In the end, the best election team in the US, backed by a clearly biased media, failed to sway the US electorate.
Clinton supporters around the world – and in Richmond, Melbourne – were left to drown their sorrows as the dream faded through a long afternoon, then died. The Newsroom’s Matthew Male watched its death throes yesterday:
I took the train to Richmond to cover a Democrats Abroad event in Highett Street. I was greeted at The Kingston Hotel by Hillary Clinton 2016 T-shirts, name tags and Democrat buttons. By 1pm, parmas were being served and Americans were asking, “Why the hell are the chips under the chicken?”
Democrats flowed into the hotel, some popping in just for their lunch breaks. One American called his boss to say he felt ill and couldn’t return to work. Event organisers were handing out “I voted” stickers but some, oddly, didn’t vote.
Democrats thought Clinton had it in the bag, and her victory would be announced by 3pm.
By 4pm, the party faithful were jittery, evidenced by one man screaming at a hotel staff member after the sound on the television broadcasting CNN stopped working.
Journalists were running around finding the most frustrated Democrats to ask them how “devastating” a Trump presidency would be. Camera operators got excited each time the crowd cheered, but there were fewer cheers as the afternoon wore on.
Then the ABC crew quietly left the event. There was no story, not there.
If there was optimism, I couldn’t see it. The afternoon dragged on and, by 5pm, Democrats were skulling the dregs of their beers and children were getting restless.
— Matt M (@MatthewMale) November 9, 2016
One of the event organisers screamed: “We will win! We will be back!” And then quietly announced that the Clinton 2016 T-shirts were half price.
I had skipped lunch and my stomach was churning. Was this what tomorrow would feel like? By 6.30pm, the results were definite. The streets were so quiet when I left that I could hear a kettle boiling inside a house. We didn’t think Britons would vote to leave the EU but they did. We didn’t think Americans would vote in Trump as the next president of the US but they did.
“What the f*** went wrong?” a Democrat screamed at the train station. Was it the media’s fault?
Trump has been elected as the 45th president of the United States and, to the media, pollsters, and Trump’s team, it was a bloody big surprise.
The press didn’t see it coming and most of the polls before the election told us Clinton would take the presidency. Media coverage reflected the view, expressed by The Huffington Post, that Trump’s campaign was a “sideshow”.
Considering the Media Bias (& even collusion with the Hillary camp) against Trump, it's amazing how well he's doing. pic.twitter.com/52aD1AWwmm
— Patriot Dave (@DavidShaunBurke) November 2, 2016
The media alienated Trump supporters for months in the lead-up to the US election, referencing Clinton’s comments that Trump supporters were “deplorables”.
“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” she said at a fundraiser.
According to the Oxford Dictionary deplorables are “shockingly bad in quality” and deserve “strong condemnation”.
Americans were fed up with decades of the political soap opera through Bill Clinton’s affair with a White House intern and Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Trump’s announcement that he was running for president alleviated Americans’ concerns that politics was going to repeat itself. He says what’s on his mind and promised to repeal Obamacare, build an “impenetrable physical wall” and refuse to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership; Americans couldn’t get enough of him.
But the media turned against him, as The Newsroom highlighted last month, and attempted to show America how dangerous President Trump would be, including:
A 280+ list of things and people Trump has insulted on Twitter, by The New York Times.
Allegations Trump touched women “inappropriately” by The New York Times
And post-election The New Yorker called it An American Tragedy.
Undecided voters refused to follow biased media coverage so they tuned out. Trump supporters lay low for fear of being singled out and there were suggestions people at Trump’s rallies were paid to go.
What will the press do now? How will the media cover the next president of the US when they have spent the last year attacking him? Will The New York Times continue attacking Trump? We think so. The news organisation published an opinion piece on Trump’s win titled Our Unknown Country in which writer Paul Krugman said, “I guess we have to pick ourselves up and try to find a way forward”. And Ross Douthat wrote: “I fear the risks of a Trump presidency as I have feared nothing in our politics before.”
It was a bad day to retire yesterday as share markets in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong spiraled downwards and the Australian dollar fell nearly 2c in just one day. Investors flocked to the safe haven of gold.
When I got home last night my dog leapt up onto my car, put footprints all over it, and welcomed me home, panting, his tail wagging.
“He has no idea what happened today,” I thought. What a time to be alive. – Matthew Male
Cartoon by Melissa Dierickx-Bosmans