Charles Davies, an African-British journalist, offers a fresh, outsider’s view of the American President and his on-going battles with mainstream media.
Donald Trump was not a typical political candidate when he ran for the US presidency in 2015. As Davies points out, few thought he would become the nominee, and many considered his attempt to succeed in politics to be a joke. However, when Mr. Trump won the election, the media spun in disbelief. By attacking his every move publicly, the liberal press played into the President’s hands as he quickly took to social media; much to the admiration of his followers and the frustration of his foes.
Davies observes the notable contrast between Trump and his predecessor: Obama was well-spoken and discreet but kept news sources on a strict rein; where tough-tweeting Trump is tirelessly open-mouthed in his battle with the media, pursuing an “anything goes” attitude. Yet Trump’s accomplishments while in office have often been ignored or downplayed by the newsmakers.
All media sources have their own bias, of course, but the campaign to destroy Mr. Trump has been launched mostly from the American mainstream, liberal press. Everything Trump says in whatever forum is quickly picked apart for evidence of some “ism” – sexism, racism, and so on. Many examples are given of the President’s actions and policies and the corresponding reactive negativity expressed in the media. Though advised during his campaign to become “more presidential,” Trump persisted in being “brash and blunt.” Those who support him like him that way, and now enjoy seeing him tweeting out his feelings and talking tough to reporters in person.
This is a fact-dense treatise with many supporting resources. Davies has clearly made an intensive study of the words and deeds of the President and the media forces that have gathered against him. Following suit, the author reveals the many ways that even an innocuous event may be misreported. When Trump moved the Martin Luther King bust in the Oval Office, for example, it was reported by a media outlet that the statue had been removed entirely.
The most contentious, and longest-lived fake news, according to Davies, concerns the Russia probe. For several years, the Special Counsel and his team conducted their investigation with no collusion charges actually having been brought to light.
Although Davies recognizes that Trump is known for his straight talk and his disrespect for the hypercritical mainstream media, he suggests that both sides could strive for improvement. Trump should focus on his policies and simply ignore the media, so that, “like school bullies,” they will grow discouraged and move on. The media, for its part, could straightforwardly report on those policies, demonstrating a lack of bias by giving credit where it is due, “reporting facts as fairly as possible…and providing good quality opinion, clearly labeled as such.”
Those who read Davies’ well-researched work will learn a great deal about the current American political scene and Trump’s war with the media. And for those who take the time, will discover the ideas and opinions contained within the work stem from the author’s wide range of knowledge and acute attention to detail.