Tuesday, 1 August 2017

CNN's Special Analysis

 “The election of Donald Trump is really a kind of class rebellion against people like us, the educated professionals who live in cities, who have cosmopolitan views about things.”

-- Fareed Zakaria (CNN)

CNN will be running a piece in the near future....which they gave a 'snip' of yesterday....entitled "Why Trump Won".

I know....it's been almost nine month since the election, and CNN produces something like this now? It would have made sense in December to run a three-hour explanation and interview forty journalists and intellectuals, and tell some woeful epic story entitled "Why Clinton Lost".  Waiting nine months to do this?  Then from all the journalists with CNN....why Fareed Zakaria?  Did Zakaria get in an RV and travel around the US....realizing a whole different world out there?

If you had said twenty years ago that political lines would eventually form up about intellectuals and urban crowd versus the anti-intellectual and heartland crowd....most Americans (99-percent) would have laughed at the suggestion.  Yet here we are today, locked into a class rebellion.

What happened?

1.  Journalism changed in the period of the 1980s and 1990s.  Prior to the 1990s....if you wanted political chit-chat...you got it basically on Sunday morning talk-shows via ABC, CBS, and NBC.  If you asked a hundred Americans in the period of 1985 who watched the shows....less than eight would raise their hand.

As cable-TV came along....networks like CNN appeared, and started to offer a few more hours of political dialog.  They found an audience receptive.  The big three reacted to the competition and delivered more political dialog....often siding with one particular party or agenda. The entire election of 2000 and 2004 became a focus topic....which MSNBC also stepped into the game, as did PBS.

The networks now are no longer news based....they are in the business of packaging an agenda and delivering it to you.

2.  Newspapers over the past twenty years have died off.  They were the only counter-balance to the network crowd.  To some degree, the New York Times, Washington Post, and five or six regional newspapers are the only counter-weight possible....but their theme or message is basically the same as the networks.  Time and Newsweek?  Both are valued as almost worthless and you could buy either for just a few million (the WaPo is in the same bucket if you check their value).

3.  Talk radio moved up to offer the counter-weight.  Across the AM dial....roughly 60-percent of the shows are conservative in nature, with the rest mostly offering commentary on regional or state issues (neutral).

4.  The internet became a focus point, where dozens of platforms also pump out political talk.  Some real....some fake.

You can pull up the map and examine the voting districts.  Urban areas voted for Hillary in significant numbers....non-metropolitan areas voted for Trump.  It's a 75-percent voting district win for Trump. If you go back to 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 numbers....they tell the same story.  The Democrats haven't creeped up on 40-percent of the district voting since 1996.  President Obama won his two elections mostly by urbanized mass voting, and getting blacks registered, and coming out to vote.

So what is CNN's Zakara trying to tell?  I'm guessing that he's packaged an entire program for overseas viewers (those in France, Germany, and England).....to explain this anti-intellectual trend.

The curious thing, if you follow the German trends....a lot of viewers have simply turned off Channel One and Two (the public TV networks of Germany), and don't actively view the intellectual public forum shows that they've packaged up.  The anti-intellectual trend is already in progress in Germany....whether people can accept that or not.

I applaud CNN's effort here, but they might have done this eight months ago and it might have made more sense.