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Recently, I was asked to give a talk at a local Republican Club meeting regarding my experiences with the press. Actually, I was a last minute substitution for a gentleman who was suddenly called out of town. Having only fifteen minutes to prepare, I jotted down some notes and “winged it.” Fortunately, it went well and I was heartily congratulated afterward. Herein, is the reconstructed talk based on my notes from the back of a cocktail napkin:
First, let me begin by saying we (Republicans) are not the party of hate or discrimination. Nor are we fascists, Nazis, or the “alternate right.” These are characterizations invented by the Main Stream Media (MSM) to try and stereotype our party. We are the party of Lincoln who freed the slaves; the party of Theodore Roosevelt who carried a “Big Stick” and preserved our national parks, and; the party of Reagan who brought down Communism and the former Soviet Union. We support and defend the Constitution, believe in liberty, capitalism and smaller government, as well as the rights of the individual.
During my talk I will describe my experiences with the press and make some observations.
As many of you will remember, in 2016 I was writing for News Talk Florida who sent me on assignment to cover the Trump Rallies in Tampa, specifically at the State Fairgrounds, at Lakeland Airport, and at the Tampa Amphitheater. This was a first for me as I had never been with the press corps on a large scale. In addition to the print media, both national and local, all of the television media was present, including ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, and local programming.
At all three venues, the Trump Rally began with an invocation, a non-denominational prayer asking for guidance from Deity. Aside from myself and maybe one or two other individuals who stood up for the prayer, the rest of the press corps sat and continued to type on their computers. Next, the rally performed the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Again, aside from myself and a couple others, the press corps continued to sit and type. I guess they had better things to do than to stand a few moments for God and country.
Interestingly, I observed all of the members of the printed press completed their articles prior to Mr. Trump taking the stage. When I read some of the copy the next day, it had nothing to do with what happened at the rally or what the candidate said. As a writer, I understand the necessity of getting copy out the door as quickly as possible, but I found it makes more sense to prepare the article as a template that can easily be completed based on what was actually said. However, I didn’t observe this happening with the writers I saw present.
They were not interested in reality, just producing copy that sells.
As I sat with the press corps behind the safety of metal fences, I could feel the heat of anger from the audience towards the press, particularly CNN who was considered persona non-grata. I quickly learned to keep my distance from the television news, including NBC, ABC and CBS. While the press ignored the people in attendance, I went out of the press area and talked to some of the attendees who gave me their thoughts regarding the rally. Interestingly, they were surprised a member of the press would stop and talk to them.
From this initial experience, I concluded the MSM was not patriotic, had no appreciation of Deity, and their journalistic ethics were highly questionable. Their Achilles heel is they are pseudo intellectuals who honestly believe they are smarter than most Americans. I also feel they are being manipulated by their superiors. For example, we recently heard a lot about North Korea preparing to strike America with nuclear-tipped missiles, the defacing and destruction of American statues and monuments, and the anti-Hate movement. I predict this will all fade from view rather quickly and the MSM will refocus on Russia again.
Bottom-line, the MSM has lost the trust of the American people. Even the Associated Press (Apr 17, 2016) reported, “just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions.”
This research was conducted by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The report also stated, “Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans’ skepticism about what they read on social media.”
In fact, people are turning more to social media for news as opposed to official news outlets. Social media may not be the most reliable news service, but it speaks volumes of how the American people feel about the integrity of the MSM.
I blame the behavior of the press on the 24/7 news cycle they operate under which has resulted in fierce competition for the almighty dollar. The result is sensational news intended to sell papers and advertising as opposed to honesty and truth. Americans understand this which explains why they are frustrated with the news media.
I also made some observations regarding the companies who conduct polls. This was based on a study I performed in 2016. From my research, I discovered most of the polling organizations were owned or controlled by Democrats. Just about everyone predicted Mrs. Clinton would defeat Mr. Trump, some said by a landslide. I believe this was done to give the Clinton campaign the appearance of momentum. Not surprising, they got it horribly wrong thereby doing damage to their credibility and reputation. I don’t see any reason why anyone should trust the polls anymore.
There is something horribly wrong with the MSM and it is up to the public to take them to task. For example, I had no problem with people picketing CNN’s office recently demanding truth and honesty. Frankly, I’m surprised such demonstrations aren’t more commonplace.
The Fourth Estate has evolved from watchdogs of government to a formidable political power of their own. If they side with a candidate, usually a Democrat, they will attack his/her opponent viciously often using “Fake News.” This is obviously not fair and balanced, which is another reason why Americans do not trust the press. If President Trump shares anything with former President Theodore Roosevelt, it is they both were despised by both the New York Times and Washington Post.
I concluded my talk by saying, “No, we are not the party of hate; the reality is, we are the good guys.” As we approach the 2018 Midterm elections, I believe the anti-Trump movement (aka, “Resistance”) will cost the Democrats the election. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (“Pocahontas”) D-ME recently announced the progressive liberals now run the Democratic party. The only problem with this is, Middle American Democrats now feel deserted by their party and are migrating to the GOP.
However, Republicans have no time to sit on their laurels, it is time to fix Health Care, clean up our taxes, reduce the deficit, move towards a balanced budget, and defend the country. Frankly, Congressional Republicans need to get off their duffs and conquer the problems facing us, and if this means new leadership in both chambers, so be it.
The speech lasted approximately thirty minutes and I received a nice round of applause as well as congratulations afterwards. I didn’t consider this too bad for a spur of the moment presentation. Maybe I should do this more often.
Keep the Faith!
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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Huffington Post.