54% of voters voted against Trump, so the mainstream media’s answer to the majority rejecting the president-elect is to try to hire more pro-Trump commentators.
It is a fact that the majority of voters voted for someone other than Donald Trump. In many industries, this would signal a clear market direction for the future, but in the world of corporate media where currying favor with the incoming administration matters more than what the audience wants to read and see, the opposite lesson has been learned.
The Washington Post reported that mainstream outlets are looking to hire pro-Trump writers and commentators, “Newspaper editors say they’re on the lookout for more such writers. “What happened this year is that many of the people who we count on for conservative commentary — many of whom have generally supported Republican candidates in the past — simply didn’t support Trump,” said Nicholas Goldberg, editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times. “I certainly believe our op-ed editor ought to be aggressively seeking smart, articulate people who have positive things to say about Trump, who are sympathetic to his point of view or who are able to explain, support and justify him to our readers.”
If newspaper editors and other mainstream media outlets are having trouble finding pro-Trump commentators, that should tell them that the president-elect isn’t popular. A pro point of view about an unpopular president is not going to attract more readers.
The problem is that the mainstream media has confused balance with supporting the president. The mainstream press should strive for a balance between liberal, conservative, and independent voices. It doesn’t matter if all or none of those voices support the current White House.
Perhaps the reason why mainstream outlets can’t find pro-Trump voices is that Trump has planted seeds of total distrust of the mainstream media among his supporters. It doesn’t matter how many “pro-Trump” voices these outlets hire, Trump supporters are never going to trust them. By emphasizing the need for “pro” voices, the mainstream press will be building more distrust among their audiences.
Conservatives and liberals can both have issues with an administration, but for different reasons.
The goal of the mainstream press should not be to be “pro” or “con.” The goal mainstream outlets should be intelligence and accuracy.
By bowing to Trump and ignoring the majority voters, the mainstream media is demonstrating why most Americans do not trust them.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association