May 19, 2020
The Revenge Of "Bobo The Clown"? How The Media Is Inadvertently Reelecting Donald Trump

The Revenge Of “Bobo The Clown”? How The Media Is Inadvertently Reelecting Donald Trump

Posted by Jonathan Turley

Various media are struggling with recent polls that not only show President trump with the same popularity as last year, but is actually growing in states like Ohio. When one poll showed his leadership by 7 points in the states of the battle, John King warned viewers that “be careful not to invest too much in any one survey,” especially against the background of coronavirus.

It was a CNN poll, and although Biden leads other polls, he is not unique.

The media seems to be honestly confused. It shouldn’t have worked that way. Due to the ongoing negative coverage of impeachment, pandemic and economic collapse, voters were to be angry. There is even a psychological model for such social cognitive learning or conditioning called the “Bobo Clown” and although this experiment is by psychologist Albert Bandura, these polls suggest that conditioning does not work almost as well in politics as it does on playgrounds.

In 1961, Bandura used a stupid inflatable clown named Bobo and made the children watch the adults when they were aggressive with him. Soon, the children followed the example of adults and beat the clown. Conversely, when children watched a clown being treated without aggression, they were less aggressive towards him.

For many voters, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are not so funny clowns, and some in the media force voters to be aggressive and not aggressive. This is not the first attempt to create the conditions for the media: in 2016, when each poll showed that voters wanted outside candidates, Democratic leaders pushed one of the two most unpopular presidential candidates in history, Hillary Clinton.

She was beaten by another most unpopular figure on the Republican side, Trump. However, after a largely positive attitude towards Clinton and, accordingly, negative coverage of Trump, the election results stunned experts who predicted Clinton’s easy victory – and why not? Voters were exposed to the relentless, ongoing media against Trump.

Today’s media conclusion is that ill-treatment in 2016 was not aggressive enough. Trump is usually called a real clown in the media. More importantly, there are now consistent attacks on Trump supporters. Conservative columnist for the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin, said Trump supporters are generally racist. This common stereotype of Trump supporters is undeniable, even if the media object to Trump’s generalizations about other groups.

Browser Leonard Pitts wrote a recent column entitled: “No, this is not an economy, a fool. Trump supporters fear black and brown America. ” The narrative went from Clinton’s description of Trump supporters as a “basket of regrets” to the fact that now all Trump supporters are portrayed as outright racists. Scientists have announced that the “make America great again” hats are a symbol of “modern life” and hate speech.

All of this is part of media cognitive learning, and it works in a curious way. Recent polls show that Trump is in the same place where he was last year, with support for about 43 percent. In Ohio, he is actually 3 percentage points ahead of a survey by Emerson College and Nexstar Media; he and Biden are in statistical mortal heat in Wisconsin. In other words, as in 2016, the media campaign forces Trump supporters into the closet, but not away from Trump.

Meanwhile, the media worked diligently on non-aggressive treatment of Biden. His frequent oversights quickly deflect; when accused of sexual abuse, the media reluctantly noted the story. Even when Biden recently supported a conspiracy theory that Trump was about to stop the November elections, the media called it a “prediction” and ignored the fact that it was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution.

Late last year, the Media Research Center discovered that evening news 96 percent negative against Trump. Drumming only increased with impeachment and pandemic outbreak this year. Despite such intense messaging, polls show that the number of voters expressing strong “enthusiasm” for Biden is only 24 percent, while Trump remains at 53 percent. Biden is only 3 points ahead of Trump in recent polls, effectively lagging behind where Clinton was in 2016. Perhaps the reason is that the narrative against Trump is so overwhelming that voters feel they are being played like children in an experiment on Bandura.

Consider once again the recent Rubin Post attack on most Republicans. Rubin attacked the immigration freeze ordered by Trump during the pandemic; However, she was not satisfied with denouncing politics as a political trick for the unemployed. She stated:

“Without a doubt, Trump’s foundation is primarily motivated by racism. That’s why Trump does it.

The statement reflects the accepted, bleak prejudices against all Trump supporters in the mainstream media.

I did not vote for Trump, and I regularly criticized him in the columns and posts of the blog. However, I have been observing the stereotypes of Trump supporters at media conferences for many years. This suggests that about 63 million people in this country who voted for Trump in 2016 are racists. He ignores the fact that Hillary Clinton had a record negative poll before being nominated, and he was regarded as pathologically unreliable.

Surveys recently showed that 85 percent of Republicans support Trump. Thus, according to Rubin, 85 percent of Republicans (and about 10 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents) – in other words, almost half of America – are mostly motivated by racism. Is it connected with any sense of reality? These voters have many reasons to support Trump, besides racism.

What is not being discussed in the media is that people may have non-racist reasons for supporting Trump. The fact is that Trump has a curious track record: he has been repeatedly (and correctly) punished for making false statements, and yet he has one of the best indicators for actually fulfilling campaign promises – suppressing immigration, building a border wall, life-long politics and appointments, selection of conservative lawyers, tax cuts, regulation rollback, opening of sites for oil drilling.

These and many other aspects of his administration are the most controversial, but they are also a long-standing conservative wish list dating back to Ronald Reagan. Indeed, while 85 percent of Republicans support Trump, a new poll shows that 23 percent would like to see someone else as their candidate. However, Rubin and others simply reject all Trump supporters as monolithic, pathological racists.

Thus, polls show that endless attacks on Trump and his supporters in the media do not condition, but instead repel, voters. They fulfill his story that voters cannot trust the media. Many voters may still consider Trump and Biden to be overblown clowns, but they are unhappy that they are constantly forced to beat one clown and hug another.

Indeed, if Trump is re-elected, he can thank the media.


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