Thursday, February 22, 2018
Media Have Abetted Trump’s Rise, and NYT Media Columnist Acts Surprised

WASHINGTON, D.C. Mar. 21 (DPI) –  CNN receives $200,000 for a 30-second ad when Donald Trump appears in a presidential debate, about 40 times more than what the cable network gets for its regular news shows, according to a report by the new media columnist in The New York Times.

Jim Rutenberg, who has succeeded the late David Carr as the media columnist for The Times, explored what to many has been a long obvious synergy between the media – especially the cable networks – and this interminable presidential  campaign that stars populist demagogue Donald Trump.

The rise of Donald Trump in no small part stems from the media’s constant and enthusiastic coverage, and with Fox News and CNN both barely profitable for years, advertising from the presidential election may be the source of their business survival, Rutenberg reports.

According to The Times:

Things are changing so fast that no news organization knows whether the assumptions it’s making to secure its future will prove correct.

In that environment, Mr. Trump brings a welcome, if temporary, salve. He delivers ratings and clicks, and therefore revenue, which makes him the seller in a seller’s market. “I go on one of these shows and the ratings double, they triple,” Mr. Trump accurately told Time a few weeks ago. “And that gives you power.”

Mr. Trump had received nearly $1.9 billion worth of news coverage; his next closest Republican competitor, Ted Cruz, received a little more than $300 million. Hillary Clinton has received less than $750 million.

Readers, somewhat unfairly, heaped scorn on The New York Times for indulging the candidates as well. The Times doesn’t enjoy as direct a benefit as do the cable networks from the campaign. The three top recommended reader comments:

The New York Times is complicit in this. As an entity whose advertising revenue is based on eyeballs and clicks, it seems pretty clear from the # of times the word “Trump” appears in the headlines and the first paragraph of an article that the Times is using search engine optimization to strengthen its profitability vs. editorial integrity. It’s smart business for the media, but stupid over the long term in terms of the well-being of our country.

So, when will the mea culpas start? When President Trump starts his program of widespread censorship of the press? It will be too late, then. History will show this was a period of shameful media negligence in the face of a real threat to democracy and the First Amendment.

And what about you, NYT? You, too, have featured Trump on a daily basis (while ignoring Bernie Sanders for the first half of this election season.) Stop giving this bully free publicity! You’ve contributed to the feeding frenzy.


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