Liberal Democrat Saritha Prabhu, who is a freelance writer and part-time opinion columnist for The Tennessean of Nashville, admitted in a recent column that before the 2016 U.S. election she lived in a kind of information bubble, and for a long time did not realize that the mainstream media was biased.
Prabhu said her awaking came when she realized she could not support presidential candidate Hillary Clinton who she thought was “arrogant, entitled, corrupt, and dishonest” but which she believed the mainstream media was shielding and enabling.
“Once you become aware of something, you keep seeing it all the time. So, almost every time I watched or read something, I saw the media bias: in the way headlines were framed, in what they chose to cover, in the way they devoted the barest minimum time to Clinton’s problems,” Prabhu said.
Prabhu came to the U.S. from India as an immigrant, and didn’t know much about American politics, so for years she trusted mainstream media to give honest accounts of events. She expected journalists to give objective and fair-minded presentations and “analysis of all the facts available in any situation without taking sides.”
During the 2016 election Prabhu said many media organizations decided to suspend normal journalistic practices to “save the republic from Donald Trump.”
Prabhu herself does not appear to be a fan of President Trump, but still believes the media’s attacks on him are overplayed.
“The mainstream media, shamed and humbled by Trump’s election victory, decided to attack him with a vengeance on everything he said and did,” Prabhu said. “They didn’t actually have to overdo it. By virtue of his personality, President Trump gave them a lot of material, and they’d have been fine if they’d covered his flaws and missteps straight up. But they overplayed their hand, and not a little.”
Prabhu says she didn’t go to a fancy journalism school, but knows enough to realize when something bad is happening, and that when the media self-divide into “rabidly partisan camps, citizens suffer and democracy suffers,” she said. “When Sean Hannity says ‘journalism has died in America,’ I agree with him.”