrestling, an under-the-radar element of the culture for a lot of political commentators; a regular guest on the Howard Stern show; and polls by AMG and SurveyUSA found that his most faithful supporters overlapped significantly with the TV audience of his reality show The Apprentice.
And throughout Trump’s campaign, he – like Reagan – has drawn on his showbiz friends, albeit friends like Mike Tyson who you or I might not consider positive cultural role models.
Trump pulled off exactly what many Republicans have wanted to see for some time – a figure who got loads of free media coverage from being a glamorous figure of the culture, and cashing that in politically in dramatic fashion.
The question you have to ask yourself about culture or more importantly the news is; Why are people giving you the news? Are they providing it because they love you and value your mind and want you to make an informed decision?
Is it possible that they have a vested interest in what they report and how it is conveyed?
I think more people are asking that question and may be in part why you are seeing more people acknowledge unfair coverage of Trump.
Trump used it, albeit it under the radar to great effect and now I think you are seeing the backlash in the mainstream outlets determined to regain some semblance of authority by leading a wave of opinion against Trump.
My plea would be to realise that indeed politics is downstream from culture, stand up, get out of the stream and judge things for yourself instead of going with the flow.