While mainstream media attempts to direct its audience away from the issues Donald Trump brings up in his stump speeches, many of those in the industry are opening their wallets big-time to Hillary Clinton.
The talk in mainstream media and social media over the past couple of weeks has centered on recordings of lewd comments Trump made about women and the accusations of several alleged victims of unwanted sexual attention who have come forward. The press is rightly – if a little eagerly – looking into the charges.
Meanwhile on the campaign trail, Trump is sounding a warning about the consequences of this election:
“This is not simply another four-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we, the people, reclaim control over our government ….
“This election will determine whether we’re a free nation or whether we have only the illusion of democracy but are, in fact, controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system.”
Trump has been pointing to WikiLeaks documents suggesting the Obama administration’s State Department, the Clinton campaign, and the mainstream media are teaming up to get Hillary Clinton elected president. Robert Romano of Americans for Limited Government says it’s a serious charge.
“And if that’s what happens every four years, it’s really creating a situation where it’s going to be hard for competitive elections to occur, where alternatives will be presented to the American people,” he tells OneNewsNow.
Romano says a handful of corporations controls the major media outlets, and they answer to two masters: power and money – both of which are very influential.
“Media. That’s how we’re going to make decisions about what’s going on. But if we’re not getting all of the information, then we really can’t make an informed decision.”
So while Trump is fighting an uphill battle, Romano says the billionaire’s campaign may be the last, best hope for America as she is known today.
Clinton showered with media’s campaign cash
A recent survey on journalists’ political contributions may lend credibility to Romano’s comments about the influence of media money on the election coverage, if not the outcome. That survey by a non-partisan think tank finds that for every dollar professional journalists give to the Trump campaign, they give $27 to the Clinton team.
Each presidential campaign and their supporters say the press is giving the other candidate a pass. But the money trail indicates there’s really no question about whose side the reporters are on.
David Levinthal is with the Center for Public Integrity, which did the survey. He sums up the survey results in one sentence: “Among those journalists who do make political contributions, Hillary Clinton is getting the vast majority of that pool of money.”
According to CPI’s analysis of the nearly $400,000 in presidential campaign contributions to the two campaigns from journalists, almost $382,000 went to Clinton. That compares to just over $14,000 to the Trump campaign – a ratio of about 27-to-1. (The survey covered the period January 1, 2015 to August 30, 2016.)
Levinthal notes while most news organizations have rules about their reporters donating to political campaigns to avoid the appearance of favoritism, those rules vary from outlet to outlet.
“The standard across the industry – well, there really isn’t one,” he admits. “You have some news rooms that have very, very strict rules in place when it comes to their reporters making political contributions. But then you have plenty of other newsrooms that have different types of policies – more permissive policies.”
As Levinthal writes:
“Conventional journalistic wisdom holds that reporters and editors are … bastions of neutrality …. But during this decidedly unconventional election season … several hundred news professionals have aligned themselves with Clinton or Trump by personally donating money to one or the other.”
He tells OneNewsNow that as journalism continues to chart new ground in the age of social media, it’s going to be more and more difficult to sort the professionals who at least try to be impartial from the new breed who might not have the same constraints. In a way, he longs for the “good old days.”
“You didn’t have this thing called the Internet,” he points out, “so that has changed the game in a dramatic, dramatic way – and you’re seeing the full flourishing of that in 2016, in no uncertain terms.”
Copyright OneNewsNow.com. Reprinted with permission.