Just Sociology

Breaking Down the Media Coverage of Trump’s UK State Visit

The media coverage of Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom has caused much widespread speculation and debate. The coverage of this visit can be broken down into four subtopics.

The first subtopic looks at the trivial details of the itinerary and security arrangements for the state visit. The second subtopic examines Trump’s comments on Brexit and Theresa May, particularly his endorsement for a no-deal Brexit and criticism of Theresa May for failing to deliver Brexit.

The third subtopic analyses the protests against Trump, particularly the themes of misogyny, racism, and other social issues highlighted by the protesters. Finally, the fourth subtopic examines how the visit serves as a distraction from the wider political agenda of neoliberalism and government protection dismantling.

Trivial details of itinerary and security

Media coverage of significant political events often focus on the ‘fluff’ or trivial details such as the itinerary and security arrangements. For Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK, this trend was similarly observed.

The media covered minutiae and unnecessary details, such as the size of the entourage, his royal banquet menu, and the presence of Ivanka Trump at the Buckingham Palace reception.

These non-political details of the visit are deliberately emphasised by the media for both commercial reasons and to satisfy the audience’s voyeuristic tendency.

By sensationalising trivial details, media outlets can generate more clicks, increased viewership, and sell more papers. This practice inevitably leads to a decrease in the quality of journalism and public discourse.

It also highlights the media’s tendency to focus on superficial aspects of issues rather than addressing the substantive questions at hand.

Comments about Brexit and Theresa May

During his visit, Trump was interviewed by a leading British newspaper, The Sun, where he emphasised his support for a no-deal Brexit and criticised the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, for her handling of Brexit negotiations. Trump also indulged in some diplomacy by praising the newly- elected Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, despite his clear support for a no-deal Brexit.

His comments have sparked fierce debates on the implications of Brexit on the United Kingdom, trade relations with the United States, and Britain’s place in the global landscape. Trump’s comments have also highlighted the transatlantic divide between the United Kingdom and the United States, particularly concerning the critical issue of Brexit.

Protests against Trump

Trump’s visit also saw widespread protests arranged in different parts of the UK. Protesters expressed their displeasure over Trump’s controversial statements about women, LGBT individuals, and minority groups.

The protests illustrated the public’s outrage towards the President’s views on immigration and his ill-judged comments about NATO. The protest showcased the British public’s strong commitment to progressive values, human rights, and social justice.

The occurrence of these protests has also highlighted the institutionalised bigotry and racism at the heart of Trump’s politics. The protests show us that Trump is viewed with disdain by many British citizens and that his politics represent a threat to important democratic ideals.

Distraction from the wider political agenda

Chomsky’s analysis of Trump’s state visit to the UK reiterates the fact that the visit served as a distraction from the wider political agenda. The President’s visit was used to distract from the essential economic and environmental issues that require attention.

The visit was used to divert attention from the neoliberal agenda of dismantling government protections and regulations that impact the lives of all Americans, particularly those in vulnerable socio-economic positions. The Republican Party uses Trump’s image as a ‘lone operator’ to enable a shift towards short-term profits for the capitalist class at the expense of long-term goals of sustainable social progress.

Trump serves as a smokescreen that obscures the true extent of the Republican’s political agenda.

Trump as part of the neo-liberal administration

Chomsky describes Donald Trump as part of the neoliberal administration that works towards reducing government protections that impact the planet, workers’ rights, pollution laws, and consumer protections that safeguard the interests of the populace. The Republican Party’s agenda is to reduce the rights of the poor and helpless, replacing rational governance with irresponsible populism.

Trump’s policies such as reducing access to healthcare, establishing cuts to Medicaid, food stamp funding, and educational opportunities for the underprivileged reflect this reality. Trump is part of the broader Republican agenda to promote anti-labour legislation that benefits the new robber barons.

Function of Trump as distraction

Chomsky also argues that Trump serves the function of a distraction. Trump provides a convenient foil that enables Republicans to shift blame for the failures of the democratic process from the powerful elites to a scapegoat.

Trump provides a focus for personalised politics that undermines democratic accountability. Trump’s polarising figure and tendency to engage in inflammatory remarks allow for diversionary tactics towards discussions about his behaviour, personal life, and tweets.

The public’s fixation on Trump’s character rather than his policies prevents any real examination of the disastrous and corrupt policies of the Republican Party.

Republican Party as the most dangerous organised institution in human history

Chomsky’s analysis argues that the Republican Party is the most dangerous organised institution in human history. This claim is based on the policies advocated by the party which will result in the destruction of life on earth.

Chomsky draws comparisons with the Nazis and their extermination policies, pointing out that Hitler’s regime wanted to sustain its power, while the Republican Party wants to facilitate the interests of the capitalist class. Chomsky argues that the policies favored by Republicans will result in ecological collapse and extensive social unrest unless they’re challenged.

Chomsky emphasizes that the public must construct an alternative movement built on the principles of participatory democracy, social equality, and ecological sustainability. He argues that without active resistance, the Republican Party will implement policies that are destructive to human and planetary welfare.

Conclusion:

The media coverage of Donald Trump’s state visit to the United Kingdom reveals much about the state of contemporary politics. The coverage can be divided into four subtopics, each of which is revealing about different aspects of contemporary politics.

The analysis presented here demonstrates the benefit of engaging with critical perspectives such as Chomsky’s analysis. It is necessary to examine and interrogate the underlying issues in the media coverage of political events, and identify the critical issues that require attention.

Engaging with complex theoretical perspectives of political events creates a space that allows for the development of a wider understanding of the political landscape. In conclusion, the media coverage of Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK highlighted several critical issues.

It revealed the media’s tendency to focus on trivial details while ignoring the wider political agenda. It demonstrated the transatlantic divide between the UK and the US, emphasising the implications of Brexit and trade relations.

It also showcased the public’s strong commitment to progressive values and social justice. The critical analysis provided by Chomsky emphasises that Trump is part of the neoliberal administration that endangers the planet, workers’ rights, and consumer protections.

The Republican Party’s populist policies are a threat to vulnerable socio-economic groups, and without active resistance, their policies will prevail.

FAQs:

Q: What were the significant controversies regarding Trump’s visit to the UK?

A: The controversies that surfaced included Trump’s support for a no-deal Brexit, his criticism of Theresa May, and the protests against him. Q: How did the media coverage of Trump’s visit approach the visit?

A: The media coverage tended to focus on trivial details, and there was little attention paid to the critical issues that require attention. Q: What is Chomsky’s analysis of Trump’s visit to the UK?

A: Chomsky argues that Trump is part of the neoliberal administration that seeks to reduce government protections for the planet, worker’s rights, pollution laws, and consumer protections. Trump serves the function of a distraction from the broader Republican agenda.

Q: What is the Republican Party’s agenda? A: The Republican Party’s agenda is to reduce the rights of the poor and vulnerable, promoting legislation that posits short-term benefits for the capitalist class.

Q: What is required to counter the dangers posed by the Republican Party? A: Chomsky emphasises the need for active resistance through an alternative movement built on principles of participatory democracy, social equality, and ecological sustainability.

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