A New Breed of American Media Is Inevitable
Given that a fair portion of the American public still supports objective reporting, most major media outlets are begging for extinction by serving as a sycophantic extension of the corporate-political establishment. In large part, their unrelenting Trump animus stems from confirmation bias, or the tendency to seek out and interpret evidence that confirms one’s existing opinions while overlooking or dismissing opposing beliefs. Often in direct opposition to its stated mission, our corporate media apparatus has been applying both overt and implied prejudice at the expense of objectivity in its coverage of Trump and his allies. The Fourth Estate needs to refurbish its shabby interior.
This isn’t to say that Trump doesn’t deserve intense ongoing scrutiny for a litany of reasons. Some of the things he says and does shouldn’t even be mentioned at the dinner table. Even his supporters have to admit this. Still, not everyone sees things through the same lens. The mostly Blue State, largely coastal media centers were shocked by the election results, which means they had no idea that much of the rest of the country soundly disagreed with their cherished cultural assumptions. They should have at least paid more attention to what voters in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio had to say. Either way, they haven’t taken their political beating very well, as evidenced by their escalating war with the Trump administration. A cacophony of voices are spreading as much media gossip as possible in an effort to destroy the Trump presidency early on. To a dispassionate observer, this assault has the look of an orchestrated effort.
The major media has always protected Establishment interests in our country, but the current scenario seems more personal. Trump’s unorthodox, bellicose behavior has inflamed hostility in ways we haven’t seen before, leading to irrational conduct on both sides. One of the problems with confirmation bias is that it inspires assumptions that people believe are true based on their own personal prejudices. This proves corrosive to high-grade thinking, which can only occur through objective interrogative analysis. Confirmation bias also ruins the possibility of drawing sensible conclusions or actualizing well-formed solutions; it certainly hinders the real political progress more level-headed Americans desire. Put simply, confirmation bias brings out the worst in people. It leads to dishonest thinking and hysterical behavior.
Short of a major political scandal, Trump’s presidential legacy will rest on his handling of the economy. Robust employment numbers, visionary infrastructure development, and an expansion of home-based industries might even still the winds of hatred blowing through the corridors of our major media centers. At the very least, those winds could turn to small gusts for fear of a backlash from the American public. Eventually, a growing number of high-profile publishers and journalists will realize that cozying up to certain inside-the-Beltway interests isn’t the answer since doing so will prove increasingly costly.
But the issue won’t end there, even if the Trump administration moves our economy in the right direction. Expect Trump’s presidency to inadvertently inspire a new breed of American media. A growing demographic is sick of wading through biased agendas masquerading as reportage. Millennials especially are technologically savvy, team-oriented, ambitious, and keenly aware of how media can serve or manipulate others. I’m betting on the death of corporate media as we know it. I think it will be challenged by a growing network of more objective online media outlets dedicated to fair, intelligent reporting and analysis. It’s a market waiting to explode, and when it does, the corporate media will have no choice but to neutralize its slant and perform to the proper standards. We’re living in challenging times. We deserve nothing less.