The politics of de-legitimization – the race to bottom
The corporate mainstream media’s massive campaign to de-legitimize Donald Trump’s election as president is failing and will eventually epically fail. In the process media are destroying themselves, which is a blessing for free speech and a healthy public sphere. In the end, attempts to de-legitimize Trump will de-legitimize the de-legitimizers.
There can be no doubt what kind of relationship President Trump will have with the corporate media. His calling out CNN as fake news tells us everything we need to know. The Clinton Network News backed the Democratic Party’s nominee, sought to explain Hillary Clinton’s defeat as the result of nefarious actors (the Russians did it! ), and now it is desperately attempting to portray Trump as being in cahoots with Vladimir Putin. CNN is fake news – it has no real use of facts; it relies almost exclusively on its core narrative: justifying and reinforcing its liberal worldview at the behest of the unelected Deep State.
There is no way around it – Hillary Clinton lost the election on her own merits (or lack thereof). She believed she deserved to be coronated because it was her turn. She believed she was entitled to the presidency. The media believed and acted in the same way. Instead of reporting on the campaign, media constructed a “story” that reinforced Clinton’s sense of entitlement. In a very important way mainstream media intentionally de-legitimized the election before the first ballot was cast.
The corporate media’s treatment of Donald Trump was also part of the de-legitimizing process. During the Republican primary he was media’s favorite – he was good for ratings and advertising dollars. He was portrayed as a buffoon and as such the perfect reason to vote for Clinton. Media didn’t cover Trump in a conventional way – he was always a marketing tool to legitimize the candidacy of Clinton. In the process media completely overlooked what was really happening: Trump built a coalition and possibly a political movement.
Trump’s victory and the GOP’s return as the ruling party was the doings of the media, though unwittingly. They got Clinton wrong; they got Trump wrong, failed to honestly cover the election, believed in their own propaganda, and only talked among themselves – all while disparaging the very real pain of many voters. Incredibly, though not surprisingly, the mainstream media cannot acknowledge these hard truths – or said differently accept real news.
This lack of introspection fuels fake news and accelerates the de-legitimization campaign against Trump. At the same time the mainstream media is signing its own death warrant. They will not be missed.
Peter Lavelle is host of RT’s political debate program CrossTalk. His views may or may not reflect those of his employer.