Trump, the media and the right wing

Ahmad al-Farraj
Ahmad al-Farraj

Ahmad al-Farraj

By : Dr Ahmad al-Farraj

:: Much of the US media appears biased against US President Donald Trump and seeks to overstate his relations with the far right.

At present the media seems to be projecting views of entrenched state institutions which oppose Trump because he is not part of the so-called ‘deep state’ and owes little to the strong lobbies pushing their dubious agendas in Washington.

Trump was elected by the average Americans who felt that the US state establishment did not care about them or their concerns and sought to serve its own interests often at their expense.

Most former US presidents since World War II – such as Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – were leaders backed by the deep state, who cared more about serving corporate interests than the welfare of the American people.

These people voted for Trump because they saw in him a savior who could rescue them from crony capitalism which infests the deep state

Dr Ahmad al-Farraj

Coming up trumps

In fact, the ‘establishment’ had not expected a Trump win in the presidential elections and was unaware of the extent of the prevailing public discontent. Therefore, media outlets did not mind giving Trump due coverage. However, Trump and his electoral team were fully aware of the extent of the popular resentment against the existing state of politics.

Trump directly addressed the people through his Twitter account and his electoral rallies. He could tap at the public anger against the prevailing status quo and spoke in a manner that resonated with the masses. He directly addressed the American people and managed to assure them that he would uphold their rights against the machinations of the so-called ‘deep state’.

The fact that Trump was in with a chance in the US presidential race dawned pretty late on the entrenched government institutions. All attempts by the media to distort Trump’s image failed as his popularity rose among the people who were frustrated with conventional politics and corporate media machinery.

Trump’s message resonated with the White citizenry as well as the middle and lower classes in particular. But can we dub all these Trump supporters as belonging to the far right, as claimed by the leftist media?

The slur of racism

It is true that the extreme right-wing supported Trump in the elections and that it continues to support him. However, his support base does not constitute neo-Nazis or members of the Ku Klux Klan – which if at all may only form a small fraction of Trump’s supporters – but mainly average Americans who despise extremist organizations and reject any violent and discriminatory beliefs.

These people voted for Trump because they saw in him a savior who could rescue them from crony capitalism which infests the deep state. They hoped he would stand true to his promises and improve the economic situation. In the wake of the recent spurt in racist attacks, the US media has claimed that most Trump supporters are racists and have gone to the extent of calling Trump a racist.

This allegation is not based on facts as right-wing groups have indulged in racist attacks even during the terms of previous presidents and were involved in heinous crimes similar to what recently happened in Virginia.

Back then, the media did not play up the incidents to the extent it is doing now because it was more favourable towards presidents of that time or its bias was not as pronounced against them as it is against Trump at present.

:: Dr Ahmad al-Farraj is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah daily. He holds a Masters degree in literature from the University of Indiana and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Michigan. He was the Dean of the Arabic Language Institute in King Saud University and a member of the university’s council. He tweets under @amhfarraj.

:: Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in the Column section are their own and do not reflect RiyadhVision’s point-of-view.

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