Macomb County in Michigan has been the focus of a lot of media attention as of late because of their swing status being crucial for the election of President Donald Trump. That coverage has been uneven at best.
The photographer and storyteller from the Humans of New York did a great job of telling personal stories from the area with compassion even if they may or may not have agreed, but The Guardian today paints Macomb County as a place that doesn’t read the news and doesn’t care to.
With a subheading of “In a Michigan county that helped get Donald Trump elected, people are actively choosing to ignore news they don’t want to hear – or not receiving news at all,” The Guardian’s chief U.S. reporter is basically saying that Macomb County has decided to tune out the news and be willfully ignorant.
An interesting passage:
In Macomb County, though, a slightly different narrative appears to be unfolding. It’s not that people are living in their own media bubbles so much as they are actively choosing to ignore news that they do not want to hear, or even more alarmingly, receiving no news at all.
“I don’t know what’s going on, I have no idea,” said Doreen McVay, 47, a waitress in Angelo’s diner in Sterling Heights, a city within Macomb County that Trump visited two days before the election and where he predicted – accurately, as it turned out – that he would enjoy a Brexit-like victory. She spends her days serving fried pierogies to car workers, and the only time she gets to take in current affairs is out of the corner of her eye on the diner TV or in rare moments spent on Facebook.
That doesn’t stop her from feeling passionate about Trump in the White House. “The world is going to hell in a handbasket, and from what I’ve seen he’s going to fix it. Sure, he’s blunt and says what he thinks, but he doesn’t take any s***.”
“Macomb v media: voters who read little news think Trump had a great first week” is a headline that gets clicks, but doesn’t have any nuance for a population of more than 840,000 people who aren’t all the same and obviously can’t all think the same. It clearly plays to partisan emotions online that are running high.
The Guardian goes on to add a quote from the managing editor of the Macomb Daily, Jeff Payne.
…he has found that criticism of Trump’s falsehoods in the media tends to be far outweighed among his readers by distrust of the messenger.
“You can give readers 50 facts that show that Trump is wrong, but when he portrays us in the media industry as the bad guys, that seems to outweigh all those facts.”
It should be noted that the Guardian definitely leans left of center. Every place contains people that have many different stories and reasons for why they made the decisions they did.
Let’s also not forget that there were still plenty of people in Macomb who did not vote for Trump. That number is somewhere around 47 percent if you figure in the third party votes.
What is your experience? Is the Guardian over the line, or as the British phrase goes, “Spot on?”