Friday, September 30, 2016

20 Minutes of CNN

At the gym today I caught about 20 minutes of election relevant CNN headlines. This was just a random 20-minutes sampling of headlines I observed and noted in my phone. Anyone could do an equivalent analysis by watching CNN for a while and documenting what you see. (But I wouldn't recommend that.) The TVs are set to mute, so I can't say much about the slant of the discussions. This is a headline-only analysis.

Some Polls Show Trump Down Post-Debate

Maybe some do. But most are showing him up. If 99 out of 100 polls showed Trump gaining, the CNN headline would read: Poll shows Hillary Surging!

Machado: Trump Insists on Discrediting Women

Machado discredits herself when she gets caught lying that Trump caused her eating disorders. But we are supposed to believe that, after he used great class to defend her from the media, and preserve her role, he went and called her Miss Piggy? CNN is more than gleeful to broadcast the allegations of Trump's fat shaming by a woman who already was found lying about him, yet they are on the record as fat shaming her themselves.

NY Atty General: Trump Foundation Not Cleared for Donations

Newsworthy and relevant? Sure. Truthful? I don't know. But what you won't see CNN talking about is how the Clinton Foundation, under it's 501(c)(3) doesn't clear it to do anything outside the the scope of the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.

Clintons Strategy to Win Over Millenials

First headline pertaining to Clinton. Notice the positive language. It's her strategy for winning in 2016!

Clinton Fails to Appeal to Young Voters

Eh? Negative on Clinton? Does this disprove my premise? They then showed a poll showing Clinton at 40% with millennials, versus 36%. Well golly that doesn't look bad. Looks like she's actually winning millennials to me! I didn't hear the commentary, but I'd guess it to be something like, "Well she's up a little over Trump amongst millennials, but really she should be much closer to 100% considering that she is the most qualified presidential candidate ever (ever more than James Madison), and that Trump is literally Hitler plus infinity who keeps a little green white supremacist frog as a pet."

Again, not sure where they're getting their data, but most polls are showing Trump polling at 5 plus and up with millennials. The LA Times has him up 7.5!

This headline was CNN's attempt to appear fair. "See, we're going hard after both candidates!" But as always the goal of this piece was still to make Clinton's situation appear to be more favorable than it really is.

Sanders Hits Trail to Garner Votes for Clinton

Okay, but he's been stumping for her for a while now. What about Cruz, who just endorsed Trump, going to Michigan to campaign for Trump for the first time? Clearly that's the much more relevant story of a candidate getting the active support of their previous primary rival. I can almost imagine the newsroom strategery:

Producer 1: Looks like the leading Never Trumper is campaigning for Trump in Michigan. I guess we have to cover it, huh?

Producer 2: Normally yes, but it violates our prime directive of not broadcasting anything that makes Trump look like anything less than Satan on steroids.

Producer 1: What if we take the positive aspects and then somehow make it about Clinton (god bless her). 

Evil Producer 2: Perfect!

And that's how it happened, unless you can prove me otherwise.

Pence & Kaine to Take Debate Stage Tuesday

A fair headline. I can only imagine what the commentary was, but it makes me hopeful that maybe the CNN slander machine won't infect the VP coverage so bad.

Official: Pence Prepping for Debate Since July

Well nevermind. It's from an "official", so it must be true. They're trying to get ahead of the story in case Kaine gets trounced in the debate (from what I've seen Pence is a highly capable speaker). They're trying to do a little expectation management here because they believe the debate very well may not have their preferred outcome. What you'd never see is a headline saying Kaine prepping for months, because it would look all the worse if his performance sucks.

After CNN went to coverage of the recent train crash, I caught a single headline from Fox News.

Trump's Staff Blame Boss for Debate Performance

Maybe it's just random chance, or maybe it's telling that the only Fox News headline would be negative to Trump. (Not only reinforces the opinion of his poor debate performance, but also hints at some dissent in the ranks.) I wouldn't say it's an unfair headline. I think Trump did very poorly in the debate, and we can all imagine him waving off his staffers pleading attempts to get him to do some mock debates with a "oh I have the best words this will be easy" kind of response. 

But what about the other reason for his poor debate performance? Which was the extraordinarily one-sided moderation and lines of questioning. When I tuned in a half-hour in to it Trump was already flustered. But apparently he did very well in the first half hour. It was in the latter 2/3 where he struggled to stay calm or to get his arguments in order. Perhaps Fox News has already addressed it. Who knows. But this is what I say as John Q Public at the gym.


I don't actually watch CNN, and everything I get about it's complete loss of credibility this cycle comes second-hand. It was interesting to do a little ad-hoc analysis myself. I think things like this are just going to hand Trump the election. How many people are at the point they will vote for whoever the machine tells them not to? Now I know and I think most people to some degree realize that Trump is remotely as bad as they portray him to be. But what's funny is, the most they dehumanize him, make him a monster and white supremacist and all that, the larger the middle finger that it is to cast a vote for him anyway. At this point the worst thing they could do to his campaign would be to endorse him.