Did news coverage help elect Trump?


In light of the recent election of Donald Trump into the White House, I have begun to evaluate the news media’s role in Trump’s apparent success.

Although a lot of us were sure that Trump’s rhetoric would keep him out of the White House, clearly, we were wrong. Which leads me to ask, how in the name of God, did Trump get voted into the world’s most prestigious and powerful position?

Well, let us start by considering the fact that, out of all of the presidential hopefuls, Trump received the most news media coverage.

According to a study conducted by Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on media and politics, Trump received 34 percent of news coverage when compared with his other GOP candidates: Jeb Bush receiving 18 percent, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson both with 14 percent, Ted Cruz with 13 percent, and last, and most certainly least, John Kasich with a mere 7 percent of all GOP media coverage.

A New York Times article written by Patrick Healey in late 2015 notes that, Trump “had planned to spend $15 million on campaign commercials this summer but did not because of the “free nationwide publicity” that the cable news networks provided.

This is due to the fact that Trump’s main business plan during the course of his campaign was to manipulate the media and, in particular, monopolize airtime.

Far too many networks fell victim to Trump’s ploys, and every raunchy, explosive, or controversial thing he said became headlines, allowing Trump to use cable’s widespread dissemination and availability to do the advertising for him.

 US News refers to Trump as “The Master of Manipulation”, and as much as I would like to disagree, Trump has done an outstanding job in using his unprecedented rhetoric, scandals, and controversies to bank on airtime.

“Trump never stopped dominating the media,” reads the headline of Farai Chideya’s FiveThirtyEight article, and “the master” manipulator, Trump seems to second that notion.

“I’ve gotten so much free advertising, it’s like nothing I’d have expected,” he told the Times. “When you look at cable television, a lot of the programs are 100 percent Trump, so why would you need more Trump during the commercial breaks?”

Well, as difficult as it may be to leave, Donald Trump is indeed the next president of this fine country and, unfortunately, I congratulate him and wish him the best for the sake of ALL mankind.