How Media Around the World Reacted to White House ‘Turning Blue’
The world is invested in the US Presidential elections because of its financial, military, technological power.
After days of waiting for the constituencies to turn ‘red’ or ‘blue’, the world was watching with baited breath on Saturday, 7 November, night for the results of the US Presidential elections. The projected victors were finally announced – President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The whole world is invested in the US Presidential elections because of the combined financial, military and technological power of the country. This year, the media coverage was perhaps more critical than ever, considering the record voter turnout, current strained relations of US with its international allies, identity-based discrimination condemned by the people of the country, the pandemic and economic crisis.
Here is a look at how the international and Indian media organisations reacted to the news of Biden’s projected victory.
‘A Time to Heal’
The top story on The New York Times was headlined, ‘Biden Wins Presidency, Ending Four Tumultuous Years Under Trump.’
Biden’s victory can be perceived as “a message of healing and unity” but the President-elect needs to remind himself of the daunting set of crises that awaits him, read the article.
The words ‘A time to heal’ was plastered across the front page of The Washington Post. The articles talked of how Biden’s victory was accompanied by “unbridled jubilation, dancing, singing and chanting represented a release of emotions after an excruciating four-day wait for the election results, but also of a release of four years of pent-up frustration and anger at President Trump.”
Kamala Harris Makes History, Trump’s False Claims
The Guardian was full of articles on how Kamala Harris had made history as the ‘first woman of colour elected US vice-president.’
‘First, the world mocked the chaos, then the congratulations pured in'; ‘Biden's win marks the end of Trump's war on democracy and truth’; ‘Donald Trump refuses to concede defeat as recriminations begin’;‘Ruper Murdoch-owned US outlets turn on Trump urging him to act with grace,’ read snippets from the reports.
The news portal noted that Biden’s triumph is likely to be welcomed by international allies ,“as a course correction after 2016, when a shock election result represented a leap into the political unknown, rattling the consensus on immigration, trade and the global order.”
It also commented on how, even in the final hours, Trump “continued to wage a month-long campaign to undermine the integrity of the democratic process,” by sharing false claims.
‘A Squeaker’: Trump’s 2016 Win vs Biden’s 2020
USA Today was filled with congratulatory messages and also a detailed understanding of how ‘Biden’s comfortable electoral win undercuts Trump's attempts to fight the results,’ who has been trying to “delegitimise the election with baseless claims about absentee ballots in states he lost.”
The article also noted that Trump’s win four years ago seems “like a squeaker” compared to Biden's popular vote.
The front page of Los Angeles Times read ‘Poised to Prevail’ which made an interesting comment on how the greatest suspense last night was “whether the Associated Press or any other television networks would officially call the race for Biden which, though having no legal force, would set about the informal transition to power.”
Indian Media Hails Harris, Slams Trump
Meanwhile in India, media organisations hailed Harris for her Indian-origin and also slammed Trump for his divisive politics.
The Telegraph’s Sunday editor front page had the bold letters, ‘America, unlike India, makes America great again.’
Another headline in smaller font below read, ‘Kamala’s hurrah: We did it, Joe!’ The news portal celebrated Senator Harris of California for becoming the first woman, the first Black American and the first American of Asian descent to serve as Vice-President.
It also commented on “how millions of voters were exhausted with Trump’s divisive conduct and chaotic administration” that led to Biden’s victory.
The lead story on The Economic Times was headlined ‘White House Turning Blue’ and commented on how, amid the chaos unleashed by Trump, “the election is not over” and how “the people waited patiently for the wheels of American democracy to grind and produce a final result.”
The author Seema Sirohi wrote that the demeanour with which Biden appealed to the people to stay calm and patient, “was that of a victor.”
‘We did it Joe: Kamala Harris’ and ‘Joe Jeeta, Wohi Sikhandar’ read the top headlines in The Times of India. The articles made keen observations by noted international channels such as CNN, ABC who had explained the victory as a relief “at being freed from an ugly four-term of a president who embodied some of the vilest human characteristics -racism, bigotry, narcissism, sexism and an unrelenting disregard for truth facts and science.”
On that note, a word of appreciation for all the US TV networks that served their true purpose of a watchdog of a democratic process. When US President Donald Trump unleashed an attack on rival Joe Biden on Friday, with unsubstantiated claims of Democrats using “illegal votes” to “steal the election from us,” several channels stopped the live coverage.
"OK, here we are again in the unusual position of not only interrupting the president of the United States but correcting the president of the United States," said MSNBC anchor Brian Williams. NBC and ABC News also pulled the plug on their live coverage of Trump.
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