The six major broadcast and cable news networks hosted Donald Trump for 13 hours and 43 minutes over 63 interviews in March. According to a study by The New York Times, the Republican front-runner has received nearly $2 billion in free media over the course of the campaign.
This happens because our news media is no longer about informing the public so that it can make informed decisions in the voting booth. “Journalism” is now about nothing more than ratings and ad dollars. That means information out, entertainment in.
It’s not the media’s fault. Not all its fault, anyway. It’s the fault of unfettered, unregulated capitalism taking over the fifth estate. News journalists are now beholden to ratings, and that means not doing “boring” stories about important policies, or investigating the actual, nitty-gritty of the ins and outs of government and campaign proposals.
And the reason the media — now at the mercy of ratings and having to show a profit for corporate shareholders — doesn’t do “boring” stories? Because the public won’t watch.
Really, it’s our fault. We, the consumers, who consume news media the way we consume soda pop and fast food.
So we get 14 hours of non-stop Donald Trump acting like a spoiled, insecure schoolyard bully. Because that’s what we want to see, and what ratings-driven news media is compelled to show.