A discussion of how the media handled the presidential election, and what happens now that the election is over, appears in The New York Times, with chief television critic James Poniewozik and media columnist Jim Rutenberg breaking things down.
Poniewozik writes: “The press covered Hillary Clinton like the next president of the United States. The press covered Donald Trump like a future trivia question (and a ratings cash cow).”
Adds Rutenberg: “If you think about it, she received coverage befitting a traditional politician running for president; he received coverage of a billionaire reality-television star who turned politics into performance art and sparked a powerful movement in the process.”
Poniewozik notes: “And in the general election, it affected expectations. NBC’s September ‘commander-in-chief forum’ with Matt Lauer [of ‘Today’] was a low point. Mrs. Clinton got an appropriately tough vetting. Mr. Lauer told Mr. Trump ‘nobody would expect you’ to have studied up on foreign policy before running. (Nobody? Do they cover that at orientation?)”
And Rutenberg observes: “The new twist was that we had an asymmetry no working journalist had ever seen. Donald J. Trump lied more than his opponent did. It meant that the press was seen calling him out for falsehoods more than it was seen calling out Hillary Clinton, who fibbed less (but did aplenty). That created the impression of imbalance. But so much of it was reflecting what the reporting found, objectively.”
Click on the link near the top of this story to go to The New York Times to read the full discussion.