The December cover story of Washingtonian, a monthly glossy lifestyle magazine for capital city natives, is dedicated to “The Obama Years: Barack and Michelle – How They Changed Our City.”
As I laughed while reading through a colorful 17-page spread consisting of one-sided gushing about the glorious and glamorous Obama years, what caught my eye was the monthly “Flashback” feature. Found earlier on page 10, “Flashback” displayed a loving photo of the Obama family from the January 2009 Washingtonian Inaugural issue with an opening paragraph that read:
“HERE THEY ARE! Hopes are higher for Obama than for any incoming administration in decades. According to a Gallup poll, two of every three adult Americans think the country will be better after four years of his leadership.”
This writer was among the one-third of adult Americans who thought otherwise. I was adamantly opposed to Obama, believing that he was the most left-leaning president-elect in our nation’s history with the thinnest of presidential resumes. In 2008, as a member of the McCain ad council, I had worked to defeat him.
Personal feelings aside, I was not surprised by the results of that January 2009 Gallup poll given the torrent of hyped-up, overblown Obama euphoria perpetrated on the masses by the mainstream media. In fact, New York Times best-selling author Bernie Goldberg described Obama’s media coverage as a “slobbering love affair” and chronicled the excessive adoration in his January 2009 book by the same name. Goldberg’s book left no doubt that the media were complicit in electing the first African-American president.
Fast forward eight years to the media’s negative treatment of President-elect Donald Trump compared to the glowing coverage of Messiah-elect Obama. Respect for the winner of the office of the president, separate and apart from Trump himself, is non-existent. Despite the fact that Trump unexpectedly won 306 electoral votes, to Clinton’s 232, the mainstream media are determined to keep the hate embers burning. Frequent reports of rising “nationalistic white power” and overall racism is fueling and sustaining the anger felt by those on the left.
Thus, it is instructive to compare the media’s 2008-09 inaugural “hope and change” to this year’s “no hope and anger.” As with the 2016 election coverage, the media’s post-election reporting is misleading and out of step with most of America.
For example, voters say by a whopping margin of 59-37 percent that they are “optimistic about the next four years with Donald Trump as president,” according to an widely reported Quinnipiac University Poll released Nov. 22.
But true to form, most mainstream media outlets did not lead with that optimistic, surprising news. Instead, anti-Trump news sites like CNN headlined the Quinnipiac poll results with, “Majority of voters say Trump should stop tweeting.” One must read several paragraphs before learning that the same number of Americans, 59 percent, are both optimistic about Trump’s presidency and want him to delete his Twitter account. Whereas, 35 percent of voters said Trump should keep tweeting.
Most fascinating is how the Quinnipiac poll is a Rorschach test of negative or positive Trump reporting. Given that 59 percent of voters are both optimistic and want Trump to stop tweeting sets up a unique media bias test case. Just for fun, google “voters optimistic about Trump Quinnipiac Nov. 22,” and read various media spins on the poll.
It is likely that some of the 59 percent optimism about Trump is attributed to the record-breaking stock market highs that were reached while the Quinnipiac poll was being conducted. But then this week, according to a Gallup poll, U.S. economic confidence has reached a record high. Moreover, a new word, “Trumponomics,” is entering the global lexicon with national and international experts predicting that Trump’s expected policies of big spending and tax cuts will grow the U.S. economy by 2.3 percent in 2017 and 3.0 percent in 2018 (compared to 1.5 percent in 2016). Furthermore, global GDP growth is forecast to rise to 3.3 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018.
Hence, if President Trump can positively impact the national and global economy and Americans feel the difference in their wallets, will anger from the left subside?
That will take a miracle because “winners” during economic growth spurts mean that there could also be “losers.” Naturally, the left will focus on the losers, because generally speaking, they are consumed by Trump-inspired hate and anger. Such sentiment is expressed in an email I received from a reader responding to my “Give Trump a Chance” Thanksgiving Day piece about family harmony. It read:
“A proud racist, sexual assaulter, pathological liar, pathetic bully, ignoramus and otherwise despicable orange a-hole does NOT deserve a chance nor will many good people and non-bigots give him one. I want nothing to do with anyone who could vote for a person like that – family or not.”
The person who sent that message the night before Thanksgiving can take comfort from the media who desperately want Trump to fail. To shed more light on that desire and expectation of failure, compared to the extraordinarily favorable treatment and high expectations Obama received as president-elect, I reached out to the aforementioned Bernie Goldberg. Besides being a best-selling author, Goldberg is a regular guest on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News Channel show in his role as a respected expert on media bias.
Goldberg offered some interesting insights. First, about the source of the left’s anger writing, “Liberals, generally speaking, take their cues from the liberal media. So if the liberal media detested Trump that made it OK for liberals outside the media to hate him too.”
Second, comparing Obama’s media treatment to Trump’s, Goldberg wrote:
“The same media that slobbered over Barack Obama, that loved him because of his historical significance, generally speaking detested Donald Trump. The same journalists that weren’t content to be eyewitnesses to history – but felt they had to help shape history – were determined to bring Trump down because they saw him as a genuine threat to the Republic. Slobbering over Barack Obama – in their view – was for the good of America – the same reason they used for trying to destroy Donald Trump.”
Finally, Goldberg wrote, “Let’s not forget that Trump ran … and won … in the United States of Entertainment – a place where he was the perfect candidate.”
And that is the problem; Trump was not supposed to win. Therefore, only half the nation, residing in that “basket of deplorables,” is filled with hope and change, further encouraged by positive economic reactions and Trump’s Cabinet decisions.
Conversely, all the good economic news and optimism for the new president is overshadowed by the “no hope and anger” crowd. In this groupthink mentality, anger is caused by the absence of hope and sustained by unwarranted fear. The unforgiving leftist mob is led and misled by a media chorus with the prevailing attitude that Trump must fail for America to be saved.
Trump’s true test of leadership will be if he can turn anger into hope with real results and undeniable economic success. Winning will be Trump’s ultimate revenge.