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Friday, June 03, 2016

The Hollywood Reporter does better than NYT on Trump

For my book, I read hundreds of articles and transcripts (321 people are quoted). Finding media bias is pretty easy. It's like looking for hay in a haystack. But informative articles take a little more digging and you have to go outside the usual places.

Rolling Stone actually had one of the best articles on Trump, and it included the "That Face" quote about Carly Fiorina. Notice, Trump never said anything bad about the reporter. Why? Because it was balanced. It was not a hit piece. Trump said it. Took his lumps for it. Moved on.

Post-book, I keep looking outside the mainstream for information, and I find it among the magazines.

I offer three interesting stories from The Hollywood Reporter.

First from Keith Olbermann, who moved out of a Trump building this year to another apartment building in a protest to Trump. Someone else rented it, likely for more. His rant is against the media for covering Trump too much. It ends:
With their own jobs hanging in the balance, who in the American media of 2016 could invoke not the politics of reproductive rights but question if there's something far more than inconsistency involved when a candidate says he believes women who have abortions should be in some way punished, then weeks later insists he meant they should punish themselves? Or in that environment, who can ask not about religious intolerance but instead what is amiss with the thought process of a candidate whose campaign pivoted from the fringes to a hateful lane in the mainstream the day he insisted Muslims be banned from entering this country, yet who could manage to later seriously claim all that was "just a suggestion"? Or ask what kind of person suggests killing the innocent relatives of suspected terrorists, then throws it away like it was a poorly timed proposal to raise rates at the Fed? Or ask not what kind of Republican would say, but what kind of human would say of the presidency (or anything else) on Aug. 18, "I wanted to do this for myself," and then say on Nov. 20, "I don't want it for myself"?
With the most effective form of self-censorship in play — one not based on ideology nor on a silly harkening back to a neutral past that only briefly existed, but based purely on cash — who will stand up and point at the emperor standing in only a comb-over and ask where in the hell his clothes are?
Or should I not ask that question? You know, because maybe it's not objective. Or it's too objective. I forget which.
At least with Olbermann, there is no pretense about being conservative.

Next, I offer Michael Wolff's interview and short profile of Trump at Trump's Beverly Hills mansion:
He's punted on Hillary as a topic since we started our conversation, as though to talk about her was not to talk about him. If in public he needs to treat her as his cause, in private he doesn't want her taking up his time. But I sneak it back.
"Did you ever vote for Bill?" I ask, thinking that both men have as much in common as they have that separates them.
"Let's see … did I ever? Eh, I don't want to say who I voted for."
Indeed. These two '80s guys were undoubtedly once quite in sync.
The anti-Christ Trump, the Trump of bizarre, outre, impractical and reactionary policies that most reasonable people yet believe will lead to an astounding defeat in November, is really hard to summon from Trump in person. He deflects that person, or, even, dissembles about what that person might have said (as much, he dissembles for conservatives about what the more liberal Trump might have said), and is impatient that anyone might want to focus on that version of Trump. It does then feel that the policies, such as they are, and the slurs, are not him. They are just a means to the end — to the phenomenon. To the center of attention. The biggest thing that has ever happened in politics. In America. The biggest thing is the theme. It's what he always wants to come back to. Bigness is unavoidable and inevitable. Bigness always wins.
A reminder: one man's "bizarre, outre, impractical and reactionary policies" are common sense to the rest of us.

Finally, this from Mark Halperin:
The 2016 presidential campaign has been utterly unprecedented. TV ad buys have been overwhelmed by impulsive Instagram posts. Endorsements have been superseded by monster rallies. Bernie Sanders, a septuagenarian socialist, has captivated millennials as Hillary Clinton has trudged resolutely toward the nomination, weighted by controversies, suspicion and a perceived likability deficit. Meanwhile, Donald Trump — Twitter enthusiast billionaire — dispatched an army of senators and governors by employing a fantastical formula of trenchant nicknames, outrageous pronouncements, swaggering charisma and obsessive media coverage
Now, as the wild preliminary act draws to a close, prepare for some completely unconventional conventions.
Trump ratings are yuge. Fox News was the No. 1 cable network in May, despite ESPN and TBS showing the NBA Playoffs. CNN and MSNBC, usually relegated well out of the Top 30, were No. 13 and 15, respectively. More from Halperin:
Who would have thought the Republican convention could be more unified than the Democrats'? GOP bigwigs have fallen in line behind The Donald, with #NeverHillary squelching #NeverTrump. But prepare for massive demonstrations as legions of anti-Trump activists descend upon Cleveland and launch the civilian fight of the political season. And the Cleveland cast will be noticeably lighter on presidential might. After Jeb Bush's bruising defeat, George H.W. and George W. Bush plan to skip the proceedings, as will Numero Uno #NeverTrumper Mitt Romney. Trump likely will fill the void with sports stars, celebrities and his own photogenic family. Don't be surprised if the man himself shuns tradition and makes nightly appearances rather than a one-time cameo, serving as the host and emcee of his own convention.
Notice these three stories are not particularly flattering. But they are factual. Even Olbermann's opinion piece was informative. They come without petty smirks or cheap shots.

Trump does better with the magazines than he does the dailies, because the magazines actually practice journalism. Anymore, newspapers are doing clickbait and still lamely trying to set the agenda.

Maybe my tastes have changed and I have soured on newspapers, nevertheless the New York Times might wish to get back to the basics. They all should.


  1. "A reminder: one man's "bizarre, outre, impractical and reactionary policies" are common sense to the rest of us."

    -But not to "Reasonable People"

  2. NYT fancies itself as "an opinion leader". For many outside the Bos-Wash bubble, it leads(?) in the wrong direction. Lies, it prints.

  3. "Soured on newspaper:" Winner of the Understatement of the Year Award. - Elric

  4. Each of them represents the "right-thinking people" who see themselves as so clearly superior to those who disagree that it would never occur to them that they might be wrong or, at least, might be able to learn something from them.