Ever since the magical night of November 8 2016, I’ve found great enjoyment in seeking out YouTube videos of the election night coverage. I watched everything I could get my hands on immediately following the event. Additionally, I have also re-watched these and other clips in the months since. It is incredibly enlightening to compare the coverage on the different networks on election night itself with their coverage of the period since. The most anti-Trump networks (MSNBC/CNN) have continued with their “tone” well into the Trump presidency.
It is also well worth mentioning that the predictions espoused immediately following the fall of the wicked witch rarely pan out in reality. “Everyone” agreed that Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani would get cabinet positions, this didn’t pan out. There was also a lot of chatter about how Trump would pivot into the mainstream and compromise his positions. I think most would agree, including his staunchest critics, that this hasn’t been the case to any significant extent. On minor issues, he has adjusted his pre-election positions, but taken as a whole he has followed the “hard-line” stance that got him elected. Only a few days ago liberal websites lamented that Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch “was everything we feared”.
Taking into account the streak of election losses currently enjoyed by the Democratic Party, we can see that for them the clocks stopped on election night. The confusion and lack of a finger on the pulse of the American people that was present on election night still has great explanatory power. Put simply, they haven’t yet learned any valuable lessons. The networks to a great extent shed their cloak of objectivity in their coverage leading up to the election. Looking at the coverage of the Trump administration since his inauguration we can clearly see that they have stayed on the path. Attacks upon everything and using every conceivable angle remains par for the course. The whole “two scoops” debacle is perhaps the clearest expression of the essence of the narrative.
Some time ago I enjoyed watching “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. Yes, I know that they have since left the realm of sanity, I can no longer stomach their partisan drivel. If we take into account the recent Project Veritas revelations about CNN, we can see that the unveiled partisan nature of the mainstream news media is a factor that has become more and more cemented in the media landscape. Morning Joe has twice now shifted their editorial stance on Trump overnight. I clearly remember back during the primary season that they were “somewhat fair” in that they weren’t unabashedly critical. They were capable of saying nice things about Trump. But then they changed literally overnight. Suddenly they ramped up their criticism and dialled back their praise. Clearly, someone at the top had laid down the law. The same pattern repeated itself after the election. I remember watching Morning Joe dutifully every day for some time after the election until the same thing happened. All objectivity was suddenly lost.
The other major joy I find in reliving the glorious near past is comparing the take on events from different networks. It is interesting to see how right-leaning coverage covered events (examples here: Fox News, Infowars, Daily Wire) compared to the left-leaning mainstream networks (CBS, ABC, BBC, Sky News, ITV and other) to the full-tilt boogie hard left (MSNBC, CNN, The Young Turks, Sam Seder and others). Understanding the inherent biases in different news sources is critically important in judging the truthfulness of their content. It is also key to compare different sources. Going back to the election night coverage is in my opinion a useful exercise for all people interested in the political goings-on in today’s world.