Seek to change the positive perception of actual viewers in a script written by the Clinton campaign.
Donald Trump’s acceptance speech last night was a hit with viewers, as Yahoo News reported:
The majority of viewers who watched Donald Trump’s speech to the Republican National Convention on Thursday night said it made them more likely to vote for him in November, according to a CNN/ORC instant poll.
The poll found that 56% of speech viewers were more likely to vote for the New York businessman after seeing him formally accept the Republican nomination.
32% of viewers said his speech had little effect on them, and 10% said it made them less likely to cast their vote for Trump in November.
Overall, 57% of viewers said they had a “very positive” reaction to Trump’s speech. Meanwhile, 18% said they were “somewhat positive” and 24% said it had a “negative effect.”
Instant polls are just immediate responses, and a self-selected group of people who watched the speech. So follow up coverage is critical. That is how most people will learn of the speech. However many watched it, far more will simply hear a soundbite as filtered in headlines and news stories.
As soon as Trump’s acceptance speech was over, however, the media set out to change the perception and create a narrative.
The talking heads on CNN immediately began to describe the speech as “dark.”
Van Jones went ballistic:
Van Jones on CNN going ballistic on Trump speech, "I'm terrified by it" — so I guess it was good https://t.co/MRhDqV7pdF
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) July 22, 2016
Jake Tapper used the phrase as well:
When I asked if the speech painted too dark a picture of life in the US, campaign chair @PaulManafort said Trump told the truth
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 22, 2016
On Twitter, “dark” was the media word of the night. Almost simultaneous coverage, such as this post at Buzzfeed at 10:17 p.m., used the headline “dark”:
WaPo had virtually the same headline:
Same with the NY Times:
And Rolling Stone:
And The New Yorker:
And The Nation:
HuffPo managed to find a former Bush speechwriter you’ve never heard of who used the word in a tweet, and built a story around it:
And there are many, many more that are being spread by syndication in local newspapers, like this Chicago Tribune columnist run in The Orlando Sentinel:
Bloomberg News issued an Editorial in the same vein:
The term “dark” was used repeatedly in network coverage, such as at NBC:
"It was an extraordinarily dark speech," @chucktodd says of Trump's speech on NBC
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) July 22, 2016
Here is the video NBC produced to show this “dark” speech — sounds like a hard-hitting thumping of Hillary, but I guess that passes for “dark”:
Other networks painted the same picture in live coverage:
The theme was amplified on social media:
— Slate (@Slate) July 22, 2016
Trump goes dark, appealing to anger and frustration https://t.co/fNNPsD1wlK
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) July 22, 2016
You get the picture. Media working off the same script instantaneously.
Wonder where that script was written? That is the meme spread by the Clinton campaign immediately after the speech:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign panned Donald Trump’s speech accepting the GOP presidential nomination, arguing the country can do far better than “prejudice and paranoia.”
“Tonight, Donald Trump painted a dark picture of an America in decline. And his answer — more fear, more division, more anger, more hate — was yet another reminder that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be President of the United States,” campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement shortly after Trump wrapped his lengthy address at the Republican National Convention.
I don’t like Trump, never have, never will. But I hate the media. I have a feeling that’s a feeling shared by more people than the media cares to admit.
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