Why did the “unsubstantiated” claims pop up after the election?
Hay Pete, love your work… I’m about half way through the full transcript of The Call, and tbh to me, Trump’s tone and mannerisms are exactly what I’ve seen him do for years. He seems to get an idea, view manipulated data or graphs (like his shortshand morning briefings he prefers) and keeps repeating it, as if to hope people just accept it if he keeps repeating it (think Jonathon Swan interview). It’s annoyed me before, especially watching the debates, but it seems to only now post election, be given the “this claim is unsubstantiated” on media outlets that really should have been around for a long time. Do you think it’s to do with how the international community will view the democratic procedure, is it that the election gives issues the spotlight, or just timing of media and how the community are reflecting on Trump’s time in office?
This is quite the curly question Narelle, but it’s one I’ve spent a bit of time thinking about as well. You could definitely feel a shift in things once the election was over. Why did it happen then?
I think it’s because the election gave us undisputed, unequivocal results. They’ve been certified by 51 different election officials in 51 different states and districts. Challenges to them have been heard by courts and judges in states across America, and the challenges have been tossed out. All the tools and levers we have for establishing the result of this election worked.
Because of that, it’s much, much easier to be able to debunk lots of what the President is alleging than it would have been in the past because we’ve got an absolute mountain of evidence to the contrary.
I think we also saw that shift because fair and accurate reporting on elections is one of the central tenets of journalism, and by extension democracy as a system of government. There are serious consequences to getting this kind of thing wrong, so news organisations (us at the ABC included) spend plenty of time discussing how to report on much of the President’s is saying right now. As you’ve seen, some US outlets decided to just not air the presidents (or his supporters) press conferences because they couldn’t verify what was being said in real time.
It’s a huge challenge for media in 2021, and it won’t go away when Trump leaves office. Take a look at the misinformation that’s been spread through the coronavirus pandemic, for example. That was a serious inside baseball, but I hope I was able to give you some kind of an answer Narelle! Now, back to dumb GIFS.