Media Complicity in Donald Trump, Demagogue-in-Chief
07 Dec 2015
Mainstream media helped create, feed, and cynically fed on, the creature that is Donald Trump, but have now decided he has gone too far with his latest xenophobic statement that there be a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Their complaints are as cynical as his candidacy. Leaving aside that his comment is a likely ISIS recruiting tool, Donald Trump is a carnival huckster who manipulated a willing media into puffing up a candidacy that was never meant to be serious. I maintain this man has no intention of being president. He has neither the will, the discipline, nor does he give enough of a damn about anyone but himself and his empire to commit to the rigors of the job – his level of ignorance notwithstanding. So why is he here? Why has the media helped him thus far and, without admitting their complicity, only now regretting abetting this Frankenstein?
Arianna Huffington dipped a big toe in the water, calling Trump out for the dangerous influence he is, a man appealing to our basest instincts. She also credits WaPo’s Dana Milbank with calling Trump a “racist and bigot.” But why did Chuck Todd of NBC’s Meet the Press and other mainstream outlets allow Trump to literally “phone in” his interviews, giving him millions of dollars in free airtime to spread his insults?
Ratings. Plain and simple.
Big media has turned a presidential election into reality TV. After cashing in on Trump for months, now they’re offended because of his statements about Muslims? You mean Trump calling Mexicans immigrants “rapists” last summer wasn’t enough for them?
While Arianna Huffington defends the Huffington Post by saying they looked at Trump as “entertainment,” but now will change the tone of their coverage, they gave him oxygen and he now leads in the Republican polls.
I still don’t believe the majority of Americans, or the majority of Republicans, will vote for him. I don’t think Trump believes it either. His purpose is both cynical and diabolical. With political views that are all over the place, the method to his madness starts with ego (there is no bad publicity) and ends with him sticking his thumb in the eye of the media and both political parties. And he’s landed a few punches. But at the end of the day, Trump is only about Trump.
In the privacy of his own penthouse, he’s pinching himself, hardly able to believe he “got away” with his latest set of insults and outrageous statements. Those who enjoy his “reality TV’ demeanor have pumped him up, aided and abetted by a media cashing in on the outrage factor. So now that his “joke” has taken hold,” media shills wonder how to control him. Or rein him in. As Vox’s Andrew Prokop pointed out, Trump feeds on controversy – it keeps him and his candidacy on the front page, so he’s unlikely to stop.
Donald Trump is a cautionary tale for a cynical corporate-owned media that cares less about informing the public than they do about click bait. Demagoguery is the result. That Mr. Trump has gotten as much traction as he has with little challenge from the 4th estate should make them hang their heads in shame. They won’t.
Trump lately declared Hillary Clinton didn’t have the “stamina” to be president. His latest lie was debunked by her 11-hour tour de force at the inquisition by the hostile (and farcical) Benghazi “investigative” committee, whereas Trump whined about a 3-hour debate where he had to provide, at best, 30 minutes worth of responses. Further, Trump, the big negotiator who promised us the “best deal with Iran” embarrassed himself after demanding $5 million dollars to appear on CNN’s next debate. They wisely said ‘go spit,’ and he caved to their demands. Some negotiator. That’s the difference between bluster and know how.
Look for the mainstream media to more openly critique Trump now that we are getting closer to primary season. Having extracted enough clicks and revenue from him, they will work to salvage their credibility.
Someone needs to tell them, it’s already gone.