U.S. public distrust of the mainstream media, or MSM, is now so great that the more they attacked Donald Trump during the presidential election, the more his credibility and popularity grew, retired Canadian diplomat Patrick Armstrong told Sputnik.
One of the reasons Trump won was that the more the MSM reviled him, the more support he gained.
“If the liars accuse him of something, he must be innocent of it,” Armstrong explained.
A survey by research firm TNS UK, commissioned by Sputnik and released Thursday, showed that 80 percent of Americans considered domestic media coverage of the 2016 campaign was biased toward one or the other of the major-party nominees.
Armstrong said he believed the 80 percent distrust figure was in reality too low and that an even higher percentage of Americans refused to believe the distortions they were fed through the New York and Washington-based national media.
“Why as few as 80 percent? The bias and general worthlessness of the MSM as a source of information has been apparent for years,” he said.
The corporate controllers of the main US broadcast, print and online media platforms had been certain Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would win the national election and had rallied to support her, Armstrong explained.
“In this particular case, as WikiLeaks shows, the owners of the US media had invested in a Clinton future and the Clintons had invested in the media,” he noted.
The extremely biased and hostile coverage of Trump, Russia and other subjects would continue while the media and its spokespersons would go on denying that such bias even existed, although it was now obvious to everyone, Armstrong predicted.
“The principal difference between [tiny local news outlets like] the Eatanswill Gazette and the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Economist and the rest of them is that the former freely admitted its bias,” he added.
Armstrong advised that the only way the American public could continue to retain its independence of mind in the face of such sustained efforts to politically brainwash it was to abandon the mainstream media entirely and opt for alternative and independent sources.
He also recommended that US colleges close down their schools of journalism that had completely failed to inculcate values and habits of independent thinking and critical analysis in almost all of their graduates.
“What to do? Turn off your TV, cancel your newspaper subscription and let them go bust faster. Oh, and shut down all the ‘journalism degree’ mills,” Armstrong said.
Until his retirement, Armstrong was a Canadian diplomat who was a specialist on the Soviet Union and Russia. He previously served as political counsellor in the Canadian Embassy in Moscow.