The news media’s reaction on Wednesday to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the electoral college was one of shock, awe and perhaps a feeling of getting caught with their collective pants down. The reaction continues to trickle in this morning.
Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times writes News Outlets Wonder Where the Predictions Went Wrong
There is a widespread feeling that the coastal and Beltway sensibilities of many mainstream reporters left them unable to relate to the sense of anger and resentment of the core Trump voter, which led them to miss Mr. Trump’s groundswell of support, some of which appeared to have been lost by polling, too.
And it left them blind to the fact that the political rules to which they adhered no longer seemed to apply.
Experience told them that Mr. Trump’s misstatements, flaws and gaffes would prove disqualifying, which at times led them to present their journalism with a knowingness that only served to convince a large subset of voters that reporters, at best, didn’t get them.
Will Rahn of CBS News writes The unbearable smugness of the press
You’d think that Trump’s victory – the one we all discounted too far in advance – would lead to a certain newfound humility in the political press. But of course that’s not how it works. To us, speaking broadly, our diagnosis was still basically correct. The demons were just stronger than we realized.
This is all a “whitelash,” you see. Trump voters are racist and sexist, so there must be more racists and sexists than we realized. Tuesday night’s outcome was not a logic-driven rejection of a deeply flawed candidate named Clinton; no, it was a primal scream against fairness, equality, and progress. Let the new tantrums commence!
Stephen Battaglio of the L.A. Times writes What a Trump administration means for Fox News and other cable news networks
Although Fox News was at odds with Trump during the Republican primary campaign – he made ugly statements about star anchor Megyn Kelly after facing her tough debate questions – Andrew Heyward, a researcher at the MIT Media Lab and former CBS News president, believes president-elect Trump’s supporters are likely to stick with the channel for its mix of news with conservative commentary.
“Fox News viewers are very loyal and they are attached to the personalities,” Heyward said. “They’ve made it clear there is not going to be a change in editorial direction.”
Brian Stelter of CNN writes 52 questions about the media and the Donald Trump presidency
— Did newspaper investigations matter?
— Did editorials matter?
— Did the debates matter?
— How did the gutting of local newsrooms affect the coverage of this race, particularly in the red states that determined the outcome?
— What role did misinformation and “fake news” have on the outcome? Will Facebook do some soul-searching?
Joe Battenfeld of the Boston Herald writes ‘Media Failed us at a Crucial Time‘
In this election, by any objective measure, the media covered Trump with much more derision and criticism than it did Hillary Clinton.
This is not to say Trump shouldn’t get tough coverage. It’s fine to be skeptical. We are supposed to be tough on him, just like any other candidate running for office. The bombshell recording of his comments about women was big news, and demanded the heavy coverage and follow-up interviews of other women.
The problem is Clinton did not get the same treatment. When FBI Director James B. Comey announced the new email discovery, most of the media fell in line with the Democrats’ spin that Comey was out of line — instead of looking to find out what was in the emails. In fact, many journalists either openly rooted against Trump or never believed he would ever be elected president.
NPR’s David Folkenflik writes Trump Won. The Media Lost. What Next?
For many news organizations, journalism is commerce as well as public service. TV networks pushed for more primary debates because they could make money off those evenings. CNN made great riches by airing Trump at great unedited length on the campaign trail during the primaries: It booked an extra $100 million above what it would expect for an election year, attributed to the obsessive focus on Trump. CNN chief Jeff Zucker even boasted that the network’s ad inventory for election night was sold out in record time. Along the way, CNN, Fox News, NBC and other outlets yielded to all kinds of demands by Trump. As one example, Trump’s near-insistence on doing interviews by phone ensured he could control the tempo of the exchanges. As a man who prizes negotiation, Trump knew such demands would cement his alpha-dog status.
The New York Post’s Salena Zito writes Trump’s Voters Were ‘Hidden’ in Plain Sight
Voters keep sending Washington a message, and Washington — and the reporters who cover it — keep missing the signal. On Wednesday, pundits kept trying to calculate why progressivism was rejected, and they kept looking past what was right in front of them.
Voters are rejecting big government, big banks, big corporations and big technology. They said no to establishment Republican primary candidates and Wall Street, and they hid from the political statheads trying to track their mood.
Sorry, but when it comes to populism, there’s no app for that.
Politico media reporters Joe Pompeo, Peter Sterne, Hadas Gold, Alex Weprin co-write What went wrong? Eleven takes from media veterans
We live in the age of inequality. One of the outcomes of inequality is that we wall ourselves off and resent each other. We journalists lately have too often been holed up in elite areas of New York, Washington, Palo Alto, Miami, or LA. We didn’t realize that just a few miles away from us in places like Staten Island and Homestead, the people were there were hopeless and also hopeless about us. If we are to regain their trust we must move ourselves closer to the people. Remember who we are really supposed to serve (them), and hope to rebuild that relationship. It is on us. – Univision chief news, digital and entertainment officer Isaac Lee.
The Wall Street Journal’s Steven Perlberg writes about the potential advertising fallout for CMO Today: The Media World Reflects on Polling Misfire
The ad world is bracing for what new regulations Mr. Trump’s administration might place on the industry over issues including data privacy and ad taxes. The current Democratic administration has made data-privacy protections more of a focal point, and Republican administrations tend to be more hands-off there. But since the result was such a surprise, the industry wonders who Mr. Trump will appoint at the industry’s regulatory bodies, including the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission.