Defeated candidate Hillary Clinton and shocked Democrats scrambled to explain their crushing loss in the 2016 U.S.
Presidential election using a host of alibis from supposed Russian election interference, to FBI's "ill-timed" announcement that it would reopen its probe on Hillary private email server scandal, all the way to Hillary's favorite excuse- the proliferation of fake news that favored Trump and swayed voters' perceptions against her. Well, there's some fresh but not fake news for Hillary that will destroy her sorry excuses for her devastating setback. A new survey concludes that so-called " fake news" favoring Trump may have exceeded those favoring Hillary but did not have a significant impact on the presidential election.
The study, co-authored by economists Matthew Gentzkow of Standord University and Hunt Allcott of New York University, also reveals that the political impact of social media in general is. in fact, overrated. The scholars' paper " Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 election melds new browsing data, a 1,200- person post-election online survey they conducted and the assembling of a database of election-related stories categorized as fake news by known fact-checking websites including Poli+Fact, the timeframe of which covered the three month-period before the election.
The conclusion of the study is clear: the role of social media was overstated as television still emerged as by far the primary vehicle of choice by the people for consuming political news. Still according to the research, only 14% of Americans deemed social media the leading or primary source of their campaign news. The study further establishes that few Americans actually remembered the specifics of so-called fake news, and even fewer still actually believed those news.
The study gives this powerful illustration: for fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads. Their conclusion should then enlighten the likes of Hillary and Democrats who keep blaming so-called fake news for their election humiliation- that social media has become an important but not dominant source of political mews and information, because TV remains more important to the people by a large margin.
If such is the conclusion bannering television as still " king" of media, then it makes Trump's victory all the more amazing since mainstream TV media in particular was prominently and shamelessly pro-Hillary through and through. It only proves that Americans chose to rely on their own critical thinking and focus on issues that matter to them in assessing the two leading presidential candidates then, Trump and Clinton.
And with the fake news as excuse for Hillary's painful loss now effectively debunked by the study, it becomes more obvious that the continuous efforts of Democrats to delegitimize the incoming presidency of Trump are nothing but sour-graping immature acts. The misguided decision of a good number of Democratic lawmakers to snub the inauguration of Trump as the 45th President of the U.S. increasingly looks more petty now. Presidential Inaugurations have always been an important hallmark of American's vibrant democracy and an important event watched not only by Americans but the whole world, make them appear like pathetic little brats who did not get the candies they wanted and so are putting on big tantrums.