Chris Butler Commentary: Conservatives Don’t Want an Echo Chamber, They Just Want Big Media to Do Their Jobs


Big Media must challenge and address their own confirmation biases about conservatives and about Trump voters first, before they lecture Trump voters about their beliefs.

The illusion is over. Before Donald Trump came along Big Media always teetered close to the edge of the line with their biases, but after 2016 they crossed that line and they pushed forward. Just this week many people believed that CNN’s Jake Tapper threatened Trump voters for not accepting, per the media, that Joe Biden is president-elect. Also last week, Anderson Cooper, also of CNN, described Trump as an “obese turtle.”

People in Big Media may not know any Trump voters. People in Big Media may not count any Trump voters among their list of friends.

But I know Trump voters — and they are irate.

At Big Media.

Irate at Big Media for peddling discredited conspiracy theories about “Russiagate.” For smearing Brett Kavanaugh without credible evidence. For falling for the Jussie Smollett hoax because they thought it confirmed their worst prejudices about MAGA voters. And, last but not least, Trump voters are fuming because Big Media and Big Tech suppressed credible information about Hunter Biden and a pay-for-play scandal that, had they bothered to report it, probably would have cost Joe Biden the election. I’m sorry, but Tony Bobulinski came across as a credible witness.

And who knows if voter fraud really put Biden over the top in the contested battleground states? Reasonable people feared this might happen. But Big Media is awfully quick to dismiss those concerns. There are sworn affidavits out there attesting that people committed vote fraud in this election.

This doesn’t grab Big Media’s attention? No voter fraud took place? And people in Big Media are absolutely certain of that? How, exactly? Big Media is not curious? Even just a little?

There’s certainly more evidence that people in the battleground states committed vote fraud, for instance, than there was that members of the Tea Party are violent and commit mass murder. Yet Big Media didn’t hesitate to jump to such conclusions after the Gabby Gifford shooting in 2011 or the shooting in Aurora, Colorado in 2012.

In 2015 Newsbusters called out USA Today for reporting — without evidence — that the NRA’s 2015 National Convention, held in Nashville, would lead to a surge in sex trafficking. Ironically, no major crimes occurred the weekend of the convention.

Big Media’s unprofessionalism and Big Media’s bias against the right — especially this year — isn’t something that Trump voters will forgive and forget.

I spent nearly 10 years in the traditional media, and I’ve written about some of my experiences previously for The Star.

And while I know Trump voters I also know Big Media.

Many people in Big Media, in their private conversations, refer to Trump voters as hillbillies, uneducated buffoons, classless rubes, and worst of all, white supremacists and Nazi-sympathizers.

But people in Big Media don’t really know Trump voters; and, going by their journalism, it shows.

Trump voters have no powerful lobby in Washington, D.C. They’re middle class. They’re God-fearing people. They work hard. They give far more to the government than they take in. They hold their hands out for no welfare, corporate or otherwise. All they want is to lead honest lives without the government all up in their business and without the government micromanaging what they do.

They don’t take laps in The Swamp.

People on the right doubt Big Media’s credibility and its objectivity and for good reason. Do not doubt the power and the passion of MAGA voters to dent Big Media’s already struggling industry and to dent it hard. They have vowed to no longer give Big Media their time or their money. Based on conversations I have had and observed with plenty of Trump voters this past week, they’re not playing around. And they make up a sizable segment of society.

This kind of thing will bleed Big Media internally. People in that industry did it to themselves.

And when layoffs happen then they must not make face-saving excuses and blame other supposed causes. They treated Trump like garbage and they treated Trump voters like second-class citizens while propping up almost anyone who opposed the president.

I am not at all saying Big Media should have acted like Trump’s personal public relations team. They must hold Trump accountable when he does wrong. But only do so when the evidence convinces by a reasonable standard — emphasis on the word “reasonable.”

I personally think Trump voters can embrace news outlets that don’t always affirm their political beliefs — just as long as those outlets respect their beliefs and don’t marginalize or demonize them. And Big Media does not respect Trump voters or their beliefs.

The right never had a problem embracing media that challenged their confirmation biases. But embracing confirmation biases is a two-way street. Left-leaning people in the media seldom ever practice what they preach when they insist that others open their minds to other points of view.

Big media must shut up and listen to what Trump voters have to say. Respect the president and his views. Respect the president’s voters. Confront their own confirmation biases. Challenge the groupthink that plagues their industry.

And maybe – just maybe – democracy will benefit and our republic will thrive.

In closing, there is a word for how Big Media has treated Trump voters and a lot of other people on the right, especially the last four years.

That word is snobbery. Insufferable, unmitigated, and certainly undeserved snobbery.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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One Thought to “Chris Butler Commentary: Conservatives Don’t Want an Echo Chamber, They Just Want Big Media to Do Their Jobs”

  1. Deplorable Bay Stater

    The only way Big Media will ever change is if we force them to by hitting them where it hurts — in their advertising revenue. And the best way to do that is to identify and target their biggest advertisers with an organized letter-writing campaign informing the CEOs of these advertisers that they will get no more of our purchasing dollars as long as they continue to support Big Media with their advertising dollars. Not many CEOs would have the courage to ignore a few million such letters.