During the entire tenure of Bill Clinton, he was in constant conflict with the US media over allegations about companies in his home state, back when he was governor. Afterwards, his relationship with Monica Lewinsky overshadowed all the major achievements of his presidency. The same happened to President Barack Obama, whose rivals kept on claiming that he was not born in the United States and therefore cannot be president. There are some who even claimed that he is a Muslim, and subsequently, the media kept mentioning these stories for years.
Like other former presidents, Donald Trump is being hounded by the media. He is being besieged with accusations that he has some sort of shady relations with the Russians. It seems that these stories will go on in the media and will keep the public opinion engaged.
An easy target
Trump’s problem with the media might be due to him being explicitly open and unreserved, and this is what made him an easy target. He believes that the more offensive he is, the less likely they might attack him. But the results have just been the opposite.
His media advisers have tried to convince him to disregard the media so that he wouldn’t be dragged into the traps, but apparently he has not been trained enough to control himself.
This is what the media is currently about. However, in terms of the charges that are being fabricated, they do not seem logical, just like the accusations Obama faced that he had falsified his birth certificate. The United States shows great interest in research and investigation and it is impossible to commit such falsification and escape the scrutiny of competent authorities. The same applies to what is now being written against Trump, his relations with the Russians and the blackmailing file. They all are silly stories that aim to embarrass him in front of his supporters.
I expect Trump to face, more than any former president, difficult years with the media and civil society organizations involved in women and environmental issues, among others. The civil society is not on good terms with him on many social issues. They have a strong presence and have organizations that are capable of launching broad and long-term campaigns.Abdulrahman al-Rashed
It is impossible for a candidate to run for presidency - similarly to those who run for high positions - and be involved in hostile activities without getting caught in the authorities’ radar. The president, who is the most important man in the circle of decision taking, does not have absolute power: he shares the power with the legislative authorities that can disable his policies if he fails to convince them.
I expect Trump to face, more than any former president, difficult years with the media and civil society organizations involved in women and environmental issues, among others. The civil society is not on good terms with him on many social issues. They have a strong presence and have organizations that are capable of launching broad and long-term campaigns.
The traditional media outlets are not the most aggressive and imperious, although the CNN got fully engaged in the fight against Trump. The emergence and spread of social media outlets and their news website are responsible for the spread of forged news and irresponsible campaigns. This is an important story and I will be tackling it again after the statement of Facebook regarding its intention to reorganize the current media arena.
This article was first published on Jnauary 13, 2017, in Aaharq Al-Awsat.
Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today. He tweets @aalrashed