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Since announcing his candidacy for President in 2015, Donald Trump has dominated the national news cycle — largely to the benefit of legacy media companies.
As a growing amount of their airtime centered upon their hatred of the businessman turned politician, many witnessed sharp increases in their audience sizes. The New York Times, for instance, saw more subscriptions in the last three months of 2016 than all of 2015 combined. During election week in 2020, CNN saw a 135% increase in viewership over the first week of November 2019.
After the inauguration of President Biden, however, legacy media saw double-digit drops in their viewership. CNN and MSNBC respectively experienced 44% and 19% decreases in ratings, respectively.
Following President Trump’s departure from the White House, many left-wing journalists already appear nostalgic for their former arch-nemesis. Here are four examples.
Writing for The Atlantic, Alexander Nazaryan of Yahoo News wrote an article entitled “I Miss the Thrill of Trump” — which, according to Wayback Machine archives, he later retitled as “I Was an Enemy of the People.”
“Thrilling, without a single boring day: That’s how I’d describe my four years as an enemy of the people,” said the journalist.
“I miss it already. I miss it terribly, even if I miss little else about the past four years,” he continued. “Without quite meaning to, Trump reminded journalists that their relationship to power should be adversarial. I hope my colleagues in the press corps… remember that, as some measure of pre-Trumpian courtliness returns to the White House briefing room.”
“Covering the administration was thrilling for many journalists, in the way that I imagine storming Omaha Beach must have been for a 20-year-old fresh from the plains of Kansas,” Nazaryan added unironically. “He hadn’t signed up for battle, but there he was, liberating France.”
Ben White — a lead economic correspondent with Politico — admitted his nostalgia for President Trump on social media.
“Deep down in places you don’t talk about at cocktail parties you want him tweeting those tweets,” he stated on Twitter two days after President Biden’s inauguration. “You miss him tweeting those tweets… And the sweet rush of outrage that followed. If you say you don’t you are lying.”
Matt Wuerker — White’s colleague at Politico — agreed with the sentiment: “We’re terrible human beings.”
Though White deleted his tweet, other journalists were not thrilled that he had said the quiet part out loud.
“nah. i really don’t. i don’t need that anxiety,” replied Washington Monthly’s David Atkins.
“You’ve never been more wrong about anything in your life. And you’ve been wrong about a lot,” commented Politico’s Jack Shafer.
“With a new president sworn in, should journalists now ignore Trump?” asked NPR’s Kelly McBride, instantly answering the question in the negative by virtue of writing the article.
McBride argued that journalists should not allow the outgoing Commander-in-Chief to “manipulate media coverage with the flick of the tweet.” However, she believes that “figuring out when and how to cover the former president will remain a moving target.”
“A wholesale ban of Trump’s words from the news report could have an unintended effect. It would reinforce the belief among Trump’s supporters that he was a victim of unfair media coverage,” argued McBride, dubbing such a phenomenon the “Voldemort effect.”
McBride established three suggestions for her fellow journalists: make decisions on a case-by-case basis, refrain from headline quotes, and being “wary of coverage instigated by Trump.”
“When journalists find themselves considering a story about Trump or his family, consider what instigated the events that seem to merit coverage,” she stated. “Is he getting deposed by an attorney general? Are we learning more actions during his time in office? Or did Trump say something outrageous? The bar should be particularly high for news instigated by Trump himself.”
Chris Cillizza — CNN’s editor-at-large — analyzed recent social media-driven market volatility with an article called “How Trumpism explains the GameStop stock surge.”
“At the core of Donald Trump’s angry populist appeal was — and is — this sentiment: The elites think they know better than you. They think they can tell you how to live and what to believe. But guess what? We the people are smarter than the elites!” he wrote.
Cillizza added that the “effort to screw the pros” was similar to attitudes that led millions of Americans to support the 45th President’s rise to political power.
“What’s the end game for the GameStop surgers?” he asked. “The point is that there is no real point beyond showing up the pros — proving to them that they aren’t as smart as they think they are and that they don’t have the ability to control everything.”
“Which, again, has its roots in Trumpism.”
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.