We certainly don’t believe that a large number of those who voted for Donald Trump in the recent U.S. election did so in reaction to their treatment by the media in major metropolitan centers like New York and Washington D.C. If anything, it was Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment that came closest to galvanizing Trump supporters with that sort of motivation.
In a Huffington Post piece, former New York Daily News editor in chief Jim Rich, who joined the publication in October 2015 and departed not long before Election Day, cites and then challenges that media-influence theory:
The idea now that we in media need to do a better job of understanding what those cheering Trump’s vile rhetoric really want, or who they truly are, is utter nonsense. We know exactly who they are and what they want. They’ve made that abundantly clear. To talk around this point is to normalize behavior that as human beings, let alone citizens of this country, we should never accept as normal.
Attempting to equate the vitriol hurled at hatred as a combative measure with the vitriol of the hatred itself is a disingenuous way for racists to defend, and coerce us to accept, their racism.
A sad footnote to the Rich era was confirmed recently in Politico’s Morning Media dispatch by Joe Pompeo. The EIC chose to leave the paper rather than be forced to implement a new round of deep staff cuts.