The Listening Post

Trump and the media: A marriage made in ratings heaven?

We explore the love-hate relationship between the media and Donald Trump; plus, the future of Canada’s CBC television.

When Donald Trump announced he was running for the US presidency, the liberal website Huffington Post took an editorial decision that all coverage of his campaign would be posted in their entertainment section, because that’s what they said the story was.

For other news organisations however, it has been a different story with many outlets including CNN, CBS News and MSNBC hanging on his every word.

Having run a campaign full of controversial sound bites attacking minorities and the political elite, Trump has been getting the exposure he wants and the cable networks the ratings they crave.

Some polls are suggesting that Trump is the Republican frontrunner, which if true, is something he has managed to achieve without the help of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News – traditionally the Republican Party’s biggest media cheerleader.

Talking us through the media’s coverage of the Trump story and what’s being missed among the hyperbole are: Robert McChesney, a professor at the University of Illinois; Angelo Carusone, the executive president at Media Matters for America; Kate Kenski, an associate professor at the University of Arizona; and David Sands, Politics and Policy editor at The Washington Times.

Other stories On Our Radar this week: In Turkey, the authorities raid an opposition media outlet just ahead of parliamentary elections; the crackdown on independent journalists in Egypt continues with the arrests of three reporters in the past week; and the government in Greece approves a new broadcasting law targeting corruption in the industry.

Independent journalism and the future of the CBC

Launched almost a century ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, or the CBC, has always played a crucial role in promoting Canadian identity, culture and values. And that has not always been an easy task, made much harder of late, by a number of conflict of interest scandals hitting some of its biggest on-air names.

Add to that, the repeated budget cuts and layoffs under the Conservative government of outgoing Prime Minister Steven Harper, and the CBC’s future hangs in the balance.

But the recent election victory for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party could signal much needed change for the broadcaster.

In his election campaign, Trudeau vowed to restore financial support, editorial independence and governance reform. Now Canadians, who overwhelmingly support their public network, need to hold him to his word if the CBC is to survive.

The Listening Post’s Flo Phillips reports from Toronto on the future of the CBC.

This past week, it was the turn of CBS News to host a Republican debate. The televised debate is meant to be about the candidates talking directly to their electorate, but they also produce a wealth of material for the political satirists.

The first debate, hosted by Fox News, provided much flapping of gums and some pretty bad lip reading. ‘Bad Lip Reading’ is an anonymously-run Youtube channel that dubs over what is really being said in TV clips with voiceovers that match the lip movements of the speaker. The video has racked up more than 10 million views online. Enjoy and see you next week.