A fatal comeuppance for the ‘dishonest media?’

Raja Murthy November 14, 2016 3:00 AM (UTC+8)
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Typical of hypocritical double-standards from the “dishonest media” and their misled victims were protests in some American cities over Donald Trump’s election as US President, from same sectors who roasted Trump for declaring he would not straightaway accept the election result, pending suspicions  of rigging.

The negativity and delusions continue. Post-election, most mainstream news headlines were as optimistic about Donald Trump’s victory as Count Dracula being elected chief of Red Cross Blood Bank.

It’s a poisonous infection from a season of election coverage that was a betrayal of trust – a black textbook for journalism schools on how never to fatally adulterate raw news with biased views. Or be called a ‘shill.’

Donald Trump: the media’s chosen villain, voted people’s choice

Since October, I had boycotted the New York Times, CNN, Guardian (UK) et al — my once favorite global news sources — for having murdered credibility of my profession.

“The American media betraying their people, country and profession is of proportions never before seen in a democracy – so grotesque it might even be refused entry into a Frank Kafka plot-line,” said my article in October exploring the vicious bias against Trump.

For a neutral media professional in the world’s largest democracy, the US  elections looked like Trump and the people of the US versus Corrupt Mainstream Media and the Establishment. Trump and the people won.

More so, since Trump’s rival had the worst CV ever among US presidential candidates, which the mainstream media shockingly tried to hide.

Let alone Donald Trump, Donald Duck was a safer option for the world than having perhaps the most untrustworthy couple in modern political history in the White House.

Given this Frankenstein alternative, so bizarre was the media war on Trump, and inaccurately labeling him ‘racist,’ ‘anti-minorities,’ it took a non-white, Muslim leader to explain how Trump is misunderstood:

Trump against illegal immigrants, not immigrants; against ‘Islamic’ terrorists, not Muslims

Which is why November 9, 2016  makes global history more than a first-time politician elected President of the world’s most powerful democracy. It’s comeuppance for the corrupt media elements twisting and hiding the truth.

This message was emailed me from a leading London-based solicitor Sarosh Zaiwalla: “The election of Donald Trump reflects the power and voice of ordinary people of the United States.The ordinary majority throughout the world do not want wars and continuation of old style politics”.

Most media pundits missed it. NDTV founder Prannoy Roy, a pioneering Indian election analyst, looked like he was sandbagged after the American voters’ writing was on the wall.

In a fair election, Trump winning would have been likely given the growing disgust with corrupt politicians, a reality seen by people not brainwashed by what Trump called “dishonest media,” blinded by delusions, bias, or worse.

The truth won, or so it seemed, until the sinister delay in announcing the result (the Chinese media called the race before their American colleagues). Then Trump emerged to speak as the 45th President of the US: “I’m sorry to keep you waiting….this politics, it’s so complicated.”

Later I remembered the late American historian Gore Vidal’s interview to the BBC soon after Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. Vidal’s drift was if Obama was elected President, and still alive, then a compromise haunts the background. A big difference in the energetic “Yes, we can” presidential candidate Obama and the listless, uninspiring President Obama.

Will President Trump deviate from core promises of candidate Trump? Not likely, with Trump being elected with a largely self-financed campaign. Having won the (non-media hoodwinked) people’s trust, I think he will sooner lose his life than betray that trust.

After betraying basic professional ethics, the “dishonest media” has rendered itself  irrelevant after the US election results. Like me, millions may continue getting along fine without ever again needing the New York Times, CNN and Co.

Like India’s prime minister Narendra Modi, who likewise prevailed despite being the media’s villain-in-chief, President Trump too might directly communicate to citizens through emails, social media, mobile phone apps, radio, television. It’s a new news world.

Some mainstream media houses, struggling for survival, surrendering credibility in a crucial US elections seems like a drowning man throwing away his life jacket.

In this incisive postmortem of the US elections, veteran investigative journalist John Pilgar explains mainstream media role (from 6th minute of video)

November 9th proved again how Truth prevailed over dirty tricks. R.I.P New York Times, CNN, Guardian.

To avoid more obituaries of journalism credibility, hopefully more media colleagues – as do people from other professions- try this ancient universal practice to reduce the ego and be with reality, as it is.

Raja Murthy
Raja Murthy is an independent journalist based in Mumbai contributing to Asia Times since 2003, The Statesman since 1990, and formerly for Times of India, Economic Times, Elle, Wisden.com etc. He shuttles between Mumbai and the Himalayas.
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