Mainstream media is seemingly disdainful of Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump but can’t stop talking about him. A study by Politico found that Trump’s media coverage was valued at approximately $55 million. Mainstream media took the public fascination and capitalized on it, abandoning its role as an institution that reports genuine news in favor of writing to attract more views. Even if mainstream media outlets are critical of Trump, their focus on him gets plenty of clicks, and, consequently, advertising revenue. In the end, Trump gets free publicity, and the actual issues are ignored.
A recent addition to the incessant tide of political attacks from the Trump campaign is questioning the health of Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump himself has questioned Clinton’s stamina, calling her “low energy,” but the standard is mostly being carried by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who urged Americans in a recent interview on NBC News to go online and search for videos regarding Clinton’s health. Giuliani continues to be unable to provide any concrete facts, only timid speculation. Meanwhile, Clinton asserts that she is in fine condition, laughing off health inquiries at the rope line.
There are several videos Giuliani pointed out from biased individuals trying to prove that Clinton suffers from epilepsy, dementia and a general weakness of constitution. If an uninformed American were watch a few of Guiliani’s suggested videos, they would likely ascertain that Clinton is indeed in poor health without stopping to consider the validity of the videos’ sources.
This is where the mainstream media must step in and call these theories what they are: baseless speculation. However tempting it may be for news sources to release sensationalist headlines to attract more viewers and thus more advertising revenue, they must fulfill their duty to the public and fact-check these statements.
By any means, creating false and unsupported rumors concerning Clinton proves that the Trump campaign is willing to go any lengths to topple the Democratic nominee. Trump has made a multitude of absurd claims, and the Clinton health conspiracy is only one of the more recent. No matter what nonsensical statement comes next, it will not be much of a shock if our tolerance to the irrational is so high. Trump is currently the most prominent figure in the American media, and we have to consider how normalizing his statements and actions will reflect on the United States as a world power. The media as a whole has a responsibility to report the news accurately, not look to make a profit from sensationalizing it.