Trump Has Laid a Trap for The News Media
By Daily Bell Staff - January 30, 2017

Journalists Look Awkward in the ‘Opposition Party’ … The opening days of Donald Trump’s presidency are forcing the traditional news media to choose between squarely reporting on the president and more directly challenging him when he makes statements that are demonstrably false. The strategic choice between a watchdog mission and an active opposition must be made mindfully. Otherwise the media will find itself tacking back and forth between objectivity and persuasion, an approach that could squander both aims.

This article makes the point that Donald Trump is forcing mainstream media to choose between reporting on the president without overt bias or challenging him when he says something  they believe is false.

The media to a degree has been focusing on challenging Trump.  But this involves making determinations that go beyond objectivity.  This is something that Trump seemingly understands. Either he is a liar or those commenting on his positions are going to be represented fairly straightforwardly.

By presenting his facts his way, Trump is giving the mainstream media an unpalatable choice. Either it abandons its so-called objectivity, or it lets Trump make his points as he wishes to.


In American political culture, paradoxically, calling someone a liar doesn’t make it sound like you’re the truth-teller. It makes it sound like you’re engaged in a debate.

Of course, should the traditional media choose to go back and reassert its objectivity, that strategy has limits as well. It’s naive to believe that the Trump-supporting public will accept the newspapers’ version of objective truth in the face of Trump’s repeatedly asserted views. The president’s supporters will embrace their version of facts — “alternative facts,” as Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway unforgettably put it.

This is something we have noticed ourselves. Newspapers in particular are becoming more and more opinionated. It has everything to do with Trump.

There is nothing wrong with opinionated media. Opinionated media’s heyday was actually pre-Civil War when everything was relatively opinionated. Publications had points of view and these points of view were reflected in every part of the paper.

Today, mainstream newspapers are having a hard time reporting on Trump without casting aspersions on his viewpoints. But these same publications are not stating that they have departed from their previous objectivity

Thus these newspapers are running articles that sound anti-Trump.

Aljazeera carries an article: “A Million Britons Want to Cancel Trump’s State Visit.”

One from the Guardian:  “Theresa May Is Ahead of Trump in Undermining the Refugee System.”

And The Wall Street Journal: “Trump Immigration Ban Sows Chaos.”

These articles could certainly have been written more objectively though even objectivity itself is questionable. Objectivity itself has to have a touchstone. In other words, someone has to decide what is objective.

If you are writing a paper in Palestine, advocating the removal of at least some Jews might be seen as relatively objective. In the West, however, removal of at least some Jews from some parts of Palestine would be seen as something certainly other than objective.

Many have used the preoccupation with objectivity in the West as a way to denigrate the Western approach to reporting on the news. What is going on now is that even the pretense of objectivity has been removed. The lack of objectivity is now visible even to Western readers.

Trump has used this as a way to denigrate Western news. His perspective, shared by millions of Americans, is that presenting a point of view without stating is outright misleads the reader.

We’ve written in the past that the negativity of the press toward Trump is something he will have trouble overcoming. But this may prove to be an effective way of fighting back, and one he has adopted purposefully.

Given the way news has evolved since the Civil War, Trump is at least partially correct. Newspapers should probably inform readers if they are going mix editorial coverage with hitherto “objective” journalism.

Conclusion: But even the most “prestigious” newspapers are not doing this currently. As a result they are losing even more readers. This trend will continue until newspapers take some sort of definitive action. And even then it might not help much. Right now they are playing into Trump’s hands.

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  • Alan

    “This is something we have noticed ourselves. Newspapers in particular are becoming more and more opinionated. It has everything to do with Trump.”
    The MSM including newspapers couldn’t get more opinionated than they already are. They’re just being forced to confront the truths that Trump and his supporters are expressing openly now.

    • Sol

      Truths? Are you on drugs?

      • Jim

        Are you awake??

        • Sol

          lol k

      • john cummins

        You’re not?

      • Alan

        You should consider turning off the MSM and getting your information from reliable sources like Breitbart, for example.

        • Sol

          I’m going to assume that’s a joke.

  • John Lock

    This media trend of making Opinion the news might have started with William R. Hearst. He used his newspaper empire to start the Spanish American war.

    • john cummins

      And, he also said to Puff Billy Graham, and look what happened.

  • FreeOregon

    We live the stories we tell ourselves. Change the story and you change the outcome.

    You see that everywhere if you look. In science the answers you get depend on the questions you ask. In medicine cholesterol now is good, necessary for brain and in some narratives even for heart health.

    So why not change the narratives about how best to govern ourselves?

    The underlying challenge is that people are losing trust in all media and all government narratives. This has been going on for years. Does anyone believe the unemployment figures, or GDP numbers, or the national debt, or the ubiquitous press releases talking heads regurgitate?

    The loss of trust began long before Trump and colors the narrative about Trump. When he tells the truth half the country does not listen.

    • john cummins

      No, we don’t believe government numbers.

  • Sometimes truth is itself condemnation. As long as the media tell the truth they are doing what they need to do. History is quite plain on this score telling us that manipulation of information by whomever is ruling/running a country is the first step to control and the first step towards revolt. When press releases become propaganda the press must double down to uncover and present the truth and to do fearlessly. In modern times demeaning and undermining the press has always been step one of totalitarianism. Orwell and Sinclair Lewis have both described this process in great detail. As someone once famously said – “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.”

    • john cummins

      It’s agitprop, but they’ve lost control of the gates!

    • CCblogging

      If the press constantly lies about facts and twists the facts for propaganda, such as happened constantly covering for the Obama regime , then the press loses all credibility. That credibility scenario creates the political environment for people to demean and undermine the press and it’s justified. Simply put, BS will only get you so far.

  • DB

    ONLY simple mathematics offers incontrovertible TRUTH.

    EX: 1 + 1 = 2 … this is not opinion, but FACT, and requires NO “faith” or “belief”

    Everything else can and will be slanted, distorted, massaged, manipulated, and used to BLUDGEON the serfs into submission. Thus it has always been, thus it will always be so (MY opinion).

    • Earn nest

      Anything you say can and will be used against you. Because it can be.

  • john cummins

    The Lamestream Media has been that way increasingly since the Internet and about 1995. They are Lame because 1) they don’t even understand the media (stuck in the past TV, Newspapers, even radio) 2) their content is more often than not either false (untruthful) or fake (equating movie stars and/or trivial news to the level of important) (and has been for more than 40-50 years) and 3) they are no longer the gatekeepers, the Internet Reformation has made sure of that! This is what causes them to be both Lame and rapidly going extinct. They are in a downward spiral, period.

  • r2bzjudge

    “Today, mainstream newspapers are having a hard time reporting on Trump without casting aspersions on his viewpoints.”

    That is because the MSM are Democratic Party operatives, not journalists. After all, they got caught colluding with the Hillary campaign, against Trump. Since then, the MSM has doubled down, instead of reforming.

    I can’t watch the CBS, NBC, ABC news programs or read the L.A. Times, any more. It isn’t news.

  • The difference between news coverage and opinion palmed-off as news is about the same as a rotten carrot and a rain barrel …

    In all instances, a damned lie is a damned lie: specifically but not limited to: a KNOWING damned lie. The recent election ‘polls’ spewed by every media sewer-main being a prime set of examples … Trump draws more thousands than the venues can hold; if Kommrade Hitlery & Kompany had one more they’d have enough to start an argument – but Kommrade Hitlery was “ahead in the polls” ….

  • CCblogging


    ABC News executive producer Ian Cameron is married to Susan Rice, National Security Adviser.

    CBS President David Rhodes is the brother of Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications.

    ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman is married to former Whitehouse Press Secretary Jay Carney

    ABC News and Univision reporter Matthew Jaffe is married to Katie Hogan, Obama’s Deputy Press Secretary

    ABC President Ben Sherwood is the brother of Obama’s Special Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood

    Former CNN President Virginia Moseley is married to former Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Secretary Tom Nides.

    And now you know why it is no surprise the media is in Obama’s pocket.
    Ya think there might be a little bias in the news ???
    It also explains the cover up of Benghazi………

    • rahrog

      XLNT work CC. Thanks.

      • CCblogging

        thanks rahrog and please share that info with others.

  • autonomous

    Fake news is as old as the human race. Did God really say…? But it looked so good. Am I my brother’s keeper? The compulsion to lie–and to believe lies–is probably the essense of being human. If doing the same thing all the time and expecting differing results is the definition of insanity, are we not all insane?

    • CCblogging

      No. Just you.

    • As soon as you recognize your insanity you are no longer completely insane – for now you have a perspective on what can be seen as fake that once had no reference point. When you recognize true sanity – you wont have to SAY – “and I saw it was good!” but that knowing will be at one with the perspective and its experience – because nothing else is going on.
      The redefinition of insanity as the human condition frees us of any responsibility for “and I saw that it was evil”. Now it is outsourced in ever changing shifts of meanings that seem like differing results while maintaining the veil.
      Back to archetypal terms – if terror is believed the true power – would lying not present the forms or postures that don’t get HIT! Even if none of them work reliably? And is that not what is going on – but usually masked somewhat for those who can get the seats – if not for those in the lion’s arena or underfoot.

      That the lie is the reaction to terror signifies that terror works by deceit – for the symptom carries the energetic signature of its cause. One part of which is to use your own mind to disempower and defeat you – while seeming to be fearfully or overwhelmingly powerful.

      Fakery passes off in the guise of something true and so it can be a sign from which to be curious as to the truth – instead of being traded in or passed off as true. I sense there is a division of those who cant possibly read fake news as news any more because its payload has become so transparent as to send itself up – and there are those who sacrifice deeper in allegiance to the bubble reality that their mind cannot or will not bring to question – as yet – because they still believe it offers protection.

      All talk about ‘them’ whoever they are is relative to who ‘we’ are presuming to be or who I am presuming to join with over and against them.
      Every instance is a unique relationship or event – so reacting to it just in terms of past associations of forms assigned set meanings is dissociation of a past replaying over and over and over – as IF still here.

      • Ephraiyim

        Wow, that was a mouthful. I appreciate it but it will take me some time to work through all you said in my own mind.
        Thank you. 😁

        • You’re welcome.
          My intent is not to create forms of study – so much as join with the spark of your own curiosity in discovery – and so feeling what is in your own mind from the perspective that isn’t part of the insanity – in your own timing – as you feel moved.

          Freedom is being moved… as a wholeness of being and not the wish or ‘lie’ of one part forcing, conforming or tricking another – given ‘power’ or made ‘official’ – though that is something humans do – but so much of that is in reaction and not a direct feeling of being moved.

  • Doc

    “Objectivity itself has to have a touchstone. In other words, someone has to decide what is objective.”
    Yes, objectivity is a fake ideal that is used to control the agenda. It is the individual writer/reader’s task to decide what makes sense to him/her.

    • Sam Fox

      Doc, silly me. All this time I thought for a newsperson to be objective meant they reported facts as best they could. When their opinions were proffered, that was pointed out. They didn’t add stuff they made up, they just reported the truth of the situation as best they could, nothing added & as little as possible left out.
      One would think that honesty, truth & facts were the touchstones.

      Oh well. I never had a clue that ‘objectivity’ was so complerkatered. Guess I am just to backwoods for these here modern times.


      • Doc

        I guess the ones that have honesty, truth & facts as touchstones would gain readers etc.

        I’m afraid that the mainstream today are merely propaganda outlets for a few conglomerates that try maintain some credibility by claiming to be objective. Honesty, truth & facts are obviously not their strong sides.

        They struggle to silence the alternative online media in the same way they did the printed media.

  • Deplorable Donna

    the waking up of American readers began when the LSM did not vet ObamASS. No investigation of his fake birth cert, why he spent 5 million to hide it, no history, no school records, no birth certs on “his” daughters etc etc etc. If people wanted answers, they were ridiculed, and called racists and birthers.
    Then the media continued to cover up his Muslim leanings, his screw-ups like fast and furious, cash for clunkers, bail-outs, unemployment lies etc etc etc.
    People lived these screw-ups and now saw the media for the wh0res they were.
    Then came hiLIARy and Trump. The gloves came off. The media were so in the tank for hiLIARy it was obvious to the brain dead and quite pathetic. Their spewing and viperous attacks on anything they could find or make-up on Trump was laughable. hiLIARy could use her SOS office to take bribes from the Russians to give them 20% of our uranium and it’s crickets from the LSM, yet they foam at the mouth for 2 weeks about Trump being in cahoots with Russia with no proof. Hundreds of examples of their complete hypocrisy exposed them for the moronic hacks they were.

    Newspapers and TV media is dead. Pathetic, obvious, laughingstock, useless.
    There are no investigative journalists anymore in the LSM. Just opinionated azzes we no longer want to listen to

  • apberusdisvet

    The first rule is to believe nothing in any media and question everything. To discover the truth, or reality, you must do some research. Aye, there’s the rub. Most people won’t leave their normalcy bias safe cocoon and get off their fat asses to do so. Look for the anomalies in any statement or video. One lone killer, when eye-witnesses saw 2 or 3. in so many “so-called” mass shootings. WTC7 fell without being hit. The absence of plane wreckage on 9/11. The strange, surreal interviews with the Sandy Hook “parents” who were prohibited from reviewing their children’s bodies. WTF. The AlQ caravan of yellow Toyota trucks, moving UNCHALLENGED over the desert for 3 FRIGGIN DAYS even though the US has unparalleled satellite surveillance in the region. So many more.

    • vongoh

      So fascinating to know that some of us saw these things and recognized them for what they were as time went on … and then to realize what a small minority we still are that have the minds to actually peer through the fog of 24/7 (dis)information to see them.

      Crazy blindspots …

  • Praetor

    ‘O’ so many years ago I would get a Sunday paper. As I remember the opinion section was at the back of the news section of the paper.

    The pertain it words, ‘someone has to decide what is objective. Objective is a goal or to create an external reality. Their goal to make their opinion their dogma our reality. The press is acting conceited and are being obstinate about Trumps Presidency. No surprise, they are regressive socialists who have a tyrannical streak.

    My objective reality is, Trumps going to lay some wood to the back of their heads, because conceited people can be arrogantly stupid.!!!

  • mary

    Those pointing out that the news has never been objective are correct. the idea of object news is a modern psyop, with Edward R Murrow and Walter Cronkite, two of the great actors in that con. Don’t let those creeps in the left news off the hook. During the 20s, they knew very well that the USSR was a basket case under a repressive regime, but never said a word. Only the brave liberty lover Rose Wilder Lane told the truth.

    Note also that the Washington in crowd being against the POTUS is not new in my lifetime (so I assume it’s ancient–even more so than I). Witness Nixon. People around the world utter the word Watergate TM in horror and disgust, but it appeared to be a minor dirty trick pulled by people under Nixon without his foreknowledge. “It’s not the crime but the cover-up!” Please. The Press and the Dems hated Nixon, and were all too pleased to accelerate the feeding frenzie over nothing until he was hounded out of office.

    Then there was Carter, an intelligent, well spoken man (although his politics sucks) who was ridiculed and denigrated as if he were an ignorant rube. I remember the first time I watched him at a press conference and was completely shocked at how articulate he was–even if he can’t pronounce nuclear. He was hounded out of office after four years for no reason I can fathom other than he wasn’t part of the Washington club.

    Then there was Reagan, but they didn’t get their way with him. Too many people were fed up with the liberal nonsense by then, and too happy about his libertarian sounding speeches and a few excellent reforms early on. In this way, Trump may resemble Reagan. We’ll see.

    My point is not that I revere these POTUS. I don’t. I despise all politicians. My point is that the Washington in crowd doesn’t like an outsider getting into the white house. No stinkin’ governors from hick states, or republican states and ABSOLUTELY NO NON-POLITICIANS. They will hound Trump for his full term and NEVER let up. They never let up on Reagan, it just didn’t stick–remember the teflon president? Until his last days in office, they were making cracks about him being stupid or having Alzheimer’s.

  • cloudslicer

    There is a huge unfulfilled market for objective journalism that is not being filled. There is a hugely profitable opportunity for an organization to go out of the way and be as objective as possible.

    If I ran a news organization I would make non political party affiliation mandatory. In fact the ideal journalist in my opinion is an anarchist who wants to bring down everybody. One that ALL politicians fear.

    • disqussted999

      But then the real problem any more is NOT the lack of “alternative” news / “truthtellers.” The problem is getting nationwide and even global coverage of their investigative findings–what they have found to be “objective truth.”

      The whole Trump Phenomenon began to bust a two-way hole through the high wall erected by the Ministry of Truth to keep the sheeple out of the Land of Truth. And with every attack by the MSM, ie, non-objective commentary/editorializing, that hole gets ever larger, fast becoming large enough for an ever-increasing % of the sheeple to come wandering into that Land to see things they would never have looked for before–ie, “alternative truth,” ie, information they were previously walled off from. Does Trump knows he’s doing this?–I certainly believe he does, perhaps through those around him in the alternative media that have seen it.

      As an aside, I like the moniker L(ame)SM, too, except that, though I can tolerate “ignorant,” ie, “lame,” as we are all ignorant about many things, I cannot tolerate arrogantly ignorant, which is what so many in the higher up realms of the MSM are, when they are not indeed simply blatant liars. And many of them are not simply pawns, driven by their own ego and greed for more money and recognition and higher positions. Many are really Deep State allies in terms of how they will support any and all lies to ingratiate themselves with their Deep State bosses that hire and pay (and own) them, and undoubtedly offer them some post-“war” paradise with full Cayman or Vatican bank accounts.

  • mary
  • Sam Fox

    When was the last time fake news media has been objective on important points of view or serous topics. When it comes to covering anything conservative & especially Mr. T, all forms of major ‘news’ media has been slanted left as far back as I can remember. Remember how they treated Ron Paul or the Tea Party.

    What do the following sentences/paragraph mean? It’s not understandable to me. Thanks.

    “By presenting his facts his way, Trump is giving the mainstream media an unpalatable choice. Either it abandons its so-called objectivity, or it lets Trump make his points as he wishes to.”

    When has “mainstream media” been objective when it comes to Mr. T?

    Fringe stream fake news media wasn’t even objective with Hilldebeast. They fawned & slobbered all over her, rigged polls & all. Not much was said by them about the rigging against Sanders. They crapped on Mr. T every chance they got. I don’t see them as having much ‘objectivity’ to fall back on to or resume.

    They could start being objective now, but that might be a journalistic bridge too far for them…

    Shucks Homer, if what passes for news media these days DID get ‘fair & balanced’ regarding Trump, that might hurt him with the people more than their savage propaganda. ;-D After all, we have been so conditioned by them because of their almost totally biased coverage of Mr. T that if they were to start being honest & objective, we’d all be in such shock & awe we probably wouldn’t know what to believe. 😉


  • georgesilver

    TRUMP POLL: 99 per cent of Express readers AGREE with US President’s tough migrant stance.

    Daily Express is a mainstream English newspaper.

  • Bruce C.

    I hope the MSM et al continue their tirades.

    I think it’s a good thing that they are so blatantly anti-Trump. A big problem the MSM has is that Trump is so clear and consistent, and is now proving to be trustworthy and reliable. That’s tough to criticize because he doesn’t speak in nuanced terms that the media can debate about.

    He’s keeping things very simple. The latest executive order to suspend immigration from 6 specific countries for 90 days is pretty direct and simple, at least conceptually. The MSM’s complaint that he’s “banning all muslims” is just ridiculously obvious and stupid. They are undermining their own credibility, for those who still listen to them.

    I’m a little surprised that more hasn’t been said about most of the “protesters” are being paid, and that they number no more than a few thousand nationwide, so they hardly represent many people – hardly “half the country” as the MSM wants you to think.

    What’s also becoming even more obvious is that everything Trump is being opposed no matter what it is. It’s like they’re crying wolf all the time and it’s going to back-fire on them.

  • Cynthia McKinney PhD

    I’ve just decided to bypass them when I can and go directly to the primary source. I do know how to read and draw conclusions for myself. I don’t need Wolf Blitzer to tell me what I just heard or Chuck Todd to interpret what they think I just heard. However, the so-called MSM are useful to know which way the money is flowing to serve the interests of one faction of the Deep State: Green Party got more than ever when it did what was desired and now ACLU is following in that pattern. Opposing Trump in any way it seems can become a boon for the cash-strapped. And we still have 4,000+ days to go . . .

  • PB2013

    The newspaper is only halfway decent for the sports page. Even the local reporters do not cover and or investigate the things they should at the local levels.

  • R. Spencer

    this article is a farce. the media has never been objective.

  • Maximiliano Plus Adrienne

    tis is true but by appearing 2 b objektive they r playing their part in misleading the public and this is what is so wrong let people now where u stand so people can make their choice of newspaper! it s all about respecting facts and other peoples opinion! newspapers should communicate facts full stop! “The Sun” in england 4 example always had a page where it read “The Sun Says:” here they were giving their opinion on what should b done and they were making it obvious so this is fair in my point of view and if u r catching yourself more and more not agreeing with what the Sun says then u know this is not your paper! fair enough!

  • Q46

    The arrival of Trump was not the beginning of this phenomenon, just another dimension.

    The media has just swung from being propagandists and advocates for their favoured people and ‘narratives’ like Obama (swoon) and so-called Climate Change, to having someone and something to be universally against, instead of universally for.

    Their problem is their belief they are ‘right’ whether they are for or against… righteous might be the better word.

    The public on the other hand thanks to the loss of monopoly on News and opinion by the mainstream media because of the Internet where there is a wide variety of other sources of News and opinion, spotted the mainstream media as a bunch of hypocritical, lazy, sycophants and fakes years ago.