Media bias is one thing: rejection of reality is another
- Chuck Todd
According to main stream media networks such as CNN, MSNBC, ABC and newspapers such as Washington Post and New York Times, the 46th President of the United States is Joe Biden. In fact, most of the networks have now called the election in favour of the Democratic party candidate Biden. Yet the Current President Donald Trump has not conceded defeat and in fact, has legally challenged the result on the basis of massive fraud which he claims undermined a huge victory he had assured and which manipulated a victory for Biden. The Trump legal team led by the former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and starring dazzling legal personalities such as Jenna Ellis, is confident that they can convince a number of State Courts and ultimately the US Supreme Court, that grave irregularities have taken place in the election, warranting a drastic intervention by the Judiciary.
"Mainstream media is not as unbiased and objective as they claim to be, even in the US"
There was no doubt the mainline media including the television networks and big newspapers were biased against President Trump. To be fair, innumerable were the occasions when Trump called them ‘ fake media’ and went to the extent of expelling some representatives of those media institutions from White House press releases. Even during the election campaign, it was plainly evident that the coverage of Trump’s campaign was not in the same favourable light that was on Biden’s. When Trump was able to draw unprecedented numbers of supporters to his rallies in the middle of a raging COVID-19 pandemic, the media failed or rather, refused to see the political inroads that Trump was carving in to the mindset of the conservative populace of US.
Pre-Election build up
The pre-election polls which the major media networks published stated that Joe Biden was expected to win in a landslide; in other words, obtaining more than 350 electoral votes out of 538, whereas the magical number needed to secure presidency is 270. The pollsters given airtime by the media predicted Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, traditionally called the blue wall for the Democratic leaning nature of the votes in those states, becoming a blue wave that would thwart Trumps bid to be re-elected. Yet, a blue wave of that magnitude never came. Although Joe Biden won those states, a result that the Trump campaign will challenge in lawsuits, Trump was able to do much better than he did in 2016, winning all the bellwether counties in those states. Yet the crucial and decision defining influence of such false predictions would have had on ‘on the fence voters’ is unfathomable.
When it came to the publishing of election results where there is a tradition in the US of media institutions predicting the winner of a given state even before the total number of votes have been counted and officially acknowledged, media networks such as CNN, MSNBC, ABC, Associated Press and even Fox News made predictions calling some states for Joe Biden prematurely.
On the election night itself Trump gave a press release from the White House and claimed that his election victory has been robbed. He named ‘Big Tech, Mainstream Media and the Washington swamp’ as the culprits scheming to topple him. The allegations that he made in terms of mail-in ballots, absentee votes, dead people voting and the violation of voting deadlines later morphed in to facts, figures and incidents which the Trump legal team was able to substantiate as ‘Prima Facie’ evidence of foul play. Yet such claims had no place in the big media that kept on referring to them as ‘frivolous, baseless and unsubstantiated claims’ without giving at least cursory coverage for the public to know what the allegations were about.
After all it was the US Presidential Elections and the sitting President was making claims of widespread elections fraud; he was referring to certain aspects of the election, vote counting in particular, as being rigged and surely any media institution that claimed to be unbiased should have given coverage to such serious claims. It was not to be and even to date, after 3 weeks since the election CNN and other big media refuses to give at least coverage to media releases given by the Trump legal team.
Admittedly, some of the law suits that Rudy Giuliani and the team has filed have been rebuffed by the judiciary in respective battleground states and certification of the results have taken place as in the case of the State of Michigan. Yet on other instances, the Trump lawyers have been able to obtain judicial intervention as in the case of the order by the US Supreme Court Associate Justice Alito, who ordered that mail-in ballots that were received after the deadline as stipulated by law, be segregated before being counted, which means that in the event of a legal battle those ballots could be re-visited. As things stand now the number of votes thus in question runs in to a few millions and could very well flip the present lead that Biden has in favour of Trump in Pennsylvania. Yet neither the CNN nor any other network even mentions the possibility of a twist in the tale pending the legal battle.
President Trump ran a very divisive campaign, no doubt, and managed to divide the US populace right in the middle in terms of their political partisanship. In the same vein, the disputed election result has divided the populace in terms of the media that they watch and trust, also. So many alternative media outlets, including conservative or right-wing social media websites and podcasts have had their viewership and subscriber numbers sky rocketed after the election night among conservative Americans, who believe that the big media is not reporting unbiasedly.
"There was no doubt the mainline media including the television networks and big newspapers were biased against President Trump"
The Newsmax Network, started by a Trump supporter Christopher Ruddy and serving the conservative cause, had a viewership explosion that went up to a net viewership of 100 million, with their daily viewership which was at 58,000 prior to the election, rocketing up to 1.1 million immediately after the election. Some conservative media activists like Charley Kirk, Steve Bannon and Tucker Carlson are having millions of new subscribers as they report on new discoveries of what they call voter fraud and which the mainline media simply shrugs off as ‘conspiracy theories’.
Mainstream media is not as unbiased and objective as they claim to be, even in the US.