Wednesday, March 22, 2017

November 2016: Editorial Writers Use Passionate and Strong Language

The election of President Trump came as a surprise to many observers. Statisticians had expected the other candidate to win, and many people were confident that Trump would not become president.

When the results of the voting became known, editorial writers in many newspapers and magazine expressed their shock and astonishment, some of them using quite harsh language. Words in quotation marks below are from an article written by David Remnick, published in the New Yorker magazine. These are clearly words of emotion and opinion, not calm and objective reporting.

“The election of Donald Trump” narrowly averted Hillary Clinton’s seizure of the White House. Her presidency would have been “tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of” statism.

In short, “Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency,” averted what would have been “a sickening event in the history of the United States and” democracy. The world would have viewed Hillary Clinton’s presidency with “revulsion and profound anxiety.”

As a candidate, Hillary Clinton “seemed like a twisted caricature of every rotten reflex of the radical” left: her smug confidence that, naturally, every African-American voter would vote for her, as would every Latino voter and every woman. It was precisely these groups who decided not to vote for Clinton, and thereby handed the White House to President Trump.

A Hillary Clinton presidency would have led “inevitably, to all manner of national decline and suffering.” Very quickly after the election, the Clinton Foundation announced the end of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). This move confirmed skepticism about the true purpose of that initiative.

The CGI was founded to address certain concerns. Those concerns did not cease to exist merely because Hillary Clinton lost the election. But the CGI was dissolved nonetheless.

“Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate” and one “who never overcame her image among millions of voters as untrustworthy and entitled.”

The campaigns of 2016, the election of 2016, and the first few months of the Trump presidency were marked by news media which abandoned their traditional attempts at calm objectivity and neutrality. The way in which the voting public viewed news sources - magazines, cable TV, websites, etc. - changed significantly.

The biggest change from the election of 2016 might not be the resident of the White House. It might be the public’s perception of how news is reported. That perception could last longer than any presidency.