Just Lazy Reporting #1 – Matt Frei’s Attack on Donald Trump

What should have been an interesting piece of reporting on the current success of Donald Trump in the build up to the Republican nominations ended up being a sloppy bit of gossip TV. Matt Frei’s “The Mad World of Donald Trump” lowered the bar on journalistic reporting by failing to engage with the question of why Donald Trump is so popular as a political figure. Instead, the hour-long show opted for cheap gags about Trump’s “political” rallies, his business failings, his extreme right-wing views, and his lack of policy – which we are all very aware of. What none of us are aware of, because no one is asking the question, is why Trump speaks to a significant number of Americans.


There are too many problems with Frei’s reporting style to fit into a bite-sized blog post, and so these problems will be aired over the coming days. One of the most disturbing comments to come from the programme was from the young man with the derelict house plastered in anti-Trump slogans – he likened Trump to Adolf Hitler. Such a biased view does not take into account that the circumstances of Trump’s potential reign as supreme leader is very different to that of Adolf – Trump clearly hates people of colour, but it seems that his goal is to remove them from the country, or to stop them from entering in the first place. He certainly doesn’t advocate genocide, or the invasion of other countries. Trump’s potential candidacy as the Republican nomination is worrying. He is not the future. His views are a disgrace. But…

He offers something to a significant section of American society that it clearly feels is missing presently. He fans the flames of hatred – and for that to happen, hatred must already be present. Instead of dismissing Trump’s supporters as stupid white Americans (the view of the political commentator sitting on the porch with Frei), their views should be analysed to make sense of what is happening in the country. A potential swing from Obama to Trump, still a long way from happening, would be seismic in that we’d have gone from “hope” to “hate” in two terms.


About the textual silence project...

...reading, thinking, and thinking about reading... ...and then writing... View all posts by the textual silence project...

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