An opinion writer for the Los Angeles Times put forward the idea that the military might launch a coup if Donald Trump were elected president. The Los Angeles Times is a mainstream newspaper of one of the biggest cities in the United States of America. If it is putting forward ideas like this, something is seriously wrong. This is a serious accusation as America, unlike Turkey–who just recently went through a coup atttempt, isn’t prone to an unstable government. The writer brings up a point many Americans don’t want to face, could the most powerful military vehicle in the world take charge and what would that mean for this country?
The idea is that any mainstream media outlet would suggest a military coup against any president of any political stripe is outrageous. But this is ordinarily the kind of thing that you would hear on a conspiracy theory radio show broadcast late at night to people in tinfoil hats. The fact of the Los Angeles Times would perpetrate this sort of insanity speaks to the desperation of the newspaper industry as a whole. It comes off as a click bait article that given the political nature of the country compounds the whole situation.
The Internet has changed everything about the media.
Social media drives what people want to see online rather than the editors of newspapers. This means that a Kim Kardashian selfie is just as likely to be as popular as a serious news article involving Syrian Refugees or a country leaving the European Union. So the Los Angeles Times has to engage in wild conspiracy theories in order to attract readership. It’s a sad commentary that such an idea is coming from one of the nation’s more prolific papers.
The LA Times needs to do better and have better commentary, not push fanciful theories which are better found on some deserted chatroom in the bowels of the internet by bloggers.