My colleague Andrew McGill wrote a punchy piece over the weekend called “The U.S. Media’s Real Elitism Problem.” An excerpt:
In the aftermath [of Trump’s victory], many of the immediate post-mortems blamed a coastal bubble: Too many journalists had grown nearsighted in urban Democratic enclaves, the reasoning went, blinding them to what was taking place in Middle America. If more reporters actually spent time in fly-over country, instead of jetting through for a rally, they’d understand why Donald Trump won voters over. [...] [T]here’s little question the journalistic class has diverged sharply from the country it covers. In 1960, nearly a third of reporters and editors had never attended a single year of college; in 2015, only 8.3 percent could say the same, according to Census figures extracted with the help of the University of Minnesota’s IPUMS project. That year, 46 percent of adults 25 and older nationwide had never attended a university.
Andrew also made a great little graph showing how our fellow members of the media have congregated on the coasts:
For a reader debate on the media’s role in this election, see “A Middle Finger to the Mainstream Media,” sparked by Lindsey, a long-time Republican. Brett responds:
I’m a 35-year-old teacher who grew up and attended college in Oklahoma, moved to Alaska for a few years after I got married, then moved to NM, where I currently reside. This narrative about how poorly Trump and his voters are treated by the media is flat-out embarrassing. We have here a group of people that looked at the fact that every adult in the room was telling them that this was a terrible mistake and took that as a sign of their virtue. And it wasn’t just the usual suspects in the so-called liberal media; conservative newspapers broke with hundreds of years of precedent to point out that—despite their concerns with Clinton—this was an election unlike any other and that it would be unwise to elect a temperamentally buffoonish man to the White House. And it didn’t make one iota of difference. Now, when everyone recoils in horror at the terrible damage that has been done, that is further evidence of the Trump voter’s righteousness?
Another reader, Chris, thinks we’re missing a big point about the media’s role in this election:
As preface, a brief synopsis of my background: I’m a mid-30s, white, straight, Southern male. I was born in South Carolina, about 30 minutes from where they flew the Confederate flag, and I’ve there most of my life. I’m college educated, married, and live/work in Atlanta now. I’ve worked extensively in Republican politics, including for Congressman Joe Wilson (of You Lie! fame) and in various state and federal elections. I voted for Bush, McCain, Romney and in this election, Hillary Clinton. I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Before this election I’d have called myself a Republican, but now I guess I’m a small-l Libertarian or maybe a small-government Democrat—if either of those things are things.
Lindsey echoes much of what I see daily from friends, family, and acquaintances on my Facebook feed. Her point raises one I’d like to make, and that I don’t believe has been explicitly made on your site.