The Boston Globe’s Sunday paper raised eyebrows after featuring a mock front page of a future where Donald Trump is president. The main headline, “Deportations To Begin,” was accompanied by smaller stories bemoaning economic downturns, trade wars and the prosecution of journalists under brutally amended libel laws. An editor’s note hugging a corner of the page explained that the parody was meant to show how the future might look as a result of Donald Trump presidency. The Globe’s parody page sacrificed journalistic integrity for cheap laughs.
According to the editorial board, the Globe simply extended Trump’s policies to their “logical conclusion.” Satire is meant to reflect the absurdities of reality by taking it to an extreme point. But the Globe’s parody is a political polemic, not an attempt at humor. Trump is gaining his stride in this election, and as the possibility of his win looms greater and greater, the Globe is trying to slow his momentum by mocking his rhetoric. Still, it is one thing for an editorial board to write a scathing attack on a candidate and quite another to devote an entire page — especially the widely-read Sunday edition — to mocking the possibility of a Trump presidency. For the ailing industry of journalism, this parody amounts to little more than a waste of money, ink and limited space in the paper.
Trump has been a nearly unavoidable topic of conversation for the last year. His ridiculous behavior, outrageous plans and horrific hair are well-covered by the media — we see it and read about it constantly. By granting the discourse surrounding him such attention, the media and we, their readers, allow the real, uncensored news, to fall through the cracks. We’ve become victim to what’s been called “junk food news,” a news which lacks content and seeks only to entertain with cheap tricks and flashy antics. The Globe’s parody is part of a larger failure of the media to provide its readers with substantive news and commentary.
Trump has been mocked to death. He’s been a perpetual punchline, a staple of late-night comedy. But Trump is no longer a joke. He is a serious contender for the highest office in America. Treating him as a farce is not just unoriginal, but an active abnegation of the journalistic obligation to engage and probe the news in a serious and critical fashion. News should not be the source for a cheap laugh, but for analysis. The sacrificed space for parody should have been spared for ISIS, or the Panama Papers, or even actual reportage about Trump. The Globe furthers the decline of journalism when it wastes precious ink to reporting false information about a person who people are sick of reading about.
Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.
Email Ana Lopez at [email protected]