Like most of you, I was up late on election night, hoping for an end to this madness. Flipping from station-to-station didn’t matter. The only thing that changed was the broadcaster’s logo. The common element was the major news media’s failure to properly do their homework and their failure to admit it.
In the 2016 election, all the major networks promised Hillary’s massive victory. After all, their polls predicted her landslide victory. When they were all proven wrong there were no apologies. There were not even many excuses offered. They merely ignored the fact and continued as if they hadn’t made the wrong predictions.
If I had made a fool of myself nationally, I would have learned from my embarrassing mistakes and vowed to not let that happen again. No, not the major news media. As Tucker Carlson said last night the amazing thing was that no one in the media knew anyone who voted for and supported Trump. So, if no one supports or votes for him their polls must be correct.
They just weren’t asking the right people.
In the 1948 presidential election, the Chicago Daily Tribune conducted a poll that led to the headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Defeats_Truman). Of course, this was incorrect.
They listened to their pollsters who had conducted their polls by telephone. In those days, phones were not as common as they are today. You usually were a little better off financially if you had one. Unfortunately for the newspaper, the people that voted Truman into office didn’t have phones.
The newspaper reporters didn’t know anyone who voted for Truman. The photo of Truman holding up the newspaper with the incorrect headline has been the ignored icon of the failed pollsters. It is a shame they have never learned from it.
Yesterday the Major news outlets were calling states as they saw fit – regardless of what might really be happening on the ground. Some counties hadn’t tallied their votes yet and the media called it as final. I am sure I saw AP had called Illinois went for Biden long before the polls had closed in Illinois.
Now, keep in mind that no matter what a newspaper or broadcast company says, it remains that the number of votes which make the final determination. This reckless rush to beat other news outlets by calling a state only feeds the desire to take it to the courts. It fires the emotions of the voters and leads to tensions snapping and violence in the streets.
The long-forgotten dream of journalistic integrity is simply a fairytale told to children when they stop believing in the tooth fairy. It is clear the only ones who still believe there is honor and integrity in the major news media are the pollsters who have failed to learn their lessons.
So where does that leave us today?
Our police officers are on post waiting for the impending riots and looting. Citizens from coast to coast have no one to go to for the truth, Today, if you wanted the weather forecast you better go stick our head outside after you listen to the news.
People in Pennsylvania had plenty of time to get their vote in by November 3rd, but they won’t be done counting until Friday. WTF??!!
I’ve become an angry old man and I’m sick of the media telling me I’m wrong. I’m sure many of you are sick of it too even if you are not an old man. If broadcast journalism collapsed tomorrow, we would be no worse off than we are today.
Perhaps we would be better off since there would be nothing driving a spike between our families and friends.
Shame on major media for failing us and shame on us for allowing them to do so.
Stay safe my brothers and sisters in blue. Run low and zig-zag.
Robert Weisskopf (Ret. Lt. CPD)
“Above all, it’s about going home at the end of the shift … “
We couldn’t agree more.
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