Make America Grate Again!

What’s that unpleasant rasping sound you hear?

Here’s my concession speech: I was completely wrong in the “Trump This” prediction I made on these pages nearly a year ago, when America began seeing Donald J. Trump as a serious candidate. Upon winning the general election, I imagined Trump would get up to the podium and effectively say, “C’mon America, I was only kidding.” That his real agenda was to reform our modern electoral system by exposing it for the farce it is. I mean, how could a serial-bankrupter-turned-reality-TV-show-host be taken seriously?

I was wrong. As were much of the media, the pollsters and pundits that feed them. The majority of American voters took him seriously, and we have to accept that is the country we live in -- or will be living in for at least the next four years.



But I’m hoping the second part of my speculation was accurate, that the Trump that ran this election was not the Trump that will actually govern. That he was simply utilizing his great showman instincts to rally a base as a means to an end and that now that he is President Elect, he will govern in a more, well, “Presidential” way. Might as well accept that, because we have no other choice -- at least for the next four years.

For all those readers who objected to the undertones of MediaPost’s political media and marketing coverage -- especially some of our commentaries -- I just want to say we are and always will be an equal opportunity offender and we’ve always welcomed opposing points-of-view in op-eds, franchise columnists and the comments made to what we published.

We will continue covering political media and marketing past the general election, because we believe it is relevant to the media business in ways that go beyond the electorate. And right now, the most obvious observation is that the “news media” part of it was absolutely wrong and may have less influence in that process than anytime since the Nov. 3, 1948 “Dewey Defeats Truman” cover published by the Chicago Tribune.

Grate all you want, today’s headline should read: “Trump Defeats Media.”

5 comments about "Make America Grate Again!".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, November 9, 2016 at 9:45 a.m.

    Like you, Joe, I hope that Trump decides to act "presidential" and stops the 3AM tweeting, the bullying and flipflopping, etc.. More important is whether he will surround himself with sensible and sane advisors and listen to them. We shall see.

    As for the pundits and polls being wrong, this is one of the more interesting aspects of this truly amazing and often disconcerting Presidential campaign. As those who have actually conducted surveys are---or should be ---well aware, there are all sorts of hidden biases that must be accounted for. One is  what I call the" lying factor ". While most respondents, once they agree to participate in a survey, tend to give the most accurate answers--subject to the clarity of the questions---an unknown percentage will misrepresent their actual behavior or mask their opinions so as to be more in step with what they percieve to be politically correct or the concensus. You see this all the time in audience studies where, for example, people will claim that they "always" binge watch TV shows when, if their TV usage was measured via a meter, binge viewing would be found to be a fairly rare ocurrance. In the case of the recent election polls, I suspect that the samples included  unknown numbers of"closet" Trump supporters, who were afraid to admit this as many of their friends or family members were ardent Hillary fans---or, maybe, they were simply too embarassed to indicate pro-Trump sentiments to strangers. Later, when at the voting place where no one could see how they voted, they came out of the "closet" and this is one of the reasons for Trump's surprising win. I'm not sure how the researchers can account for the lying factor in future surveys, but they should look into this problem.

  2. George Simpson from George H. Simpson Communications, November 9, 2016 at 10:02 a.m.

    I suspect that any "undertones of MediaPost's political media and marketing coverage" were an honest attempt to cover a candidate who has no political track record and said and did things that should have been unacceptable to voters. That half of the American voting population thought he should be President is frightening. I think he got the coverage he deserved not only from MediaPost but all major national news outlets.

  3. Ari Rosenberg from Performance Pricing Holdings, LLC, November 9, 2016 at 3:30 p.m.

    Joe count me in as another columnist who blew this call -- I really thought Trump was promoting his new condo development and running for president seemed like a solid way to generate awareness.  I blew that call big time -- and I am open to the idea that somehow, some way, as shocking as this win may appear, he shocks again and turns out to be a a great president.  You never know what kind of president someone will be until they actually become one.

  4. John Grono from GAP Research, November 9, 2016 at 6:15 p.m.

    We're still shaking our heads Downunder.

  5. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, November 9, 2016 at 8:59 p.m.

    They all listened to data, not to people.

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