Editorial – Political cartoons provide more insight

Tom Henihan

Considering all the pressing matters around the world, it is remarkable and wasteful the amount of time the media spent on the Trump family circus visiting Britain.

I understand that media organizations and journalists don’t manage the news they report on it but they do have the discretion to decide what news is most newsworthy.

The twelve people killed in the Virginia Beach mass shooting was quickly relegated to a secondary story while Donald Trump continued to get excessive coverage. Yet, news media and journalists insist they are doing their work responsibly while casting themselves as a vital arm of democracy.

What makes a healthy democratic society is having educated, well informed citizens: pandering to people’s bovine curiosity is not keeping them well informed; it plays in the opposite direction and functions as a childish distraction.

Many people sitting passively in front of the TV could, if given the opportunity, cultivate an interest in serious coverage and constructive debate.

I am not suggesting that the media should have neglected to report on Trump’s visit to Britain, France and Ireland. I grudgingly understand it is news and relevant to some small degree.

It is not only the excessive reporting but also the endless panel discussions, their superficial banter and overt display of incredulity at the antics of Trump that contribute to the mindless noise.

This kind of journalism inundates, distracts and overwhelms but rarely edifies.

Everyone knows, including the British Royal Family, that there is no value, politically or culturally, to Trump and his family visiting Britain.

A few political cartoon could have offered adequate coverage and insight into Trump’s UK visit.

Viewers watched coverage of the trip primarily from the perspective of Reality TV, waiting for Trump’s next faux pas or an impromptu interview freighted with lies.

Trumps’ visit to Britain will result in nothing of value and deserves only cursory airtime.

It is probably more accurate to compare Trump’s visit to Britain not to a circus but to a parade, as the moment it turns a corner and moves on, nothing is left of its fanfare, there is no lingering sense of occasion as no one’s circumstances have been enhanced.

Yet, the amount of airtime and scrutiny that went into Trump calling Meghan Markle “nasty,” is absurd considering that Trump makes inappropriate comments constantly.

Sure, he called her nasty and then denied saying it, but that is now mundane, commonplace, it is hardly news.

The “nasty” comment gave rise to a heated debate between a CNN anchor and a female Trump apologist, the anchor brimming with faux indignation and the other responding with absurd bafflegab.

Trump calling Markle nasty in response to something negative she said about him, is hardly a major issue; it appears almost reasonable and justified, which is something one can rarely say about Trump.

If the Canadian news media is going to accept money from the federal government, the onus should be on them to avoid complacency such as giving excessive coverage to news that falls into their laps or providing unwarranted analysis of Trump’s conduct when most people recognize that analysis of Trump’s behaviour is a fruitless exercise.

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