President-elect Donald Trump’s stunning victory has sent the liberal media reeling, as they saw their concerted effort to defeat the billionaire businessman go down in flames.
Heading into Tuesday, even as polls tightened, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were still very confident that voters would buy into their message that Trump was a misogynist, bully, racist or worse, and extend the Obama presidency by casting their ballot for the first woman president in U.S. history.
In the early part of the evening things unfolded more or less as expected. Both Trump and Clinton won states that they were predicted to win, with Clinton grabbing the lead in most of the key battleground states.
The media’s confidence in a Clinton win was bolstered by The New York Times’s Upshot that projected early Tuesday evening that she had an 84% chance of winning. Oops!
As the evening wore on and the late votes began to come in, the tide suddenly turned. One by one the states that Trump needed to win came into the fold—Florida, Ohio, North Carolina. That gave Trump a fighting chance, shocking the media. And then came the death knell—Pennsylvania, which Republicans haven’t won since 1988, and Wisconsin, which was last captured by Ronald Reagan in 1984, fell to Trump, poking a hole in the “blue wall” and sending Hillary Clinton to defeat.
During the campaign, the media and Trump have had a love-hate relationship. Trump loved the media when they said positive things about him and hated them when they didn’t—even going so far as to ban certain members of the media from campaign events for their negative coverage. For their part the media loved covering Trump during the primary, as he drew huge crowds and viewer interest, propelling the cable news networks to their best overall ratings in years. Yet once Trump became the nominee, the media banded together to stop him from winning the presidency in one of the most blatant chapters in the history of liberal media bias. It was so blatant that Politico founder Jim VandeHei even admitted last month that reporters have become biased against Trump—a remarkable admission from someone who had previously thought accusations of media bias were overdone.
Now that Trump has been elected, the media will need to figure out how they can mend their fences with him, after working so hard to defeat him. That won’t be an easy task, as Trump proved that he didn’t need their support to win and he doesn’t need their support to govern.