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What New Media Slogans Say About The Trump Presidency

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What New Media Slogans Say About The Trump Presidency

Fox News (parent company, Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (NASDAQ: FOXA)) confirmed it dropped their long-time motto, “Fair and Honest,” on June 14, according to the New York Times (parent company, New York Times Co (NYSE: NYT)). It is the latest in a series of mainstream media rebranding moves since President Donald Trump took office.

In a time when the president calls mainstream media the enemy of the American people, even their mottos have become commentary on the political climate.

Fox News: From ‘Fair and Balanced’ to ‘Most Watched, Most Trusted’

“The shift has nothing to do with programming or editorial decisions,” Fox told the Times.

The network said that the slogan was dropped because of its close connection to founder and former-chairman Roger Ailes, who was ousted following several sexual harassment allegations and settlements coming to light.

The motto was a symbol of the network's fight against the liberal bias Ailes and other conservatives believe to be a natural part of mainstream media.

While the motive behind the change may not officially be an editorial or political statement, it certainly implies one.

By saying the reason was to distance the network from Ailes, it also has the effect of distancing Fox from Trump. Fox is often accused of being overly biased in favor of the president.

Besides both men being strong, similarly aged, conservatives, they were each accused of sexual harassment several times, not to mention Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he admits doing so.

Ailes built a network empire, Trump made his business a network hit through the Apprentice.

Ailes even worked as an advisor to Trump ahead of presidential debates last year.

But regardless of the Ailes connection, not wanting to come off as so pro-Trump may not matter now that their core values are viewership and having the trust of those viewers, as the new slogan states.

The slogan implies that under a Trump presidency, Fox does not want to jeopardize its popularity by betraying the trust of their conservative viewers with truly “Fair and Balanced” reporting.

That said, Mashable pointed out that Fox stopped using the motto months ago without notice.

WaPo: 'Democracy Dies In Darkness'

The Washington Post adopted its first-ever motto, “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” in February. While it was not settled on until after Trump took office, the paper said it had been seeking out a motto for a year already.

The Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos, heard it from “legendary investigative reporter” Bob Woodward.

Woodward had in turn heard it used by Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in a pre-Watergate ruling that the government could not wiretap individuals without a warrant. Woodward has written extensively about Watergate.

The slogan seems like it is directed at Trump, especially given its connection to Watergate and the comparisons being made between Richard Nixon and Trump.

Breitbart responded to the motto, saying the Washington Post “was vehemently opposed to Donald Trump’s candidacy in the 2016 presidential election.”

Woodward told the Post, “It’s definitely not directed at Trump. It’s about the dangers of secrecy in government.” While this is true, Trump’s and his staff’s behavior likely swayed the paper toward choosing this motto to represent their views.

The New York Times: 'The Truth'

The New York Times ran its first television ad in over a decade during the Oscars, launching a campaign titled “The Truth.”

In the ad, the words “The truth is our nation is more divided than ever” appear on a white screen. The text then changes to “The truth is” followed by statements from both political leanings such as “women’s rights are human rights” and “climate change is a hoax.”

But it also takes a stab directly at Trump and his team, with “alternative facts are lies” and “his refugee policy is a backdoor Muslim ban.”

The Times did not outright oppose the president’s policies so much of his opposition to their reporting — the spot ends with, “The truth is more important now than ever.”

Stephen Colbert, host of the "Late Show," capitalized on the ad’s message by parodying it, replacing “The truth is” with “Trump is” followed by a series of insults.

The New York Times did not comment on or write about their new raison d'etre, unlike Fox and the Post on their new slogans.

Related Links:

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Image Credit: By The White House from Washington, DC - Photo of the Day: 6/15/17, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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