Almost a year after the election and through heaps of divisive reporting, the media continues to expand the gap between the political left and right that they themselves had a part in creating. This is evident now more than ever, just days after Trump spoke to the United Nations.
Trump addressed the United Nations General Assembly for the first time as president on Sept. 19; and with representatives from all 193 countries present, he had the world’s attention.
Trump’s speech to the United Nations (UN) stimulated days of news coverage on all aspects of his appearance, with sources ranging from HuffPost to Politico to Fox News. Despite the fact that each source is covering the same event, the stories differ greatly in content and tone. Their misunderstanding of the facts is responsible for the difference in what Americans on different sides of the political spectrum understand.
Huffpost’s article, for example, addressed Trump and his opinions on nations and leaders around the world. The story referred back to his nationalistic views and his concept of “America first.”
By writing, “In a clear nod to his conservative base,” contributor Marina Fang singles out an opposing group, clearly taking the more liberal side and enabling readers of Huffpost to do the same.
Politico is another culprit of left leaning reporting. The article, Trump warns that major portions of the world ‘are going to hell’, is enough to catch the attention of a reader already opposed to Trump–but the message within the article is even more divisive. The story delves right into the dark side of Trump, discussing his threat of nuclear war toward North Korea, his opposition to the Iran deal and his comments on the corruption in Venezuela. This specific source makes Trump out to be against the world in favor of a nationalistic view.
Once you move to the news sources on the right, the content seems to change, even though all of the published articles are focusing on Trump’s UN speech.
For example, “The Blaze,” a generally right wing news source, released a podcast called Trump’s remarks at the UN about socialism is what Americans needed to hear, which employs strong language to appeal to an audience of mostly right wing listeners.
In the podcast, The Blaze’s Pat Grey uses strong diction throughout the podcast when he describes Trump as “scolding” other countries when discussing socialism around the world, and the restoration of democracy. Gray’s podcast looks to display Trump as superior, feeding directly into the right’s beliefs that they, the supposed party of Trump, are the elite.
Moreover, Fox News’ Marc Thiessen demonstrated this issue in an article titled The Reason the Left Freaked out when Trump Talked Tough this Week. The title itself is divisive enough, but Theissen also makes the left out to be “snowflakes” throughout the article, signaling to right wing readers that the distasteful terminology often used is acceptable.
Moreover, Thiessen writes, “This is all the standard liberal critique of conservative internationalism.” It is clear that Fox News is directly singling out the opposing party, and sending the message to its viewers to do the same. And while such sites appeal to to a specific agenda or party, it is imperative to create more inclusive content.
The problem with these articles is that the reporting varies so much that the reader’s knowledge on the event depends solely on where the reporting and analysis comes from–Fox calls Trump’s rhetoric on Venezuela “his best moment,” whereas the Washington Post calls it “blistering criticism.” So what is the truth?
With so many different news sources and perspectives, there seems to be a distortion of facts and opinions, causing for widening of the divide between the left and the right and what they believe to be true.