How Donald Trump Gets Away With Lying in Plain Sight
New York Times Op-Ed contributor Charles M. Blow has been waging a courageous war against media blindness. In his current NYT opinion piece, Donald Trump Is Lying in Plain Sight, he talks about mainstream media has been aiding and abetting the Trump campaign by refusing to bring him to task for the panoply of lies with which Trump peppers virtually ever public statement he makes. Go read that article then come back here for my reply.
First of all, I am noticing a growing influx of Big Media (there is really no such things as mainstream media any more) into the social media realm seeking verification and marketability. This is a tacit acknowledgement is it not, that Big Media no longer reaches its prime audience?
With respect to the culpability of the media with respect to this campaign, I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that the media is still acting as though the Fairness Doctrine was still in effect and that their operations were still under threat if they failed to live up to the Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine required television and radio stations to give equal time to opposing issues upon the request of people with opposing views. That turned out to be a real problem, because it opened the door to every crackpot conspiracy theorist to demand equal time for their crackpot views, making it virtually impossible to honor the Doctrine’s intent.
The Fairness Doctrine was struck down by the FCC in 1987, although the language calling for the doctrine wasn’t removed from the FCC standards until 2011. However, the equal time rule is still in effect, but studies have shown that Donald Trump has received a tremendously disproportionate amount of media coverage, and the Clinton campaign has been derelict in not demanding that equal time as the FCC rules permit. Unlike the Fairness Doctrine, the equal time rule still exists, and enables a candidate for public office to rebut comments made in support of another candidate by a news organization, whether the comments were made by the reporter or by the candidate in question.
Nevertheless, despite its non-existence, broadcast news media continues to use the principle of the Fairness Doctrine to justify its absurd behavior with respect to reporting on the 2016 presidential campaign. not only has broadcast media continued to live up to a Nonexistent Fairness Doctrine, but the Clinton campaign has failed to demand the opportunity to rebut Trump’s statements via the extant Equal Time Rule.
These are murky areas, confusing for both journalists and jurists, but the fact remains that it is impossible to uncolor colored coverage. The negative impressions that the media has unfairly built up around Mrs. Clinton, abetted by the unfairly muted criticism of Mr. Trump’s pronouncements, behavior and comportment, make it clear that if there is any fraud going on in this election cycle, it is being perpetuated by the news media itself.
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