Irreparably Damaged Mainstream Media Brands Ponder the Ramifications of a Superficially Damaged Trump Brand

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Mainstream Media are looking for all kinds of angles as they desperately try to project the deeply unpopular public perception of Hillary Clinton onto the most wildly popular Republican candidate in recent memory. You’ll notice that unless it’s one of their lopsided polls, they’ll avoid statistics wherever possible in articles and reports fuelled purely by emotional disconnect.

Clinton rally photo
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Trump’s Facebook page has close to 12 million likes. Clinton has just over 7 million. Trump rallies attract tens of thousands. Sanders drew crowds of a few thousand that were impressive in their own right. Hillary is lucky to draw several hundred. Her rallies are roughly of the same scale as those of Green nominee Jill Stein, and Libertarian Gary Johnson. Both are polling in single digits.

To put Hillary Clinton’s deep unpopularity into perspective, Stein and Johnson are grassroots, under-the-radar candidates who have been subjected to a virtual media blackout (despite the fact that they are literally running for President, and share many of the nonsensical progressive ideals of the media – which is all the evidence you’ll ever need that MSM support is definitely pay for play, even for their ideological peers). Even with all of that shade, people still make the effort to hear them speak in comparable or greater numbers than Hillary Clinton, yet the media doesn’t deem paltry Democrat turnouts as being newsworthy or indicative of trends we’ll see on Election Day.

In regard to Trump, the Hitler comparison has become a favourite tactic of the MSM. Those of us who are old enough have seen this tactic employed many times before, usually by governments with a vested interest in removing someone who may or may not necessarily be evil or even bad, but is definitely competition. Castro was Hitler for a while. Saddam was Hitler. Gaddafi was Hitler. And now Assad and Trump are Hitler.

The most delicious irony in this whole tactic is that it is directly from Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbel’s playbook. Depicting Jews as rats was an effective way to quickly dehumanise the enemy and illicit intense public fear and hatred when you couldn’t find any particularly damning evidence against them that warranted persecution in the public square. Replacing ‘rat’ with ‘Hitler’ was the next logical progression.

The biggest dead giveaway that this is merely an instrument of propaganda is that nobody genuinely evil is ever described as Hitler. Charles Manson wasn’t Hitler. Jimmy Saville wasn’t Hitler. Pol Pot wasn’t even Hitler. Why? Because real actions and actual evidence of evil make such a comparison redundant. The allegation only ever gets trotted out when the link between personified evil and the accused can’t be made in any tangible way.

SMH rinsed and repeated the process on Tuesday with Paul McGeough’s opinion piece. Paul is an older, presumably wiser journalist who shouldn’t be buying into exactly the same tactic that pro-globalist media used to convict Saddam Hussein in the eyes of a fearful post-9/11 public, yet he shamelessly does it with glee and either a lack of self-awareness, or a knowing willingness to do his bit to manipulate the democratic process of a sovereign foreign nation.

Either way, it brings us to a new angle that the Mainstream Media have been pushing as they negatively cover the Republican nominee as if they were staring at a Rorschach ink blot in a desperate search for propagandist inspiration. The angle that the Trump brand has been damaged by his Presidential run.

Trump tower photo
Photo by Sam Howzit

It’s a non-story. Of course the brand has suffered damage. Any time you take a public, religious or political stand, whether progressive or conservative, you alienate just under half, or just over half of the people who come to you for goods and services.

Conservatives completely get this, which is why many of us at XYZ who work day jobs and rely on an inoffensive public perception use pseudonyms, particularly those of us in competitive free market sectors. The left are more naive, particularly those in Hollywood. They can’t comprehend that people who are into their stuff don’t necessarily subscribe to their pathologically progressive worldview.

They naively think that the kind of person who would disagree with them on any of the hot button regressive left causes surely wouldn’t have the intellect to be a fan (they see conservatives purely in caricature terms, while conservatives realise that like themselves, those who lean to the left come from all walks of life), so they feel safe in being very politically vocal. This is why Ben Affleck (he of the “racist and gross”), Seth Rogen (he of the “American Sniper is literally Hitler” tweet), and Amy Schumer (she of the third rate Bill Maher wannabes) have no doubt been left bewildered by their plummet in the value of their stock over the past 18 months.

So of course the Trump brand is damaged. Progressives will avoid his many businesses. But he has an advantage that Affleck, Schumer, and Rogen don’t. Their views are those of a fringe minority. Only the loud but economically minute SJW contingent will continue to support them. Even the soft left will find them irritating or at least tiresome. Trump will find new areas of business among the deplorables and his empire will prosper.

The bigger story is the fact that Mainstream Media is essentially a slowly boiling frog, and oblivious to the fact that their own brand is irreparably damaged while they gloat about the superficial damage to the Trump brand. Traditionally, Mainstream Media enjoyed a number of operational safeguards.

Firstly, there was a monopoly over the carriage services that delivered news to the public. Newspapers, radio, and television licenses and infrastructure were expensive and limited the number of players. Secondly there was brand familiarity, whether it was a newspaper masthead, or news channel. Lastly, the most valuable asset was honesty, trust, and integrity. Millenials may struggle to believe it, but these values used to mean more to journalists than pushing a narrative in keeping with their political affiliations.

The landscape has changed. The internet is a cheap, democratised, and easily accessible carriage service where any new media organisation can potentially reach millions upon millions of news hungry visitors with little or no startup money. Print media sales are at an all time low, as is radio and television advertising revenue. Enviable income-producing mainstream media assets have found themselves in crisis virtually overnight.

Brand familiarity and loyalty is also on the way out in all sectors. Value for money, quality, and performance are the main things that people are looking for. Nowadays that’s why you’re just as likely to find someone who was once a Ford and VB man driving a Korean car and drinking a cheap good value import beer. It’s the same with online media vs. traditional media. People aren’t waiting for the 6 o’clock news to find out about the tragedy at Dreamworld. They’re Googling it.

Trump tower photo
Photo by hyku

This leaves honesty, trust, and integrity. In theory, this is where news sources like SMH and CNN should excel and offer something that a blogger or small online news site may either drop the ball or struggle with. They presumably have the contacts and resources to fact check and research every story before it goes out. An advantage that should make them more trusted and reliable than a click-bait site, for example.

Bias is one thing. But at least bias has checks and balances, and it’s possible to still have all the facts and get to the crux of these facts using critical thinking. Their ABC might report a solid statistic as a percentage in regard to unemployment in Lakemba and then frame it as systemic racism. XYZ might use that same statistic but look at it from a different angle, say a systemic culture of welfare and the bigotry of low expectations.

Mainstream media coverage of the U.S. election has taken their coverage well beyond relatively innocuous bias and off into an abyss from which it can never return. Facts and statistics are not being reported as is, and are framed in a way to secure a Clinton Presidency.

They are literally being omitted altogether or completely made up. Delusional regressive left dogma, rife with omissions and outright intentional falsehood, has made the next logical (or should that be illogical) leap from University campuses onto newsprint, news radio, televised news, and online Mainstream media sources. Fringe opinion pieces are being presented as U.S election news reports.

If I were to categorically state that Hillary Clinton is Hitler, most of you would understandably think that it was a leap of logic. Bernie Madhoff maybe… but Hitler? The concept is laughable. We at XYZ dislike her for sure, but there’s more than enough damning proven indiscretions without just making stuff up. So if XYZ and our readers find Hitler comparisons a bit much in any context, what is the excuse of Mainstream Media?

Need more evidence? John McCain was the biggest lame duck candidate that the Republicans ever fielded. He made Bill Shorten look electable. He never had a chance against the charismatic Obama who was a shoe-in from day one. At every appearance McCain seemed like he didn’t want to be there, was unsure of himself, and handed the Presidency to Obama on a platter.

Yet even with the electability of a wet sheet of newspaper, the Mainstream Media portrayed him as a worthy candidate right until the end and didn’t feel obliged to ridiculously declare that McCain had already lost the election before the first vote had been cast. Mainstream Media have already declared that Trump has lost the election just as they declared Brexit a failure before the referendum, and just as they declared a comfortable Turnbull majority before so much as a postal vote had been sent. The rise of Trump has seen critical mainstream media analysis discarded and replaced with wishful thinking.

So the Mainstream Media have jettisoned honesty, trust, and integrity from their business model. To give credit where credit is due, their ABC still seem to be skirting the thin line between shameless bias and conscious distortion and omission of the facts as they stand. They at least seem to be pragmatic, realise that a Trump landslide is very probable, and don’t wish to appear as inept as outlets that gave Trump a 1% chance of securing the Republican nomination, let alone becoming President.

Honesty, trust, and integrity (whether real or perceived) built up over decades was the last advantage that mainstream media enjoyed over new alternate media. The Trump pile on has unwittingly hit a reset button in the perception of the masses toward once solid media brands. If they cannot be trusted to report fairly or at least accurately on the U.S Election, then how can their information on global events, finance, local news, or even the weather be taken at face value?

Forget the Trump Brand. Mainstream Media brands who have piled on are damaged beyond repair. SMH have proven one of the most self-destructive domestic news outlets. If their weather report tells you that the sky is blue, do yourself a favour and take an umbrella, or find a weather blogger…

It’s your XYZ.

Photo by hyku