Happy Thanksgiving: Media Finally Admit They Have a Credibility Problem, Face Industry-Wide Trust Crisis

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Several top reporters at establishment media outlets are finally admitting, more than two weeks after the election, that their industry has a credibility problem and has much work to do to regain the trust of their readers in the wake of Republican Donald J. Trump’s landslide electoral college victory over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“I think one of the things that is going to get talked about is this predictive modeling and how helpful it is or not,” Jeremy Peters, a New York Times reporter, told Breitbart News Daily for the Thanksgiving radio special on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 on Thursday morning.

“Remember, all of these models—New York Times included—had Trump at 80 or 90 percent chance of losing. So what we don’t do a good enough job of is explaining to people exactly what those are. Those models are saying that if the election was held at this moment in time, this person has an 80 percent chance of winning. That’s not how they’re marketed to our readers,” Peters said. “That’s not how readers understand them, however. We don’t do a good enough job of saying that this does not say that Hillary Clinton has a 90 percent chance of winning. How useful those are, if we do really explain to people that, I don’t like predicting things. I don’t know. That’s something that journalistic organizations all across the country have to reassess. And I think that gets into a larger question of ultimately what our jobs are as journalists. Do we try to explain things to readers? Do we try to explain to them, for example, the Trump phenomenon that a lot of us missed, that a lot of people openly scorned and scoffed at and ignored? Do we explain what the roots are of that politically? Or do we just try to give people horse race journalism and just tell them, ‘Okay, here’s who’s going to win, here’s who’s up, here’s who’s down’? There’s a place for both of those types of journalism, but I think we really need to reevaluate the second horse-race aspect of it a lot more closely, given how bad the calls were this time.”


Jonathan Swan, a reporter for the Hill newspaper, told Breitbart News Daily that the inherent flaws in the media industry are “so deep.”

“I think it goes to what kind of people are hired in these newsrooms,” Swan said. “I think there needs to be a real effort to stop this practice of hiring bi-coastal elites who all come from the same institutions and all have the same worldview. None of them have ever met a Trump voter. There are actually reporters in D.C. who don’t know a single Trump voter. I don’t know how you can report on an election when you don’t actually understand what motivates a person to vote for the person who ultimately becomes president. So I think it goes really deep. And I think some institutions need to almost do an autopsy of themselves at this point.”


Joshua Green, a columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek, told Breitbart News Daily that there are a “number of concurrent crises” going on in the institution of the Fourth Estate.

“There’s been crises like how to cover an unorthodox candidate like Trump, who frankly lies about some things,” Green said. “How do you deal with the fact that public and private media polling just no longer seems to work? We can’t have any faith in [polls] after this election. We should have known that things were way off. How do you deal with the crisis of people making a ton of money on Facebook with ‘fake news,’ but real, valid journalistic outlets are having an enormous difficulty making enough money to stay in business writing real news? There’s all this stuff swirling around at once, and so I think what’s happening is a sort of ongoing state of introspection. I think it’s more intense in some places than in others, but I don’t know how it shakes out. I mean, every single day with Trump, you see a new way in which the old system isn’t really functioning in the current universe.”

Green points to the meeting Trump had with television executives earlier this week, including CNN’s Jeff Zucker—whom Trump dressed down in the meeting—as another example of it. Green said that “all the TV people thought [it was] a ‘bury the hatchet’ reset moment.”

“Instead, Trump reportedly went after them for all sorts of real and perceived offenses,” Green said. “It left everybody angry and kind of upset. This just isn’t something that we in the press are used to dealing with from any other candidate before this. So we’re all just kind of trying to work and find a way forward.”


On Tuesday’s program this week, the Washington Post’s Robert Costa also admitted the media have a problem.

“There are so many factors,” Costa replied when asked about what the legacy media outlets missed this election cycle. “But I think it starts with, you have to listen to voters, and you have to have an open mind when you listen to voters.”


Breitbart News invited Brian Stelter, the host of CNN program Reliable Sources, to discuss the media industry from a CNN perspective. But according to CNN spokeswoman Emily Kuhn, Stelter was unable to come on the program. Stelter has been invited on nearly every week for months and continues to refuse to discuss CNN’s credibility problems or the credibility problems the media as a whole are facing.

But former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who served as a CNN contributor for the latter half of the campaign but now has left the network as he is considered for a potential position somewhere in the Trump administration, told Breitbart News Daily earlier in the week that the media have a real problem.

“If you look at the polling that came out after this election, if you would believe what MRC/YouGov said, 97 percent of the people said they did not allow the media’s bias to affect their voting decisions,” Lewandowski said on Tuesday morning’s program. “That’s amazing: 97 percent of the people said that not only was the media biased, but they weren’t listening to them anymore because of the propaganda they were espousing about these candidates. It’s amazing, these numbers, and I think that is what the American people stood up against: the elites, the political elites, telling them what to do, and they stood up against that on Election Day with a resounding victory for Donald Trump.”


Ann Coulter, the 12-time New York Times bestselling author, syndicated columnist, and Trump supporter, added on the Thanksgiving special that Trump’s continuing to stand up to the media is “incredibly refreshing.”

“This is incredibly refreshing to find a Republican who won’t sell out his party, his allies, and the American people just to get a fawning profile in the Washington Post style section,” Coulter said on the Thanksgiving special. “That’s what we’re used to with these Republicans. They’re absolute sycophants. They think that we can make the media our friends. No, you can’t. That is one of Donald Trump’s wonderful advantages. As I’ve said many times when he first came along, I said, well, he’s been saying everything I’ve been waiting my whole life for a Republican to say or a Democrat—any politician—but I didn’t think it was going to be this boisterous – I’ll put it as euphemistically as possible – publicity-happy reality TV star. But that turned out to be one of his secret advantages. Everything I thought of as a disadvantage with Trump, on closer examination, turned out to be an advantage. And one is, he already hated the media. He already knew they were liars. He’s not going to be like some craven lickspittle Republican senator or congressman trying to get a favorable writeup in the New York Times or Washington Post or a respectful interview with ABC’s leading comedy program, This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”



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