How Trump Has Rewritten The Rules – Tim Montgomerie

Tim Montgomerie is a British journalis and blogger best known outside the news industry and politics for founding the Conservative Home blog. In spire of what some people may choose to believe, this blog is not run by conservatives (we’re not Labour supporters either) but we want to share an excellent article from Mr. Montgomerie which puts the Trump phenemenon in perspective vis – a – vis globalism and the rampant authoritarianism of the ‘left’.

How Trump has rewritten the political rules

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Tim Montgomerie spent much of the past year in the United States covering one of the most extraordinary presidential elections in history. This is the second in a three-part series, summarising what he learned. (The first part can be found here.)

The weaknesses of the mainstream American media have reached a critical, democracy-endangering stage

The mainstream media plays a vital role in democracy. It educates the public about what politicians are doing (and not doing). And almost as importantly, it educates politicians about what is happening in the country they seek to serve, and what they might be missing.

But for year after year, in this age of hugely disruptive internet-based competition, the mainstream media – especially what online insurgents call the “dead tree press” – has been in a fight for its economic survival. Newsrooms have shrunk as reporters have been fired to cut costs, and it’s often the higher-paid and more experienced reporters who get dropped first. Some of the best journalism has become hidden behind paywalls.

At the same time, the tendency of media organisations based in New York and Los Angeles – both bastions of liberal leftism – to employ like-minded people has accelerated. Hard data about the ideological composition of newsrooms is difficult to come by, but research during the recent campaign by the Center for Public Integrity found that 96 per cent of political donations by journalists were to the Clinton campaign.

The executive editor of The New York Times recently admitted that “we don’t get religion”. Not getting religion in one of the most religious nations on earth is not a minor journalistic failing. And what about not getting people with guns, or people who work in coalmining, or veterans who’ve served in the military?

Some newsrooms have been so busy recruiting more women and ethnic minorities – very correctly – that they have forgotten other forms of diversity which ensure that groupthink doesn’t compromise editorial decisions. The result is the equivalent, if we were to put it into a British context, of an editorial conference full of Remainers: they can try their best to reflect the views of the rest of the nation, but it won’t be easy or complete. On top of which, such journalists often choose to think the worst of people they don’t naturally agree with, or even mix with. This is one reason why wanting your country to govern itself – the dominant motivation of Leavers in the UK – is regularly and disproportionately portrayed as racist or xenophobic.

These two key trends, of tough revenue models and ideologically monochrome newsrooms, have reached a point in America (and the London-based media may not be so very far behind) where the press can’t afford to do its work of reporting the nation – a nation which it doesn’t even know half of as well as it should.

An environment is created where large numbers of voters stop trusting the media and choose instead to read fringe alternatives: the Age of Breitbart.

 ‘Liar, liar, liar’ turns into ‘Yawn, yawn, yawn’

One of my favourite moments during the confirmation hearings now taking place on Capitol Hill (and I know I shouldn’t laugh) was when Rex Tillerson, the ex-Exxon chief, friend of Vlad-the-Bad and nominee for Secretary of State, was asked by one Senator about lobbying against sanctions on Russia by the company he ran until very recently.

Tillerson, wearing a face as straight as a pipeline, replied by saying that he had not been aware of any lobbying. Er, said Senator Corker, the foreign affairs committee chairman, I remember you lobbying me at the time. Read more >>>

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