It was amusing last Friday, the seventh day of Donald Trump’s presidency, to hear CNN anchor, Don Lemon, declare that Trump was “doing exactly what he said he would do.”
(Surely a president of the United States wouldn’t dare to do exactly what he said he would do!)
Lemon was referring to the executive orders Trump signed during his first week on the job. The CNN news reader and his colleagues were especially appalled by the president’s executive orders relating to immigration — his order restricting entry into the United States of people from Muslim countries and the action to crack down on illegal immigrants from Mexico.
This is the same Don Lemon who, in a CNN newscast on December 27, 2016, declared of Trump, “He still needs us more than we need him.”
Actually, Don, THE Donald doesn’t need you boys and girls at all.
What Lemon and hundreds of his fellow “journalists” still do not understand is that Donald Trump has rendered them irrelevant. The most consistent feature of Trump’s successful campaign was that he bashed “the media,” especially Lemon, repeatedly, effectively, gleefully. Trump demonstrated that the national news media in the United States is impotent.
One man with a cell phone defeated an army
Realizing that proving anything with statistics is a shaky proposition, I nevertheless call your attention to these few facts:
- Trump has 22.4 million Twitter followers and the number is growing since his inauguration.
- Fox News boasts an average of 3.83-million viewers in prime time.
- CNN now averages 1.83-million viewers in prime time.
- The New York Times, “the world’s greatest newspaper,” now has an average circulation on Sunday, its top day, of just 1.12-million.
- The Washington Post sells 832-thousand papers on Sundays, also its top day.
- The Los Angeles Times sells an average of 654-thousand newspapers every Sunday.
- The Sunday circulation of the Chicago Tribune is down to 853-thousand.
That totals a little over 9-million combined total followers for the top two television news networks and the country’s top four newspapers, compared to Trump’s 22-million Twitter followers. If we were keeping score, we’d have to say that Trump is beating all of them put together by better than two-to-one.
It’s not a comforting thought that one energetic smart aleck with a Samsung cell phone and a Twitter account can prevail over the entire army of supposedly professional national news reporters.
A failed press weakens respectful debate of issues
It wasn’t Trump who gelded the national media. They did it to themselves. There is not an original thought in a hundred of them. They are a cowardly mob, and they serve the same masters. They think the same thoughts, say the same things, drink in the same bars, and sleep in the same beds.
The very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives the press some special privileges and protections, and no other occupation enjoys such a status. In return, the press has a sacred responsibility to inform the public and to give divergent views on public issues. A competitive press encourages vigorous debate and alternative opinions.
“Diversity” has become a very big word during recent years, but nowhere is there less diversity than in the information and opinions of the national news corps. They have failed their mission.