President Donald Trump and his campaign certainly have a way with words: after four years ago successfully pushing the expression “mainstream media” into, well – the mainstream, as shorthand for all that is wrong with the entrenched, corporate-owned outlets, we now have another way of describing that phenomenon: “Lamestream.”
Lamestream media is only getting worse, Trump observed on Saturday.
Lamestream Media is only getting worse! https://t.co/cuTRo87tz3
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2020
He made the comment while retweeting a post by Charlie Kirk, founder and president of the pro-Trump TUPSA student organization, who accused mainstream media of having a preferred candidate in the US presidential race.
Kirk included a screenshot of a tweet posted by Reuters on Wednesday, under the heading, “Biden pays tribute to essential workers.”
Reuters appears to have broadcast a Biden campaign event – a virtual town hall meeting with first-line responders in the ongoing coronavirus crisis. And, according to the screenshot, Twitter was happy to “promote” it – in other words, Reuters paid to have this content up on the social network.
What this means, Kirk says, is that this news agency – one of the largest in the world – is using its money to run ads for Joe Biden – the Democratic presidential hopeful who will likely run against Trump in November.
All this would be a whole lot less controversial if Twitter didn’t announce last November that all political ads were officially banned from the platform.
As Twitter said at the time, no political content can be promoted, and that includes candidates and parties. Ads that contain references to political content, including appeals for votes, fundraising and advocacy, are also said to be prohibited.
But in reality, things obviously work differently. As George Orwell writes in “Animal Farm” – “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
That’s the rule that seems to apply to political ads on Twitter, too.
Meantime, Kirk also wonders why big corporate media even feel the need to throw their weight behind Biden in this overt way, if it’s true that his campaign is really going well.
American voters will have the last word on whose campaign has actually been successful, but mainstream media’s behavior and nature will probably remain unchallenged for a long time to come.