Rise of the outsider candidate also reflects a popular uprising against the mainstream media

Armstrong Williams | 11/5/2015, 10:44 a.m.
The latest CNBC-moderated Republican primary debate showed how disconnected the mainstream media has become in this country.
Armstrong Williams

The latest CNBC-moderated Republican primary debate provided the clearest evidence yet of how disconnected the mainstream media has become in this country. The debate was full of petty provocations, irrelevant topics (“Should the government regulate fantasy football?”—really?), and loaded “gotcha” interrogation-style questions that bared the media’s consistently liberal bias and smug disregard for the concerns of the American voting public.

Who can remember such a vapid, toothless media spectacle as the debate moderated by a cast of lightweight cable news anchors? The substance-free nitpicking was probably best evidenced in a series of questions posed to candidate Dr. Ben Carson about his relationship with the Mannatech pharmaceutical company. In a revealing double standard, the moderators at CNBC drudged up a ridiculous accusation of impropriety by Carson. Yet the mainstream media never seems to question the glaring conflict of interests involving Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and its foreign government funders.

While Carson may have had an association with Mannatech, including paid speeches, participating in promotional videos and other activities, Clinton’s foundation solicits and receives tens of millions of dollars in donations from foreign nations hoping to influence U.S. government policy. Why has no debate moderator questioned Clinton about how her financial ties to the Clinton Foundation posed potential ethical conflicts as the Obama administration’s most senior representative U.S. foreign policy?

Those questions are the really hard, illuminating questions that the media should be asking, but because they are so deeply embedded with the liberal establishment, they won’t. The American people are fed up with a media machine that tries to pick their leaders for them by using muckraking, innuendo and selective exposure to try and paint a tawdry picture of their disfavored candidate. Has anyone in the mainstream media even stopped to consider this: Across the three Republican debates thus far, Carson has never been declared by the media to be the winner and yet he leads in the polls. How could that possibly be?

The fact of the matter is that with the explosion of the media, there has been an explosion in petty controversies. Everyone is competing for eyeballs among an increasingly fractured viewership. In response, the mainstream media seems to believe that is has to become even more rude, incendiary and combative to gain the public’s attention. It should come as no surprise that one of CNBC’s most popular programs is a show called “The Squawk Box.”

But the American people are fed up with the nonsense. They are fed up with the fat cat insider politicians and their fat cat friends in the media. While Wall Street gets rich, while corporations enjoy mile high stock market valuations and media stars get ever wealthier from stoking the muckraking fray, the American people are left to muddle through it all. They find themselves in a situation in which labor force participation is at an all-time low. Despite supposedly low unemployment, wage growth has stagnated. College students graduate with six-figure debt to low-paying jobs in the retail industry, displacing high school graduates.