Media fail to learn lessons from Trump election

Sharyl Attkisson explains in her latest column that major media outlets have yet to transform lessons from the 2016 presidential election into action.

For all our hand wringing over how badly we missed the forecast on Donald Trump’s electability; for all the self-flagellation over obvious signs conveniently ignored; for all of our admissions that we’d gotten so stuck in our own echo chamber, we couldn’t see what was before our eyes; for all of our pledges to re-examine the way we report, seeking to peer outside the DC-New York City bubble; for our promises to listen rather than preach and to report rather than tell people what to think— we didn’t mean it.

A major event … removed any doubt— the news coverage after President Trump’s meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin. One universal world view dominated. At best, the meeting and press conference were disasters or treacherous. At worst, Trump proved to be a downright traitor.

To be clear, there’s certainly nothing wrong with reporting those views. The problem is they were reported to the near-exclusion of opposing viewpoints. They were elevated beyond the realm of “opinion” and given the status of indisputable fact.

After a tsunami of media and establishment members of both political parties parroted the same prevailing view, often laced with venom and disgust, there didn’t seem to be many willing to publicly step forward and argue the point. But it was an incomplete portrait of reality.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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