How dishonest is the mainstream media

Because the current situation now seems so disturbingly normal, it is worth remembering: The US president not only awards "fake news awards", but sees himself in a "war with the media" - bullied by journalists, those "perhaps the most dishonest." People on this earth "who" don't like our country ". On the other hand, the new motto is the New York Times: "The truth has a voice". And the Washington Post has been warning for a long time: "Democracy dies in the dark".

The battle between light and darkness is well illuminated - who is assigned which degree of brightness depends on which political side the observer is on. In a 2017 survey, 89 percent of US Democrats agreed that the news media had an important control over politics. Only 42 percent of the Republicans found this - approval had almost halved within a year.

While the "mainstream media" are losing importance for society as a whole, they are consolidating their reputation as researchers of truth in the generally progressive camp. For the first time since 1995, CNN was among the top ten most watched cable channels, New York Times and Washington Postrecently recorded circulation records. This is good news for an industry that is still threatened with economic collapse in the wake of digitization. For individual reporters, however, the price for this is often constant confrontation with death threats from the President's supporters.

Trump alone provides enough fodder for critical reporting with his tweets and verbal border crossings. But under the 45th US president, noise and relevance are difficult to separate: An analysis by the polling institute PEW showed that journalists focused on the leadership style and character of the US president in three quarters of their reporting in the first hundred days of Trump. Only every fourth story was about political content.

A form of codependency

Trump may not care what he says and how that relates to office, truth and previous statements. He thereby attracts attention and often obscures what his government is doing does. "On the one hand, the quality media have been revived," complained recently Dorothy Wickenden of the magazine new Yorker. "On the other hand, we're being fooled. Every day."

Nancy Gibbs, the former head of the magazine Time, describes the relationship between Trump and the press as a form of "codependency": Both work off each other and yet are chained to one another. Trump not only finds an enemy image in the critical media, but also a megaphone. And as someone who has sought and received the attention of the New York press for decades, mass media recognition is one of the few things that seem to really matter to him.

Nothing reflects the absurd interaction between this media-savvy and possibly media-addicted US President better than his relationship with the TV broadcaster Fox News. Trump mainly follows the morning broadcast Fox and Friends. Every day. His early tweets often refer to the posts there - and they are part of a cycle that continually confirms Trump's worldview.

Who is programming whom here?

In the world of Fox and Friends In terms of content, the alleged involvement of Hillary Clinton in illegal business (still), the diagnosed depravity of the Democrats and an alleged conspiracy of the dominate Deep State against the incumbent president. A large-scale intrigue of the secret services and Trump opponents within the government apparatus is assumed.

The US president, in turn, is indirectly certified there with the best character and leadership qualities. Fox News is serving the US President and his supporters a special "truth": It feeds on Trump's perspective and his favorite topics, confirms his course and his stance. At the same time, the station draws the president's attention. To put it in a somewhat exaggerated way: Trump is Fox News program director. And Fox News designs Trump's program.

This does not damage the credibility in their own camp: In a representative survey by the Knight Foundation, only 42 percent of Republicans said they could name an objective news source. Those who could said six out of ten cases: Fox News.