President Donald Trump: An Earthquake For America’s Media

December 4th, 2016 Comments off

The election of Donald J. Trump as America’s 45th president was not only an irredeemable defeat for the political establishment in the U.S. in general, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in particular. It represented a seismic shock for the nation’s mainstream news media. Never before had American journalism, in print and on-air, been so invested in confidently, even boastfully, predicting the impossibility of one of the two major contenders for president winning the White House. And never before has the hubris and complacency of the establishment media been do devastatingly shattered.

In the wake of its failure, the humility one would expect from the media has been largely lacking. Instead of a post-mortem introspective on its journalistic failures, much of the media has been looking for scapegoats outside the confines of the Fourth Estate. In addition, some in the conservative faction of mainstream media have blamed the failures in news reporting on Trump’s campaign on the old standby slogan; “liberal media bias. ”

If “liberal media bias” is responsible for a lousy job by journalists covering the 2016 presidential campaign, then how does one explain the fact that Fox News, a paragon of mainstream conservative journalism , hosted many talking heads who told the American electorate that Donald Trump could not win, even in the early evening of November 8, 2016, when the first election results filtered into the newsrooms? Then there is the example of ultra-liberal, progressive and leftist documentary film maker Michael Moore. Three months before the votes were counted, Moore penned a prescient piece on  his website entitled, “5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win (http://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/). The film maker made no bones about his deep contempt for Trump. Yet, when it came to analyzing the dynamics of the 2016 presidential election, Moore had the intellectual integrity to put aside his personal bias, and judge the likely outcome on an objective analysis of facts he knew through deep connection with many of the voting constituencies that would prove pivotal for Trump’s electoral triumph. His most emphatic prediction was that Trump would win the rustbelt states of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, giving him the presidency. And that is exactly what happened. So, ideology would not appear to have been a decisive factor in explaining why the media got the election so wrong.

These are the three primary reasons I believe explain why America’s major news organizations failed to  adequately cover the major news story of 2016; Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

 

  1. The traditional separation between news reporting and editorializing broke down. For generations, the power of American journalism has been objectivity, with news coverage being uninfluenced by the editorial posture of a newspaper, radio or television network. This Chinese Wall that underpinned the traditional integrity of news coverage and separated the straight news department from the editorial side of a news  organization largely vanished in 2016. Much of what was passed on to the public as straight news coverage of the Trump campaign could have been  composed by the editorial department, and had the character of political propaganda, often indistinguishable from the musings of Trump’s GOP and Democratic opponents. While it was certainly within the purview of editorial writers to express critical views of Donald Trump, when supposed journalists composed similar views in the guise of news, it short-circuited their ability to understand the revolution in political affairs that was sweeping America in 2016. It is ironic that Donald Trump and Michael Moore understood this dynamic, while the men and women whose profession it is to report and explain such phenomena almost entirely missed it.
  2. Journalists suffered from a failure of imagination. Clearly, America’s political establishment – Republican and Democratic – failed to understand the internal forces at work in American society that paved the way for a President Trump. However, too many political journalists relied on sources within this same myopic establishment. This meant that often their perspective was undifferentiated from  that  of the traditional political establishment in the United States. By being embedded with the political establishment, many journalists assigned to cover the presidential election were constricted in their ability to look beyond conventional norms for conducting a successful presidential campaign. The dismissive tone towards Trump’s unconventional and unprecedented presidential campaign reflects this failure of imagination. This resulted in journalistic myopia, manifested in news coverage that grossly underestimated the impact and effectiveness of the Donald J. Trump For President campaign.
  3. American news organizations did not comprehend the power of celebrity and social media in shaping the presidential campaign . There was much reporting in the final weeks of the presidential campaign on the superiority of Hillary Clinton’s ground game, traditional media advertising and the overall imposing strength of her campaign infrastructure. The word coming out of news organizations in America was not only that the Democratic nominee was ahead in the polls; her powerful ground operation would guarantee a strong voter turnout, while the supposedly all-but-invisible Trump ground effort meant all he could rely on were campaign rallies, which many in the media suggested, based on  historical precedent, would almost certainly prove inferior in generating voter turnout. What American journalists did not get was that celebrity branding, just as in the consumer marketplace, has increasingly been the most decisive factor in the nation’s political campaigning. Not only did Donald Trump have perhaps the most powerful celebrity brand in America; its fusion with an array of social media platforms enabled the candidate to build an unprecedented level of interconnection with potentially tens of millions of voters, bypassing the need for a conventional campaign infrastructure, traditional advertising and even a reliance on favorable news coverage by the mass media. For the most part, the nation’s journalists were largely ignorant of these tectonic shifts occurring within the presidential campaign landscape.

 

Come January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Incisive, accurate and thoughtful reporting on the incoming Trump administration will be crucial for the American people. However, such a level of journalistic quality will only occur if the news organizations of America demonstrate humility, recognize the many failures  and inadequacies in the manner in which they covered the 2016 presidential election, and earnestly learn and apply the lessons that are so clearly manifested. Failure to do will reduce their role to irrelevancy among a large part of the American people, as the era of Trump is upon us.

trump-president-donald-trump-ebook-cover-final

Will Deutsche Bank Be The Next Lehman Brothers?

October 5th, 2016 Comments off

One of the leading banking institutions in the world, Deutsche Bank, is under steep pressure, as word circulated that the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to impose fine and penalties on the German banking giant in the range of $14 billion. The assumption that the bank’s liquidity would be insufficient to meet such a liability, which DOJ is looking to impose on Deutsche Bank due to its mortgage securities  shenanigans  during the global financial collapse of 2007-08.

Stock prices for Deutsche Bank shares have undergone massive volatility. Undoubtedly there is much pressure on DOJ to slash the fines and penalties it is seeking from Deutsche Bank to a fraction of the $14 billion being floated. It is likely that DOJ will compromise, as everyone fears the counter-party risks if Deutsche Bank goes under. However, even with a reduced DOJ penalty, there may be other shoes about to drop at Deutsche Bank, which dues to its size, threatens the global financial system with a Lehman-like meltdown.

 

 

TRUMP VERSUS CLINTON: Climactic Struggle For The White House Between Donald Trump And Hillary Clinton Kindle Edition    AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JADSCSE#nav-subnav                    

Look inside this book.

TRUMP VERSUS CLINTON: Climactic Struggle For The White House Between Donald Trump And Hillary Clinton by [Filger, Sheldon]

U.S. Economy Stuck At One Percent Growth

August 26th, 2016 Comments off

The corrected data released by the Commerce Department for the second quarter of 2016 is even a little worse than the already bad initial estimate. In Q2 the American economy registered GDP “growth” of a lackluster 1.1 percent. This follows similar data for Q1, indicating that in the first half of 2016 the U.S. economy grew by only a dismal one percent.

Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in deficit spending, the U.S. economy remains at stall speed. Without hundreds of billions of dollars in deficit spending, America’s economy would without a doubt plunge into a technical recession. Thus, less than three-months ahead of the U.S. presidential election, the Obama economy will not be one of the arrows in Hillary Clinton’s quiver. This may also provide Donald Trump with more ammunition, as the perception of a robust economic recovery in the United Sates fades from reality.

 

 

 

TRUMP VERSUS CLINTON: Climactic Struggle For The White House Between Donald Trump And Hillary Clinton Kindle Edition    AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JADSCSE#nav-subnav                    

Look inside this book.

TRUMP VERSUS CLINTON: Climactic Struggle For The White House Between Donald Trump And Hillary Clinton by [Filger, Sheldon]

Brexit Has Implications For Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump In Upcoming Presidential Election

June 25th, 2016 Comments off

 

The decision by Britain’s electorate to leave the European Union will have monumental consequences for the future world order. Ian Bremmer, the respected geopolitical analyst and head of the Eurasia Group consultancy, tweeted thus, “Brexit is the most significant political risk the world has experienced since the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Stock markets are withering, the British currency is plummeting and  Prime Minster David Cameron has announced his resignation,  as the economic and political aftershocks are only beginning to be comprehended. However, it is the geopolitical tremors that will have the most far-reaching impact globally. That includes the United States, which is in the midst of an increasingly vitriolic and divisive presidential campaign.

What has stunned observers about the outcome of the Brexit campaign is that the referendum’s result ran counter to what the analysts, supposed expert prognosticators and well-compensated pundits had so confidently predicted. The established experts had even convinced supporters of Brexit that they would likely lose the referendum, in the hours before actual voting occurred. That is why bourses across the globe soared, and the British pound reached record highs, until reality radically reversed those trends. The odds-makers clearly were convinced that British voters would choose to remain in the European Union. The actual, unpredicted outcome was an unmitigated defeat for the UK’s political establishment across the political spectrum, and that aspect has the greatest resonance with the battle between Clinton and Trump to succeed Barack Obama as America’s 45th President.

Just as with the Brexit referendum, America’s own class of political consultants and expert commentators for months assessed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to be a megalomaniacal joke, with no chance of prevailing in the Republican Party’s presidential Primary. When Trump  emerged victorious in the GOP presidential selection process before Hillary Clinton had secured the Democratic Party’s nomination, the same experts, rather than being reflective and self-critical, have largely double-downed on failure, and remain steadfast in their prediction that Trump has no realistic possibility of winning November’s presidential election.

Setting aside the occasional diatribes of Trump that tend to obfuscate a cogent analysis of his campaign’s actual strength, it is clear that the political dynamics that led to the stunning vote in the United Kingdom to exit the European Union are also at play in the United States, to the benefit of the real estate mogul. The British electorate revealed itself as being alienated from their nation’s political establishment, with public policy on immigration a crucial driving force in shaping attitudes prior to the Brexit vote. In the U.S. Primary campaign, similar forms of disenchantment underpinned Trump’s ability to vanquish his GOP competitors.

In November 2016 American voters will choose between one candidate being the quintessential representative of the discredited and abhorred political establishment, and the other candidate powerfully branded as the ultimate anti-establishment figure. The legion of America’s political experts who, despite evidence that the domestic  electorate seeks change  in 2016, remain fixed in their view that Trump cannot win, may prove, as with their British counterparts, to have been unduly confident in the validity of their political estimates on the mood of the voters.

 

 

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

 

U.S. Jobs Report For May A Disaster – – Only 38,000 New Jobs Created

June 3rd, 2016 Comments off

The U.S. Labor  Department has issued its employment data for May, and it is an unmitigated disaster. A mere 38,000 new jobs — many of them part-time — were created, while the supposedly stellar jobs numbers for previous months were revised downwards.  This is an appallingly bad employment report, yet the same Labor Department claims that the unemployment rate in the United States actually declined to  4.7 percent

It should be recalled that to keep pace with population growth, the American economy must add at least a quarter of a million new jobs each month.  If the result of a dismal 38,000 jobs in May is a supposed decline in the unemployment rate in the U.S., the only explanation is that many discouraged job seekers have supposedly “left” the work force, meaning that they are no longer considered by the Labor Department to be unemployed.

The jobs report for May, a disaster by any definition, explains the official and unofficial realities of the U.S. economy in 2016. The Obama administration maintains that the employment situation in the country is excellent; the data , devoid of spin, displays the exact opposite.

 

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

U.S. Economy Stalled in First Quarter of 2016 – – What Are The Implications For The Presidential Election?

April 28th, 2016 Comments off

In a presidential election year, this is not a good harbinger the Hillary Clinton, the likely nominee of the incumbent party in power. Results for Q1 of 2016 show that the American economy grew by a paltry 0.5 percent. That is essentially zero-growth, after seven-years of multi-trillion dollar fiscal stimulus by the Obama administration, plus trillions more in monetary stimulus courtesy of the Federal Reserve.

Despite rosy – -and highly manipulated figures – –  for unemployment in the United States, the reality is that the U.S. economy is at stall speed, with growing signs of economic contraction across the globe, in conjunction with a sustained and devastating collapse in oil prices. If a recession, real or perceived, emerges by the fall, the most likely Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, will receive an immense advantage in the contest for the 45th president of the U.S.

 

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

Categories: global economic crisis Tags:

Wealth Destruction On China Stock Markets

March 7th, 2016 Comments off

A recent statistic puts in perspective what has been happening on the major equity exchanges in China, the world’s second largest economy. In June 2015 the capitalization of China’s stock markets attained a peak value equal to ten trillion U.S. dollars. Eight months later, in February 2016, the figure had declined to 5.7 trillion dollars. This massive decline in value of 4.3 trillion dollars, represents a contraction of 43 percent – – close to half of the peak value of Chinese equities..

Losing more than forty percent of the value of the stock markets in the world second biggest economy in only eight months may not be attracting great headlines at present. However, what has been happening represents China’s unique version of the 1929 stock market crash on Wall Street that launched the Great Depression of the 1930s. Food for thought.

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

IMF Issues Dire Warning On Global Economy

February 25th, 2016 Comments off

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just released a report warning  that economic growth worldwide is so fragile, policymakers in the top 20 economies, the so-called G20, must immediately prepare contingency plans. With repeated downgrading of its global growth forecasts, and further lowering of its projections likely, the IMF is in effect warning that the world stands on the precipice of a new global recession. It is urging policymakers in major sovereigns to prepare for future fiscal pump priming as a last measure to prevent further demand destruction.

Not surprisingly, the IMF report identifies two primary drivers of the underlying fragility of the global economy: China’s  slowing economic growth combined with turmoil in her equity markets and the collapse of the benchmark price of oil, inflicting massive fiscal turmoil on the world’s leading petroleum exporting nations. These factors have decimated global commodities and equities and have sown panic in financial markets across the globe.

Is this a repeat of the period just before the onset of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008, or perhaps something different, and even more ominous? Time will tell.

 

 

 


 

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

Is Donald Trump Headed To The White House After New Hampshire Primary Victory?

February 10th, 2016 Comments off

Trump as a presidential candidate and political phenomenon challenges any attempt at a balanced appraisal. The Republican Party’s presidential frontrunner has offered an admixture of divisive diatribe with cogent observation  (as with his excoriating critique of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq), forming a complex puzzle. This bewildering political persona’s complexity and contradictions prove frustrating to the objective observer seeking to comprehend Trump and his message, while inviting partisan supporters and critics to define Donald Trump to their respective constituencies. In particular, major segments of the mass media have chosen to join with conventional political insiders, especially actors within the Republican Party’s establishment  and old guard, in constructing an oversimplified caricature of Trump, and then using their own mythology to justify prognostications that the Trump presidential campaign was a “joke” and publicity stunt, which would end as soon as the self-indulgent narcissist tired of the enterprise. The one description that would never appear in the lexicon of these pundits and observers was that Donald Trump was very serious about his presidential aspirations, and that his campaign was far from being an exercise in humor.

When Trump quickly ascended to the status of frontrunner in the GOP’s presidential primary, the pundits and political consultants affirmed that this “summer of Trump” was a seasonal anomaly that would soon dissolve when the Republican electorate became more focused on the unfolding presidential campaign. When the “autumn of Trump” soon followed, these same Washington beltway experts and commentators merely adjusted their rationale while their conclusion remained immutably fixed; when the actual primary voting began, the Trump campaign would inevitably implode.

Donald Trump’s decisive win in the New Hampshire Primary may have put the final nail in the coffin of conventional and establishment theories on presidential campaigning in the United States, as a new paradigm has arisen. Its author is Donald J. Trump.

The New Hampshire primary is history, with the South Carolina primary soon to follow, and Trump’s double-digit lead in the polls appears unassailable. This poses the following questions: Why did the media get the Trump campaign so wrong?  What does New Hampshire suggest for the outcome of the GOP presidential primary? Finally, what do these recent campaign developments reveal about the presidential general election in November?

1. The media largely failed to perceive the power and strategic sophistication of the Trump presidential campaign due to its intimate connectivity with the political establishment in Washington. Journalists covering national politics largely depend on inside sources for the formation of their own insights and estimates of the political landscape. In other words, much of America’s political reporting is funneled through the prism of beltway politicians and consultants, who themselves were to  demonstrate a profound alienation from mainstream American public opinion. Trump shrewdly perceived the distrust bordering on universal contempt that a large section of the American electorate harbors towards the political class, and utilized his expertise in branding and messaging to latch on to that deep social malaise. The media largely missed this unfolding phenomenon simply because it took seriously and uncritically the thinking of conventional political insiders, who have proven to be historically flawed in their misjudgment.

2. Trump’s win in the New Hampshire primary only reinforces his already massive  and consistent dominance in the polls in the other upcoming state primaries. Early and decisive wins in South Carolina and Nevada will quickly kill any lingering expectations of a brokered Republican convention or a last stand by a still unidentified GOP establishment savior. It would appear at this point that Donald Trump will win the Republican presidential nomination, with no serious impediment to that outcome.

3. There is a new wave of theoretical conventionality in analyzing presidential politics that holds that even if Trump wins the GOP presidential nomination, he stands no chance of defeating the most likely Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton. The same experts and commentators that assured  their audiences that Trump’s campaign was a flash in the pan – – and later that he stood no chance of winning his party’s nomination – – are now thumping their chests with assurances that Hillary Clinton will defeat the real estate mogul in a landslide. I suspect that this thinking is as flawed as earlier predictions of Trump’s imminent political demise.

A Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton battle for the presidency will be a no-holds barred test of power and wills between two political celebrities.  Separating Trump the business and political strategist from the unfiltered commentary he often unleashes to the distress of many, it is clear, at least to this writer, that far from being impulsive, Donald Trump and his political organization have carefully mapped out a campaign strategy that provides a clear path to victory in November.  We already have early clues from the manner in which Trump has attacked Hillary Clinton on a host of issues, including her email controversies, her perceived failures as Secretary of State and the scandals involving her husband and former president Bill Clinton. A lack of concrete accomplishments in the course of her public life, alongside the present difficulties  she is encountering with a challenge for her party’s nomination from a 74-year old independent socialist senator, Bernie Sanders, points to Hillary Clinton being far from invulnerable as a political campaigner on the national level. Her defeat to Barack Obama in 2008 – – then a newcomer to national politics – – is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not universally admired even within her own party. In a presidential election that will in part be  a referendum on the Obama administration, and with Trump far more likely to arouse enthusiasm from his supporters than his presumptive Democratic challenger from hers, it is inexplicable as to why the political establishment , including its media complex, still clings to their theory that there exists no credible chance of Donald Trump being elected 45th President of the United States.

 

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM

 

Sheldon Filger's photo.

 

 

U.S. Economy Stalled In Last Quarter of 2015

January 29th, 2016 Comments off

The revised data released by the Commerce Department indicates that America’s economy expanded by an anemic 0.7 percent in the final quarter of 2015. This level of GDP “growth” is essentially stall speed, indicative of the world’s largest economy being stuck in stagnation, reminiscent of Japan’s  L-shaped recession.

Despite Labor Departed figures that are spun to suggest a robust economy based on artificially low unemployment rates, the GDP data is more reflective of reality; an American economy that is stuck in the mud. And this, despite a recently increased projected deficit for the U.S. federal government of $544 billion for 2016.

Massive deficits combined with a stalled economy that may face a recession as global economic disarray grows will likely impact the upcoming 2016 presidential election, in which it appear more likely now that Donald Trump will challenge Hillary Clinton.

 

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM

 

Sheldon Filger's photo.