I have discussed earlier about the bias of the American media towards former US President Barack Obama. This fascination was because of Obama’s charisma, the eloquence of his speech and his social intelligence.
As such, the media overlooked all his political blunders. However, the media has dealt with his successor President Trump in a very different manner. It overlooks his achievements and exaggerates his mistakes.
The reality is that Trump also contributed to his poor relations with the media. He is not prepared to understand that the American media can be very malicious and can turn anything against a person. It is a dangerous institution, and no politician – no matter how popular – can stand up to its expectations.
The American media has a longstanding history of creating political stars such as John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama, and of politically destroying others, such as Gerald Ford and Gary Hart.
Prior to running for the presidency, Trump was a famous businessman and had a passion for being in the limelight. He was able to captivate the media that liked to interview him and he was very generous with them. In fact, it was that media made a star out of him and made people want to read more about him. Then Trump himself became a television star and the media’s interest in him increased.
Trump faces a real crisis with the media and if he doesn’t pursue a more subtle approach, the problem will only get worseDr Ahmad al-Farraj
When he ran for the presidency, the media did not take this candidacy very seriously because of his lack of political experience, his flamboyance and love of luxury, and his numerous relationships. However, as soon as it became clear that he was a strong enough candidate to win the Republican nomination, the media took him seriously and started to rummage through his history and started pointing out his mistakes and embarrassed him with uncomfortable questions.
Certainly, Trump did not enjoy his new relationship with the media especially as he was used to giving orders and making sure they were being carried out. This led to a major crisis with the media, which is mostly left-wing in its orientation — like CNN, NBC, the New York Times and The Washington Post.
The media’s bias against Trump is undoubtedly because he is a peculiar candidate who does not always conform with the conventional norms, or even the requirements of his own Republican Party.
Trump also contributed to exacerbating this crisis by openly challenging them and could have been more flexible. However, he stuck to his guns and didn’t listen to his advisors, with the result that Trump today faces a real crisis with the media. If he doesn’t realize that he is fighting a lost cause and starts to pursue a more subtle approach, the problem will only get worse.
After all, it is impossible to defeat the fierce American media, but it remains to be seen whether he is able to realize this fact before it’s too late.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Dr Ahmad al-Farraj is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah daily. He holds a Masters degree in literature from the University of Indiana and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Michigan. He was the Dean of the Arabic Language Institute in King Saud University and a member of the university’s council. He tweets under @amhfarraj.