Why Does Media Downplay Hillary's Huge Popular Vote Win?

12/28/2016 04:28 am ET

I am oft amazed and confused why many media honchos, especially on cable news, perhaps in an attempt to show journalistic neutrality, remind those attacking Donald Trump’s appointments and their proposed policies, that voters preferred the changes and approaches he proposed.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, whom I mostly like, is guilty of this and, while he is quick to correct a mistaken Trump acolyte like the increasingly oily KellyAnne Conway, whose lies and deflections of the truth are ubiquitous on the airwaves, he often fails to remind or relate any significance concerning Hillary Clinton’s nearly three million vote advantage over the president-elect.

If he and others like CNN colleague Don Lemon or Fox News' Chris Wallace gave more notice to this phenomenon instead of joining the Trump pretense that his victory resulted from popular support it would certainly lead to a discussion as to why, in light of these circumstances, there is not the slightest attempt to placate the public as Trump steamrolls controversial views and proposed fiats on an American public that mostly didn't want him.

Trump has the legal right to do so, made evident by the outmoded and hopefully soon disposable Electoral College, but it might be fodder for discussion by responsible journalists mindful of the realities of what recently happened to suggest that a Trump presidency might well be in danger of disastrous political consequences. That his actions are going against what most voters clearly wanted, and so these commentators ought to postulate that what happened is the result of a system that ought to be changed.

Instead, cable news networks foist Trump surrogates upon us like Kayleigh McEnany and Jeffrey Lord, the latter of whom persists in odd analogies to buttress his support of Trump, referencing Chester Alan Arthur's 19th Century "birther" critics when Trump's comments about Barack Obama's or Ted Cruz' presidential qualifications are denounced. Or McEnany and MSNBC's Paris Dennard (who is this guy anyway?) who during the campaign, when it was nearly impossible to support something Trump said or had done, quickly turned the discussion to Bill Clinton or his wife.

Or they condescendingly repeat over and over that the popular vote is immaterial and doesn't matter, as Hugh Hewitt (Trump supporter, then non-Trump supporter, then Trump supporter) said in a debate with the The Huffington Post's Sam Stein on MSNBC's Hardball. Hewitt is right, in that the Electoral College runs the show, but the continual apparent embarrassment displayed by Donald Trump and his media devotees when confronted with the FACT that Hillary was chosen by lots more actual people, has caused them to suppress this annoying bit of news by declaring again and again that the Electoral College is great (Hewitt said he loved it). They then persist, giving lame reasons why they believe it's so, all in the hope their propagandist views will put a stop to growing discussion that our presidential selection system must be changed.

There were certainly Clinton enthusiasts on the panels like David Axelrod, Paul Begala and Van Jones, but invariably throughout the chats there were admissions by these Democrats that Hillary might not have handled herself well, let's say with the email scandal, whereas Trump defenders time and again recited the Trump manifest like the good Stepford automatons they are.

While I haven't watched every show on every occasion I have only seen Brian Williams on MSNBC repeatedly remind that Hillary won the popular vote, and I think it's the duty and responsibility of all legitimate journalists -- read that not to mean most on Fox News -- to continue to harp on the issue and posit whether, after five such occasions in our history -- and twice in sixteen years -- it is wise that the president with the most votes has not been elected. Is it really good for the nation and does it square with democracy that the views and desires of a greater number do not dictate who enters our White House?

I will write more very soon about the Electoral College, the founding fathers and why, inexplicably, Barack Obama, in recent statements, does not support doing away with it. A desire for a peaceful transition is one thing. One doesn't have to dispute Trump's legal ascension to the presidency, but one certainly might lead the charge to ensure it never happens again in this manner.

For that to occur, the media might, at the least, keep that notion in the big picture instead of their unfortunate willingness to, in effect, say by their continual omissions that the election's over and let's deal with what Trump is going to do. The latter is a legitimate part of the conversation, but it shouldn't be lost either that it might be time to change the process rather than essentially ignore what the electorate as a whole failed to accomplish even when so many more of them cast their votes for Hillary Clinton.

Michael Russnow's website is www.ramproductionsinternational.com

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