In an interview with The Wrap, CNN anchor Jake Tapper said, “the media is in a rough place right now,” and added that they have a lot of work to do to regain the public’s trust after completely misreading the election:
“Obviously there was a lot of misreading of information. I don’t know one poll that predicted Wisconsin was going to go for Trump, and it did fairly convincingly…We in the analysis department relied too heavily on those numbers, which are just snapshots based on models; they’re not facts…The media is in a rough place right now. We have a lot of work to do to regain ground with our readers, viewers and listeners, providing them with as much information as possible and asking appropriately tough questions. I hope that we in the media rise to the challenge.”
Tapper also commented on whether CNN was “complicit” in creating the Trump phenomenon:
“I’m not going to get into personnel decisions related to the Trump reporting process…I only know of one network president that acknowledged running many Trump rallies start to finish, and that’s Jeff. Fox and MSNBC did too, but I haven’t heard anything from them. I certainly understand the criticism and I agree with Jeff. I didn’t do it on my show, but that said, I think that we had some of the best debates, we had some of the toughest questions, we had some of the most probing interviews, and ultimately the voters went to the polls and they picked who they picked.”
The media benefited greatly from their coverage of Trump, as he boosted ratings across the board. But that coverage also showed just how Trump’s message was resonating in traditionally blue states—which the media and Hillary Clinton ignored—resulting in her stunning election loss and plenty of retrospection on how they managed to get the election results so wrong.