REALCLEARPOLITICS: The Media Should Not Have ‘Called’ This Election.
Under the contentious circumstances of this election, the traditional media’s decision to declare a victor before the official process had run its course has diminished the confidence of Trump voters in the announced result. Even if the declaration of a Biden victory is found to be accurate, the call was premature, and it will make the effort to unify our nation far more difficult. . . .
Unity is much less likely, however, when the media simply declares a winner before the matter is resolved. In 2012, many Republicans felt disappointed when Mitt Romney lost to President Obama. Very few felt cheated. That will not be the case in 2020 if the current president’s supporters believe that the media preempted the official process so as to disparage or prevent a full investigation of the president’s claims.
The New York Times exacerbated this problem when it announced in an odd Election Day tweet, later withdrawn, that “the role of declaring the winner of a presidential election in the U.S. falls to the news media.” Of course, it does not. That responsibility falls on Congress. But that tweet told the president’s supporters all they needed to know about the media’s intent.
Indeed it did. Plus:
Voters who supported Trump have good reason to distrust the media. For months, traditional news outlets have been telling us that he would lose his bid for reelection in a landslide and that a “blue wave” would sweep the nation, turning control of Capitol Hill completely over to the Democrats.
Reporters – not just pundits, but ostensibly fair-minded “straight news” professionals – treated Biden’s decisive victory as a foregone conclusion, actively discouraging their readers and viewers from even considering the possibility of a second Trump term. The pollsters had “fixed” the flaws that plagued their results in 2016, we were told.
The election returns proved otherwise. Yet, these same outlets are now asking us to trust them as they declare that their favored candidate won the election.
The country would be much better off if the press could serve as trusted interlocutors. But to be trusted, one must be trustworthy.