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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

News media could have done a lot more to prevent the election of Donald J. Trump

Cartoonists R.J. Matson, above, and Mike Keefe, below, commenting on President Trump's travel and refugee bans, which are largely affecting Muslims from seven countries, including Syria.


The headline on my post today contains a fundamental flaw:

Even if the The Record of Woodland Park and other news media had tried harder to prevent the Nov. 8 election of wacko racist Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States, the effort would have been met with a great deal of skepticism.

The conservative Newsmax.com says, "Only 18 percent of Americans trust national news and just 22 percent trust local news, according to the Pew Research Center."

When I checked PewResearch.org, I found trust in such social media as Twitter and Facebook was far lower, only 4 percent.

So, that might explain why none of the widely reported scandals -- attacking a Gold Star Muslim family, dodging federal taxes, boasting of grabbing women's private parts and so forth -- stuck on Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Still, The Record and other news outlets can be faulted for never setting the record straight when Trump was a candidate and now that he is president.

Travel ban

Screaming headlines in the Woodland Park daily today and Monday report protests and outrage over Trump's executive order that bans people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.

All refugees from Syria also are banned, which Governor Christie recommended right after the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. 

But many experts agree our no-fly list has done a great job of keeping terrorists from entering the country since the 9/11 attacks on America.

And, they say, we should fear home-grown terrorism far more, as shown by the massacres in Orlando, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif.

Illegal immigrants

When Trump pledged to deport illegals who committed crimes, The Record and other media never reported President Obama expelled 2.5 million illegal immigrants -- more than any other president.

Since Jan. 20, when he was inaugurated, Trump has ordered construction of a wall on the Mexican border and renegotiation of the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

But the new factories American and foreign companies built in Mexico have improved the economy to the point where Mexicans returning to their country outnumber those immigrating to the states. 

Voter apathy

Trump lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million, but he got an unseen boost from legions who were so apathetic they didn't even bother to exercise their right to vote.

Voter turnout in the Nov. 8 presidential election was the lowest since 1996, when 53.5 percent of voting age citizens turned out, CNN reported on Nov. 30, when election officials were still tabulating ballots.

Only about 55 percent of voting age citizens cast ballots in the contest between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. 

The Record's Charles Stile and other reporters who focus solely on state and national politics -- instead of issues -- are responsible for much of the apathy shown by voters (see Stile's column on 1A today).

That's how Christie was re-elected in 2013, despite the lowest voter turnout in the history of a gubernatorial election.

And that's how Trump's supporters -- including racists and misogynists -- prevailed on Nov. 8. 

Voter suppression

Oh, in the first version of this post, I forgot to mention I.D. laws and other forms of voter suppression in states controlled by Republicans.

In 2013, Christie vetoed a bill to allow early voting in New Jersey, but when Clinton criticized him in 2015, the GOP thug denied he ever did any such thing.

And let's not forget Russian President and war criminal Vladimir Putin's interference in the presidential campaign on behalf of Trump.

It's not for nothing Trump is considered by many to be an illegitimate president.