How Not to Journalism | Max Greenhalgh

By Max Greenhalgh

 

The first Presidential Debate was, undeniably, a dumpster fire. With the simply terrible moderation, Hillary Clinton’s face-punchable holier-than-thou attitude, and Donald Trump’s outright lies and deceptions, the media and the candidates didn’t exactly help their respective cases with the people. However, it can be argued that the mainstream media was the big loser of the debate.

First of all, the moderation. Lester Holt is a registered Republican, but a known Trump hater. So, before the debate, it seemed as if we would have an unbiased moderator. At the end of the day, Holt did end up being fairly unbiased, just not in the way we wanted him to. Holt viciously attacked Donald Trump’s policy and his past, while leaving Clinton’s nearly untouched. However, he also lacked the strength to stop Trump’s frequent interruptions of Hillary Clinton. This balance through mediocrity angered both sides of the aisle, and stained Lester Holt’s reputation as a true professional.

However, the real transgressions come from the media, after the debate had concluded. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but some parts of the liberal media are making Fox News look like an unbiased, fair provider of news that isn’t in the tank for either candidate. From Vox’s baseless claims of Donald Trump’s sexism during the debate (apparently, interrupting your opponent in a debate, which Clinton did as well, is sexist now) to Huffington Post’s clearly unbiased and headline of “Orange Crush: Don Destroyed at Debate”. With their usual eloquence and grace, the Huffington Post body-shames a public figure, thus indirectly sending their readers to do the same. Well at least they aren’t acting with a shocking lack of self-awareness or any... oh wait, yes they are. Stop commenting on Donald Trump’s skin and focus on his politics Huffington Post you “body-shaming haters”!

Of course, the right isn’t clean from absurd bias. Breitbart, whose site immediately directed me to a donation page to Donald Trump’s campaign upon entering the site, ran a story criticizing Hillary Clinton’s every reaction, or lack thereof, to Trump’s speaking. Just because she’s a little weird and did an admittedly strange shimmy after one of Trump’s rants doesn’t mean she is Satan, or a Terminator, or having a seizure. Many conservative website I visited, including The Wall Street Journal, had the same Trump ad, simply stating, “Trump Won”. Of course, this shows that The Wall Street Journal and any other publication with this ad running on their website are clearly reliable sources who don’t have any reason in promoting a candidate through their media.

Get it together, journalists. You, not the people you are supposed to be serving, are the reason that Gallup places trust in media at an all-time low 32% among Americans.