This election season has been one of the most intriguing yet terrifying cycles in recent American history. The campaign trail has been a battlefield for candidates trying to spread their word and message, but often times candidates have clashed, attacking not only positions but each other’s personas, appearance, and even their morals.
The media, in reporting these stories, have become incredibly biased and this has been clear to the American voter. Whether it is CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, or Fox News it is clear that these news channels, and their websites have a prerogative. This can be a good thing, but it also muddles stories and twists candidates words.
This is why alternate media outlets are needed to understand truly a candidate’s message, his or her policies, or what they truly said at a rally and what they meant. Typically websites, these sources devote themselves to report, and show the substance and meaning behind a political move. Whether it be the passing of a piece of legislation, congressional horse trading, or a Presidential election these sources remain neutral.
Politico is one of those sources. It’s a news outlet that publishes numerous stories every day covering a spectrum of politics from around the world. Kyle Cheney, a member of Politico’s Campaign Pro team, is a journalist who has the task of tackling the beast that is the 2016 presidential campaign. Cheney has written on a variety of political issues, a lot of the time on health care. Mr. Cheney explained what it is like to be a reporter during the cycle.
When asked, what has reporting on this election season been like, with unorthodox candidates such as Bernie Sanders and especially Donald Trump seeing widespread success?
“It’s simple to describe, really: We’re watching history happen in real time. There’s been a steady erosion of the public’s faith in its leaders and institutions – from the presidency to Congress to the press. It’s all culminated into this explosion of anger at political insiders. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are very different candidates, but they’ve captured the same strain of frustration that the two parties have benefited from a corrupt system and are only interested in power.”
One thing I find particularly interesting about political reporting is the difficulty of hiding your opinion own opinion. When asked this, Cheney responded that “The hardest thing to do as a political reporter is avoid becoming cynical. It’s too easy to view everything as corrupt or broken beyond repair. But the challenge is to remember why you got into this business – to try and shine a light on injustices and things that are broken, so they can be fixed. If you view politics as hopeless, then why cover it at all?”
When asked what the future of the country looks like after this upending election Cheney said, “And for the country as a whole, this election seems to have pushed the parties so far away from each other that we seem destined for more years of gridlock and an inability for Congress and the president to work together.”
It is clear from Cheney’s statements that as a country we are struggling to find who we are. Come November, after millions collectively vote to see who the next leader of our nation will be. With this election, it will reveal what the majority of the American population feels, and who they want to represent the country. But November is eight months away. Over 240 days away. 240 days of ads, of speeches, of rallies, and a new addition riots. The campaign is far from over, it is just beginning, and the worst is yet to come.
Even with all of this negativity swirling around, Cheney remains optimistic “But if there’s anything this election season has taught me, it’s that the conventional wisdom has been wrong almost every time. So I think there’s reason to hope that no matter what the results of the election are, there are more uplifting times on the horizon.”
Though the next few months will be about as smooth as the city roads of Erie, hopefully after November 7th passes, the country finds a leader who unites the nation’s population rather than furthering the divide.