Less than two weeks ago I wrote a post “Hating Hillary” where I gave my take on the causes and the history of “Hillary Hatred” in America, that began with the election of Bill Clinton. Yesterday I read an article at Alternet that serves as a companion piece. Titled “How the Media Manufactured the Public’s Anger at Hillary Clinton” it is written by Neal Gabler from Moyers.com and I think it makes excellent points about how the press has been more than complicit in creating a negative narrative toward Hillary Clinton that are well worth pondering.
This is how it begins:
“We all know the story. This is the hate election, the lesser-of-two-evils election, the most-unpopular-candidates-in-the-history-of-modern-presidential-politics election. Everybody hates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. If only we had different candidates from whom to choose, the pundits say, as they roll their eyes and emit heavy sighs! No doubt, you don’t like either one of them very much. You will pull the voting lever with resignation. Or so we are told.
But I began to speculate on how much of the Hillary hatred at least (Trump was very unpopular as reflected in polling data from the get-go) was driven by the press coverage, how many Americans were effectively brainwashed into hating Hillary or felt peer pressure to join the anti-Hillary chorus because the media kept telling us how awful she was, and we didn’t want to be outliers to the hate brigade.
And while there is no definitive way to measure the impact of press coverage on public opinion, I think a fairly powerful case can be made that the media narrative created the media narrative – yet another case of political post-modernism.
The fact is that Hillary Clinton wasn’t unpopular when she announced her decision to run in April 2015. If you look at the Gallup survey in March of last year, 50 percent of Americans had a favorable impression of Clinton, only 39 percent an unfavorable one. So there was clearly no deep reservoir of Clinton hatred among the general public at the time. On the contrary: Americans liked her; they liked her quite a bit.
Already by June, however, her favorability had not only taken a hit. It had plummeted. By July, according to Gallup, her favorability hit an all-time low with only 38 percent positively and 57 percent viewing her negatively — putting her 19 points underwater.
So what happened?”
Neal Gabler goes on to detail his view that our nation’s mainstream media has actually drummed up the hatred of Hillary Clinton, less as a result of animus, but as the result of trying to create a seemingly even handed narrative. I think his logic is compelling. Follow this link “How the Media Manufactured the Public’s Anger at Hillary Clinton”, read the rest of Gabler’s piece and let me know what you think of his premise.