unknownIf there is one lesson that has already been learned from the 2016 election, it is that the media does actually matter . . . just not in the way that we had hoped. There has been a pronounced and rising bias against Donald Trump in the media. Some of the negative stories can be laid at the candidate’s own feet for controversial statements and actions. However, it has taken me back how consistent and aggressive the anti-Trump coverage has been in the mainstream media. It is as if Trump was declared the sole exception to the cherished media neutrality rules in this country. However, there has been an interesting response from the public, which views the mainstream media as a critical part of the “establishment.” The more the media drumbeat the call to defeat Trump, the more the public seems to swing toward the candidate. At the end of this election, the media needs to seriously examine its conduct in coverages, including the many Wikileaks emails showing both bias and coordination in favor of the Clinton campaign. One start would be something that I have long advocated: the media must stop endorsing political candidates.

Media endorsements have long been problematic for me. Reporters and editors insist that they are honest brokers of the news and neutral in their treatment. They then come out and advocate for one to win — often with little surprise to readers given their past coverage. The media endorsement is based on a belief that the media is in a unique position to tell voters which is the best candidate. It is a conceit that undermines their credibility and fuels the type of bias that we have seen in this election.

This is not an indictment of all reporters. I write and work with journalists and the vast majority take serious efforts to maintain their objectivity even when they do not like a candidate like Trump. It can take a lot of effort with a candidate singling you out in a massive crowd for name calling and derision. Most do an incredible job in overcoming their natural feelings toward someone who is relentless in his attacks. Yet, Trump is right about the overwhelming tenor of coverage and the comparison of the coverage given Clinton.

Media endorsements blur what should be a bright-line rule of neutrality. The media should inform not direct the public. There has been too much of the latter in this election.

The “great ones” like Edward R. Murrow were honored for their integrity and honesty. The public clearly see little of that in contemporary coverage. It is wrong about the media. There is plenty of both values. There are plenty of honest reporters. However, this is a self-inflicted wound. The response of the public is not just a rejection of the establishment but a clear signal that the public no longer trusts the media. It is the establishment. The more that the media portrays Trump as threatening the stability of Washington or the country, the more some voters are drawn to him. Many want change at any cost and, for better or worse, Trump is viewed as change. The media has much work to do to convince the public that it is not just the handmaiden to the establishment. Dropping media endorsements would be a significant, if largely symbolic, start.

What do you think?


  1. The horror of an entity like Trump coming out of its hole, is that it gives a patina of legitimacy to the fantasies held by the white power types or others who advocate for racial purity. They develop a belief that their dreams of a new Amerika, replete with internment camps and genocidal designs on those who don’t look like “real Americans.” It also allows those who are too squeamish to actually pick up a gun and shoot their (darker) neighbors the room to make pseudo-intellectual excuses and denials for what is really floating around the dark recesses of the alt-right. The exhibition of undisguised hatred these people hold for people who don’t look like them has pulled the cover off what drives the base of what used to be the Republican Party. Pathetic. Those of you here who continue to make excuses for the existence of the Trump malignancy are manifestly not real Americans. You are instead, something else entirely. You will have an opportunity to try to regain some semblance of humanity when common decency shreds your misguided belief system on Tuesday night.

    1. Always nice to hear a sermon on election eve from “a real American” like Mark M.
      Hillary can expand her “basket of deplorable” comment by tacking on the self-righteous drivel Mark M.
      That “holier than thou” crap works even better than “elections have consequences, and WE won”.
      I see a great bipartisan spirit of cooperation in the Clinton administration.😒

  2. Let’s be honest, folks. Early in the primaries, when Trump made jokes about Megyn Kelly’s periods, that should have been the end of his campaign. In a NORMAL election year, the media would have intervened at that point and called on Trump to step out of the race. The Republican party should have called on him to leave. But this year the media continually suspended all norms to accommodate Donald Trump. So it seems absurd when people say the media was ‘against him’.

    1. Sooo, are you like 90 or something??? Because nowadays they even run tampon commercials on TV, and talk about all sorts of gross stuff, like bladder leakage, and blood stains on your clothes. Christ, have you listened to JayZ’s song lyrics, or watched Miley Cyrus twerking her vagina right in your face on TV???

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

      1. You think vulgar jokes and comments should be the new norm in politics? Like no one should question Trump’s maturity? Well it seems the financial markets considered Trump unstable at best. That’s why the markets swooned last week after Comey’s surprise. But today the markets rallied after Comey’s second surprise.

        1. Sure, because the “markets” loves them some crony capitalism, and some FED inflating the money supply. Plus, Hillary is their bought and paid for puppet. Trump might pull an Andrew Jackson and savage the banks. He’s not predictable.

          And as far as locker room talk, I don’t like a lot of stuff that men do. But let’s keep some perspective. Here, think about this:

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          1. Sqeeky –
            What’s wrong with inflating the money supply? No, it doesn’t necessarily cause inflation …..

    2. Peter,

      The media should have pounced on him well before that–from the very beginning when Trump claimed that most of the Mexicans coming into this country were criminals and rapists.

      1. Every single Mexican entering this country illegally is a CRIMINAL, by definition. That is why they scatter when the Border Patrol shows up. That is why you have Sanctuary Cities, – – – – because they are CRIMINALS – – just for being here. Those same kinds of laws apply IN MEXICO, and every other country in the world.

        Some are also rapists, and drug dealers.

        Deal with the truth of the statement if you can.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

      2. It seems as though the complicit media was out to put Trump front and center, as the repub nominee most beatable. Don’t you hate when plans go awry? She thought she would waltz in the oval office this time, just like she did in ’08, before the wheels fell off. Doh! Don’t like the media coverage of Trump, bring it up with the Clinton team.

    3. Peter,

      See what kind of response you get for making that comment about the misogynistic Trump?

      1. @EDM

        Again, you are stuck on “the kind of comment” and not the substance of the comment. Real, engaged debaters don’t spend their time whining about the hurtfulness, or rudeness, or meanness, or insensitivity of a comment and deal instead with the SUBSTANCE of the comment. Is the comment true? Is the comment false? Is the comment misleading?

        That is how you honestly discuss things, not running around like a 5 year old whining to Mommy that a big kid said something mean to you.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. I gave up arguing Squeeky. I always wondered what happened to the people who didn’t make it through analytical geometry, I guess we know now.

        2. Squeeky,

          Having a bad day, are you? Poor thing! I’ll pray for you.

          BTW, real, engaged debaters don’t stoop to name calling and insulting other people’s intelligence. They argue for or against an issue using facts and by trying to persuade the individuals on the other side of the argument. You might consider trying that one day.

  3. Can anybody here help me with this. When I was a kid, (a little over a decade and a half ago) I read this book my father had. It was a science fiction book. In the book, there was a ruling class, and a rebellion. One of the ways the rebellion acted was right out in the open with their agents in TV and movies showing supposedly laudatory flics about the rulers, and their parties, and soirees, and get togethers.

    The ruling class was of course sooo very proud to be the spotlight of the films and shows, but by showing all their affluence the rest of the struggling poor world became more resentful. Then, when the armed warfare broke out, the oppressed classes were more willing to join

    My father doesn’t know which book I am talking about, and I haven’t been able to trigger my memory by browsing his library. To make things worse, every so often he would donate lots of his books to various places.

    Sooo, does anybody know what book I am thinking about???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  4. Darren, You would think it is “a choice by the writer” but I see w/ some, it is Pavlovian.

  5. Trump was, beyond a doubt, the most covered of Republican candidates during the primary season. The amount of coverage Trump received, in the mainstream media, dwarfed not just his Republican opponents, but coverage of Bernie Sanders as well. Hillary was second in media coverage. But most of her coverage was negative in nature.

    1. Negative? Are you f&^cking kidding me? Bernie got tens and thousands of people at his rallies and got a passing nod. If HRC got 50 people at an elementary school playground it was celebrated. He was treated with derision during his interviews and press conferences. It’s not only the Trumpsters who despite CNN and the rest of those media whores – we hate them too.

  6. Hmmm. Maybe Turley has this whole “end endorsements” thingy all wrong. Because that might affect the First Amendment or something. Maybe we can borrow some idea from earlier Journalism majors, and just start requiring uniforms for the press corps??? That could justified as a matter of “public safety” sooo that press people could cut to the head of a line, or get past security checkpoints. Here is an idea:

    We could do this in different colors, pastels, or lighter fabrics, and do skirts, pant suits, and even press “uni-formal” wear for all those spirit cooking dinners, or muckety-muck galas.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. I dunno Squeek, seems like it could get messy with all the bodily fluids they might encounter at the Spirit Dinners. I am thinking latex catsuit with name tags sewn on? Easy to hose off =)

      Otherwise great ideas!

  7. > the media in last the election of ‘USA President’ they showed that: ‘the large channels of media they seem to have lost the seriousness’,
    > journalists also ‘seem’ … as workers WITHOUT personality who take texts and after simply they read… like they are fools tele-parrots !!!
    > this phenomenon humiliation of media are global, citizens and they believed not at 90%,
    and this who transmitted ‘many times is simple disinformation’,
    without having any connection with the reality !!!

  8. Says Mike Pence, “Let’s close the books on Clinton corruption” tomorrow!!

    Imagine that…..

    And take a chance on real change – vote Trump/Pence!


    EXCLUSIVE: Troubled woman with a history of drug use who claimed that she was assaulted by Donald Trump at a Jeffrey Epstein sex party at age 13 MADE IT ALL UP

    On Friday, a lawsuit filed against Donald Trump by ‘Katie Johnson’ was dramatically dropped
    Speculation that the suit was dropped because of threats or a pay-off by Trump went viral
    But has learned that the claims against Trump were fiction
    ‘Katie Johnson’s’ shocking allegations first emerged in a lawsuit filed in California in April
    She claimed she was lured to a sex party by pedophile Jeffrey Epstein where she was forced into rough role-play sex with presidential candidate
    On Wednesday Johnson suddenly cancelled a press conference at which she was set to reveal herself for the first time
    Before that, she told her story to
    Clinton supporters had seized on the story as a possible knock out blow

  10. I must disagree with Prof. Turley. I WANT the media to continue to be the PRESSTITUTES that they are. Because when they act as the presstitutes that they are, I know that whatever they tell me to do is the WRONG thing. When the media serve as presstitutes they not only do not serve the public’s interests but they work completely contrary to the interests of the general public.

    Thus, I know to do exactly the OPPOSITE of what the media tells me that I should be doing or “thinking.” If the presstitutes were to suddenly act without bias and to become real reporters, this would throw the entire system into chaos. I wouldn’t know who or what to believe. But with the media reliably serving as the presstitutes that they are, my life is a lot more simple and all I have to do is to act and believe the opposite because the opposite of what the media tells you is the truth.

      1. Mine too, but many years ago I felt like I was virtually all alone in that view.

        But that is no longer the case. Now, the members of the population who have “a great deal” or a “fair amount” of trust in the mass media are in the minority.

        You’d think that at least some portions of the mainstream media would wise up and at least make a greater pretence of being unbiased, but they’ve closed ranks and actually gone overboard in their biases. I guess they’re believers in the “big lie theory.”

    1. It’s a blunt tool, opposites. Every now and again they throw in a “truth” just to counfound you. The little buggers.

  11. A heart-felt letter from a Bernieorbuster who is voting for Jill Stein, but does not fear a Trump presidency. This type of person – and there are millions like her – will NEVER be interviewed or be written about in the MSM. But they are out there – communicating via social media and producing radio shows and YouTube videos. And they will never ever vote for HRC.

    November 6th, 2016

    Senator Sanders,

    We are three days away from Election Day 2016. I don’t think I’ve ever been so terrified or so hopeful. That sounds a bit like a dichotomy, but I assure you it isn’t. Please allow me to explain.
    I’ve made peace with the idea of a Trump presidency. Yes, some of the things he says hurts my soul. Some of the things he’s accused of triggers my post traumatic stress disorder associated with my own rape. Probably best not to dwell on that idea right now or this letter will be far bleaker than I wish it to be.

    I know, deep within my heart, that Dr. Jill Stein has the five percent of the vote she needs for public funding and the Green Party US ballot space through 2020. I’m not sure how I know this to be true – but if you felt the certainty that I feel resonating through me, you would know it, too. Maybe you already know. We both know you’re much smarter than I am.

    Can you imagine, senator? Thanks in massive part to your historical bid for the White House, enough of our young people shed their comfortable realities and began to genuinely care more about each other. Less about trivial, inconsequential things and instead offering a hand to a stranger, listening to other’s problems, speaking truth. You better own that!

    Please do not allow the Democrat Party US to steal that away from you as well, okay?

    It’s because of you that I no longer fear Donald Trump. I know that YOU would stand up for ALL OF US if he is indeed President Elect Trump. You are the most popular politician of my time. You blew Obama out of the water, and I truly adored and respected that man before this scandal- ridden cycle. I actually have his inaugural invitation framed and hanging above my workspace. I don’t look forward to taking it down, but if Tuesday comes and Hillary Rodham Clinton is coronated – it’s in the recycling bin.

    I can move my family’s copy of FDR’s presidential portrait into that space.

    So yes, I do still have hope for a better tomorrow. Even if Trump wins. Because I know he will be fought every step of the way – by you, by us, by other elected officials and even international parties. We have much more power with a Trump presidency. Why do I think that? Easy.

    Hillary Clinton has gone above and beyond in proving that we the people are entirely powerless against her. She’s thrown her political weight around so much, so blatantly that it’s impossible to ignore. The most obvious example of this is how she stole your nomination. Rampant election fraud. It couldn’t be more apparent.

    I believe you should at least acknowledge that while telling the people who love and support you to vote for the person with whom they’ve had a lifelong abusive relationship. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

    Let’s move on. Hillary Clinton is a LIAR. I can not and will not EVER believe a word that comes out of her mouth. She promises peace, but promotes war. She promises to be a leader on climate change, yet supports GLOBAL fracking and refuses to speak out against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Hillary took up your mantle about Wall Street. I’d love to know which Hillary made you these promises. Public Hillary or Private Hillary?

    And senator, do you honestly think HRC will do absolutely everything to stop the TPP? Because I certainly don’t. In fact, I’m worried it’ll pass during the lame-duck session. That’s terrifying, too. What about pardoning Edward Snowden? Freeing Julian Assange, who she’s already threatened to kill? Will she really make public colleges/community colleges free? Will I be able to finally finish my degree? Will my girls, I have three, will they have the best to look forward to in their futures?

    Or will we all be suffering, trapped beneath her heavy reign as all of our greatest resources are sold to the highest bidder? Yes, I am terrified.

    I’m terrified of that woman. I’m terrified by her ideology, her entitlement and her willingness to go to absolute extremes to get what she wants. She is not above lying -even under oath- cheating, idolizing known war criminals. The Clinton Global initiative is nothing but a money laundering operation. We know this to be true. We have mountains of evidence to that end. Her health? Even if I can’t say whether she’s truly sick or not, my eyes see just fine. I saw her syncopal episodes, crossed eyes and likely tremors. My ears heard her coughing and gagging. Her 9/11 syncopal episode and the type of pneumonia that caused it? All of those things add up. And I believe they add up to Parkinson’s. If that’s the case, why hasn’t she just said she has this issue or whatever health issue she does have? Why lie? And why lie so very badly?

    But I’m not a doctor. As of right now, I’m not a high ranking government official. We’ll see if that changes later on, or not. But as of this very moment in time, I have no money or power to do battle with HRC. She’s so protected by other corrupt officials that every time we have a just reason to be done with her, we’re blocked.

    Sadly, Hillary being untouchable to us peasants has already proven to be true. I donated hundreds of dollars to your campaign and the DNC because I wanted to support my party. Of course that was before I woke up and realized that being a loyal, honest and faithful person does not automatically translate to my elected officials. Many of them are corrupted by money and the power that goes along with it.

    You weren’t the only one that was robbed.
    ALL of your supporters were robbed.

    Isn’t that against the law, Senator Sanders? Election fraud is a big deal! Right? I mean, look at states like Arizona, New York, Nevada, California…really, I could go on but that seems a touch excessive. Even though this behavior is clearly illegal, it’s our Lady Clinton, so meh. What can you do?

    Sucks to be us, huh?

    I’m going to paraphrase Malcolm X here. He said something along the lines of this about the 1964 election: If Goldwater had won it would have inspired true change because the people would come together to overthrow him.

    Isn’t it funny how our proud Goldwater Girl is running against, basically, the second-coming of Goldwater in Trump? Now, I can’t stop thinking that this entire election has been a farce. How can we trust the results from this election? How are we supposed to go back to sleep now? The democracy I knew is dead.

    That makes me angry. My great grandfather, grandfather, great uncles, adoptive father, two older brothers and ex-husband all served in various branches of the military. I would’ve, had I not had PTSD before going overseas. They fought, bled, cried and very nearly died more times than I can count. They were willing to sacrifice everything for our democracy and freedom.

    How wasteful of the Washington Elite.

    Senator Sanders, I am not upset with you. In fact, I am so proud of you. You stood up for me, my family and everyone else in the world when you started your bid for the presidency. You fought with honor, integrity and courage. You didn’t resort to name calling or mudslinging. You just kept things real. You went above and beyond and because of that my generation is more united than ever before.

    We are united against crony capitalism.
    We are united against money in politics.
    We are united against corruption.
    We are united against injustice.

    The saddest part of all of this is you, senator. This should be your race and you would be blowing Trump out of the water as he drains his swamp. Yet you are out there regurgitating the lies HRC has promised and are imploring us to STOP TRUMP!


    The same man who said he couldn’t snap his fingers to make us vote for Hillary. As you said, we’re not that kind of movement. However, there you are – trying to snap for the Democrats.

    It’s heartbreaking.

    But still, I have faith.

    Because we’re not that kind of movement. We will never stop fighting. It’s time everyone else realized that too.

    As millennials we are often overlooked and talked down to like we’re children. That’s not condescending at all, right? We are much more intelligent than we are given credit for. We are passionate and creative and a force to be reckoned with.

    November 8th, 2016 is not the end, it’s only the beginning of a new fight. I know you’ll be fighting with us then, so why aren’t you fighting with us now, Bernie?

    Why did you leave us treading water and not throw a life preserver? Why haven’t you spoken out for us, for our lost votes, for the millions of donations stolen, for the time and heartache all of your supporters experience every single day since July? I’ve been told all my life not to believe “crazy” conspiracy theories. So, I take everything with a grain of salt. However, the idea that you’ve been coerced or threatened into the support you’ve been giving HRC? That seems more likely with every passing minute.

    Senator, we fought with you. We’re still fighting for you and your entire platform. Please refuse to allow HRC to tarnish your sterling record. Please, for the love of humanity, do not make us fight against you.

    Because that is the day that haunts my dreams. I personally don’t want to be living a nightmare. You can help us stop that from happening.

    Please Bernie, please – stand in solidarity with all of your supporters and denounce Hillary Rodham Clinton and her unethical and outright illegal actions. Take a stand for us all. We’ll always have your six. We have less than two days left. It won’t make a huge difference now, will it? I know it would mean the world to your supporters. Even just validate Dr. Stein’s candidacy?

    In closing, senator, I would like to say thank you once more. You are an inspirational man and I will forever remember you as the man that dared me to dream again. Not only dream, but DREAM BIG. You made me believe in myself just as much as I believe in you.

    For that you will always be my favorite Senator, hailing from the state of Vermont.

    With gratitude, kindness and love,
    Sarah Dixon
    Dayton, OH

      1. SWM – seems like everyone has a prediction so they can get their 15 seconds of media attention. However Sabato seems more honest that most – called out HRC on her change of mind on the TPP as pandering. So he knows a liar when he hears one.

      2. Oh no, the Democrats are most excellent at getting voters to the polls! They even go pick up drunks and derelicts at the halfway houses, and homeless shelters! Why, in some of the precincts, they will even vote for you, and you don’t have to go the polls or nothing! Very efficient!

        Now as for what I do blame the media for, is the “not reporting” of some things, and the biased reporting of other things. But that has been going on for decades. It really just comes down to people being stupid, and like I have said before, stupidity is the default switch of the majority of people in general. That is why Democracies tend to flop rather quickly sometimes.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

  12. No BENGHAZI, no FBI e-mails, now its the media’s fault….JT, I wish you would go back to talking about the law equally applied to all.

  13. You can see it in Brokaw’s eyes, desperation for Hillary to win at any cost, fully prepared to commit suicide rather than live under a Trump administration. The late World War II ace and governor of South Dakota, Joe Foss, would turn over in his grave knowing the filthy politics Brokaw has subscribed to, not mentioning totally dishonest and corrupt establishment specimens he rubs shoulders with.

    Like Brokaw, mainstream media journalist are bag men for the establishment, perfectly willing to stomp on the middle class if it means maintaining position in limelight.

    Tomorrow the middle class is going to put out their lights. And I can’t wait to see what Brokaw will do.

    1. Oh, I sooo hope you are right! But I am a pessimistic type person. Maybe it comes from that old Viking blood, which foresaw the Gotterdammerung coming. But I just think we are past the tipping point, where there are far too many idiots to keep the ship from capsizing. But I am still voting Trump!

      Squeeky Fromm
      Girl Reporter

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