How the Media is Benefitting From Attacking President Trump

The press has a short-sighted and ultimately losing strategy, some media critics argue.

July 3, 2017 12:00 pm

The mainstream media is pulling huge ratings while reporters become overnight celebrities in the ongoing public battle between the White House and the press, The Hill is reporting.

“The news world is reaping some short-term benefits from the running battle with Trump, but this is really a short-sighted and ultimately losing strategy,” Jeffrey McCall, a media critic and professor at DePauw University told The Hill. “Sure, it’s sensational and somewhat entertaining, but it makes the media look small and petty.

“Media credibility is quite low and most news consumers aren’t going to sympathize with the news industry, even when Trump makes boorish attacks.”

While Fox News remains the front-runner of cable news, despite the extensive allegations of sexual harassment that led to shake-ups and line-up restructuring, left-leaning outlets have also seen incredible growth due to a phenomenon dubbed, “the Trump bump.”

According to Nielsen’s second quarter ratings, The Hill points out, left-leaning MSNBC’s total viewers are up 73 percent year-over-year, making it the industry’s fastest growing cable news outlet. Anchor Rachel Maddow has become a cultural icon on the left, while perviously unknown reporters like Brian Karem, an editor for a small suburban newspaper in Washington, have used the platform to boost fame on social media.

A video of Karem lecturing Sarah Huckabee Sanders over press access went viral.

CNN ranks just behind MSNBC with 25 percent growth in total viewers despite several recent high-profile and embarrassing mistakes.

But some on the left, like Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi and Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald warn media outlets that they are getting data drunk and behaving recklessly as a result.

“Over and over, major U.S. media outlets have published claims about the Russia Threat that turned out to be completely false — always in the direction of exaggerating the threat and/or inventing incriminating links between Moscow and the Trump circle,” Greenwald wrote. “In virtually all cases, those stories involved evidence-free assertions from anonymous sources that these media outlets uncritically treated as fact, only for it to be revealed that they were entirely false.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David A. Vise also wrote a column for RealClearLife admonishing the media’s over-reliance on anonymous sourcing.

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