If on Nov. 28, I mean Nov. 8, Donald Trump loses the 2016 presidential election, there will first be calls to end voter fraud or declarations that the election was fixed, and then Trump will build his alt right media empire. For more than a year now, Trump has been completely manipulating the media to his advantage. Whether it is streaming his Mussolini-like speeches without interjection from media fact checkers, or CNN hiring his ex-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, the mainstream media has failed miserably at stopping the most out of control candidate to ever run for the White House.
This past week, CNN’s president Jeff Zucker, admitted that running Trump’s speeches was a “mistake,” but that Trump was good for PR and ratings. Who cares I guess? When your job as a journalist or news organization is to bring corruptio, greed and injustice to light, that also means standing up to bullies. As journalists, we are the defenders of the weak and powerless. Not all of us can always be there to fight the elites, but we have to try.
No other candidates have been so cool to the media like Clinton and Trump. The former has been tactically aware of the media and has resisted unscripted interviews or even doing press conferences.
Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for his work on the Snowden files, is a renowned media critic and pointedly described the current problem we are facing with these candidates. On the one hand you have Clinton, who has been rather transparent compared to Trump, whether she likes it or not. Clinton did release her tax returns and due to WikiLeaks we have been able to look behind the magic curtain to see what Greenwald called, “media impropriety.”(I do not have space here to go into the WikiLeaks trove. Do so at your own investigation and beware of right wing propaganda posing as leaks).
Trump on the other hand has been calling for the opening of libel laws and has just attempted to bring The New York Times to court. He also did not release his tax returns, with excuses such as he is getting audited and cannot do it. The IRS repeatedly said he can and every presidential nominee for the last 40 years has done so. (Gerald Ford did not release his tax returns). The New York Times did leak Trump’s tax returns from 1995, showing that he lost $916 million that year and also that he was allowed to pay no federal income taxes for the next 18 years. What’s all so ironic about this is that in 2011, Trump called for President Obama’s long form birth certificate and Trump said he would release his tax returns. It didn’t happen that election and it probably won’t happen now.
If Trump loses, it’ll be great for U.S. citizens not trying to allow a fascistic nightmare to take hold of our country. If Clinton wins, neoliberalism and business as usual politics will continue while the alt right gains ground during another Clinton presidency. Trump in the debates announced he will accept the election results and then flip flopped later, tweeting, “The election is totally being rigged.” His running mate, Mike Pence, had to push back on Trump’s tweet by saying they will accept the election result. It seems as though Pence has had to deny what Trump had clearly said and repeated. Maybe Rudy Giuliani should have been Trump’s vice presidential pick.
If Trump wins or loses, the day after the election stories about Vince Foster, articles calling Obama and Clinton demons and the all of the other right wing paranoias will echo through the dungeons of alt right media. The GOP has always tried to make itself look nice. The strong ad man for the elites, Ronald Reagan, or the folksy and thick skulled George Bush, have been there to make an ugly product look nice. Trump threw that playbook out the window. It’s not like that anymore. They needed a man’s man who will say and do whatever and have voters follow right along. They’re disillusioned and scared of minorities taking over. They’re afraid of another liberal taking office. The right wing crusaders who have always been in control are now feeling this country slip away. That’s why they want to “Make America Great Again.” They want to go back to a time when white conservatives ruled our country. When white people were from liberal policies and all was good. The equilibrium has been shattered with changing demographics and politics. If you’re a Clinton supporter or voter, don’t rejoice on Nov. 8, because Trump won’t go away and neither will his devoted followers.