For the 2020 American Views survey, Gallup and Knight polled more than 20,000 U.S. adults and found deepening pessimism and further partisan entrenchment about how the news media delivers on its democratic mandate for factual, trustworthy information. Many Americans feel the media’s critical role of informing and holding those in power accountable is compromised by increasing bias. As such, Americans have not only lost confidence in the ideal of an objective media, they believe news organizations actively support the partisan divide. At the same time, Americans have not lost sight of the value of news — strong majorities uphold the ideal that the news media is fundamental to a healthy democracy.
MSNBC producer Ariana Pekary explained that the reason for her deciding to quit her job was that the mainstream media blocks “diversity of thought” in favor of promoting hysterical voices for ratings and that a TV veteran admitted to her “we are a cancer and there is no cure.”
Pekary, who was an “integral member” of Lawrence O’Donnell’s primetime show, says that the media’s obsession with Trump is actually costing lives because it is preventing reasoned discussions about how to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
“This cancer risks human lives, even in the middle of a pandemic. The primary focus quickly became what Donald Trump was doing (poorly) to address the crisis, rather than the science itself. As new details have become available about antibodies, a vaccine, or how COVID actually spreads, producers still want to focus on the politics. Important facts or studies get buried,” Pekary explained.
The former producer also revealed that a “successful and insightful TV veteran” acknowledged to her that, “We are a cancer and there is no cure,” adding, “But if you could find a cure, it would change the world.”
Following Donald Trump’s Friday announcement that he would ban the popular Chinese-owned video platform, Microsoft has today swooped in to hoover up TikTok after it received “personal assurances” from the president himself that he would back such a move. Trump has given the two parties up to 45 days to hash out a deal. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, values its U.S. operations at $50 billion, but it is not at all certain they will receive fair compensation, given their predicament. The platform is by far the most downloaded app in Apple’s app store, with over 800 million active users worldwide, including over 100 million in the United States, primarily members of Generation Z.
The move comes amid growing American aggression towards Beijing, ostensibly over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, its treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang province and demonstrators in Hong Kong, and, above all, its uneasiness at its growing economic power. Early last month the Trump administration began floating the idea of a TikTok ban, citing potential national security issues. When asked by Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham if Americans should use the app, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded: “only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.” TikTok has strenuously denied that it works with the Chinese government, noting that American users’ data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access.
“Americans live in a world of pseudo-facts, which is created for them by their own media.”Professor Daniel Boorstin (Librarian of Congress, 1975-1987)