How the Media Went From 0-100 on Election Night

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How the Media Went From 0-100 on Election Night

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Nihal Al Qawasmi and Joseph Tucci

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Nihal’s narrative: When people used to ask me if I thought Donald Trump had a chance at winning the presidential election, my answer was always “no way.” I am 100 percent certain that the media felt this way as well.

It was shocking when Trump won the Republican nomination, but I just thought it was a game. They would let him have his fun, but there’s no way they’d allow him to win. It was just a show, right? Solely for entertainment purposes?

As Trump would say, “Wrong… wrong… wrong.”

The night started off slow. People wrapped up at voting booths on the east coast. Unless you were in the Bronx, where the line was three hours long well after 9 PM.

Media coverage had a somber tone in the early hours. Trump was winning some states, but Hillary Clinton seemed to be ahead by just a few. Her win seemed promising. Word on the street is, Clinton’s campaign team was even planning a victory party as the votes tallied up. Awkward.

Suddenly, the interactive maps went from majority blue to majority red. It sparked confusion, but not uncertainty. Not until Florida finally joined in on the fun. Then we all knew we were doomed.

Florida, you should just sink already.

That was also when media networks went into a panic. Things were getting exciting in a twisted way. Reporters and anchors looked pale at this point, however. I think I even saw someone pinch their self. The night was dark and full of terrors (what’s up GoT fans?).

The projections only grew grimmer. By 11:30pm, Trever Noah from the Daily Show basically described how the majority of the media was feeling in one sentence, “I genuinely do not understand how America can be this disorganized or this hateful.”

Things were still not looking up. Eventually, after a long and anxiety-ridden night, it was projected that Trump won the election at around 2:30 AM. Cue the shocked anchors, reporters, media watchers, etc.

Perhaps the most authentic (and arguably biased) response was by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC. With her, “should I laugh or cry face,” front and center, she said: “You’re awake by the way. You’re not having a terrible, terrible dream. Also, you’re not dead and you haven’t gone to hell. This is your life now, this is our election now, this is us, this is our country—it’s real.”

Joe’s narrative: I had the privilege to watch the election go down in real time at ABC News’s headquarters and see thousands of people’s reactions as the results came in was amazing.

Surprisingly for New York, There was a decent number of supporters on both sides or at least it seemed that way from people I interviewed. When Hillary Clinton would get votes the majority of the crowd would roar with pleasure and when Donald Trump got votes the majority of the crowd would boo.

I started seeing the looks of despair on Clinton supporters’s faces as it became more apparent what the result was going to be.

I remember one woman, in particular, started crying when Florida was called. Then she started saying how this couldn’t be happening, all the polls had Clinton up, how could the country be this stupid, and then she demanded a recount.

I also saw people start praying for Clinton’s victory and at that point, I started laughing. I love plot twists and this was one of the most exciting things I had ever watched.

For better or for worse the underdog won against all odds.

It seemed neither the mainstream media nor Clinton supporters saw this coming. But I did.

When I talked to people about politics, throughout the past few months, it was VERY HARD for me to find someone who actually liked Clinton as a candidate, and not just because Trump would be a worse choice.

Clinton was a flawed candidate for many non-media correspondents.

From talking to people, including liberals, many thought Clinton seemed robotic, cold, and corrupted with all the Wikileaks emails released and her overall part in establishment politics that cared more about their own self-interests than most Americans.

Believe me, that added up, people were much more excited to vote for President Barack Obama the second time than they were for Clinton.

I have seen many more Trump stickers than Clinton wandering around New York. If that’s not a clear indicator that there is something wrong with the energy of your base, and there might be a shot you’re going to lose, I don’t know what is.

So believe me, it’s real, and you shouldn’t always trust that magic box in your living room. If you want to make a difference, actually go out, speak your mind, and vote.

For more detailed time-stamps regarding election night, please visit: http://adage.com/article/media/election-night-2016-live-media-analysis/306665/

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