There is one question all Americans need to ask the media; why was the video that has effectively scuttled Donald Trump’s presidential run released on October 7, less than a month before the general election?
The video was recorded over 11 years ago; and it featured Billy Bush, a big time TV journalist recently hired as an anchor at NBC’s Today Show. The story in the media is that the producers of Access Hollywood found the tape in their vaults recently. NBC executives were apparently aware of the tape in which Trump bragged of groping women while riding on a bus with Bush.
We need to ask ourselves an important question why is this tape being released now? The tape apparently existed; and NBC executives may have been aware of it, eight months ago during the Republican primaries. Yet it has only surfaced now after early voting in the general election has begun.
Is NBC Trying to Sabotage the Republicans?
One has to wonder about the integrity of the NBC executives and the so-called “journalists” at the network. They may have been aware of a tape that revealed serious character flaws in a man who was running for the highest office in the land and they kept it secret. Worse there is some speculation the tape was to be used in a publicity stunt; designed to boost the ratings of Access Hollywood.
The tape has certainly done its’ damage; an NBC News/Wall Street Journal conducted on October 8 and 9, showed that Clinton had an 11% (46% to 35%) lead over Trump. Republicans were rushing to distance themselves from Trump, and scurrying to keep their control over Congress.
Skeptics will wonder if NBC is taking sides in the election and sabotage the Republicans. Such speculation is fueled by the release of a negative campaign advertisement focusing on the Trump tape on October 10, 2016. The ad; prepared by Democratic super PAC Priorities USA, cropped up less than three days after the tape was released to the public, CBS News reported.
Why the Tapes, Why Now?
The release of this tape at this time raises serious questions. The most important of which is a major media outlet NBC, which is owned by a large publicly traded corporation Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), trying to influence the outcome of the election?
Cynics will note that the Trump sex tape was released at the same time media WikiLeaks was releasing emails; that supposedly contain excerpts from speeches Hillary Clinton made to Wall Street groups. The speeches were kept secret; fueling rumors that Clinton made covert promises to special interests. Trump is openly hostile to Wall Street; and some policies it benefits from, including free trade.
An even more bothersome question is why was the tape not released during the Republican primary? Was somebody sitting on it so that the Grand Old Party would be saddled with a lousy candidate whom Hillary could easily beat?
This certainly is not fair to Republican primary voters; many of whom voted for Trump not realizing how he treated women. They; and the early voters in states like Illinois who have already cast their general election ballots, went to the polls with incomplete information. Nor is it fair to the other Republican candidates who might have been able to stop Trump with the tape. Or to all the people who voted for those other Republican candidates.
Why is the Media Protecting Trump?
Such questions need to be asked because Politico is reporting that individuals in the media might be sitting on other potentially worse tapes of Trump.
Apprentice producer Mark Burnett is reportedly threatening to sue former employees if they release damning video of Trump. If Burnett has access to those tapes; so might executives at Comcast, which owns NBC the network that airs The Apprentice. Reporter Geraldo Rivera even went on Fox News and bragged that he has tapes of embarrassing statements by Trump.
Why are we only hearing about these tapes now? Did members of the media elite deliberately go out of their way to protect one of their own, or worse sit on an important story until it would attract the highest ratings.
A more damning charge is that the media is taking sides in the election; either by protecting a candidate, or releasing information when one party is unable to do anything about it. This may not be the case but it will certainly look that way to a lot of Americans.
The Trump Tapes Affair
One outcome of the Trump Tapes affair will be to greatly increase distrust of the media. Major outlets are demonstrating blatant bias; and displaying both incompetence and unethical behavior. How is anybody supposed to trust them after this sordid business?
Another will be to spark what amounts to a destructive civil war within the Republican Party; which might cripple it at election time. That too will raise charges that the media is trying to sabotage or destroy the GOP.
A major result of this mess will be that Trump loyalists will be able to advance a “stab in the back” legend; that will keep their loathsome icon’s absurd political career alive after his loss in November. Instead of crawling back to his golf course in disgrace after an embarrassing loss; Trump will remain a major political figure with a large and rabid following.
All of this is the result of shoddy and unethical journalism which has characterized coverage of Trump’s presidential run from the beginning. Reporters and others have deliberately protected Trump, ignored damaging information about him and given the Donald preferential treatment. Yet so far only reporter; Billy Bush, has been suspended for it.
If what Rivera is saying is true he should be fired now, and put on a black list never to work in the media again. That of course will never happen, nor will the scores of producers, editors, writers and reporters that have covered up for Donald ever be punished.
How the Trump Tapes Affair will Harm Democracy
Worst of all is the disdain and contempt that these media figures seem to have for average people. Millions, perhaps tens of millions of people believe in Trump and have invested heavily in his election. Few of them would have done so had the Fourth Estate been willing to do its job; and reveal the dismal truth about the man.
Many people’s faith in the political process and perhaps in their country will be destroyed. Some of them will never vote again or worse begin to believe that violent revolution is their only recourse.
One has to wonder what future America has if our media has become so corrupt. Democracy can only exist as long as we have a Tree Press that is willing to tell the whole story and the truth. The Trump Tapes Affair makes it clear we do not.
Correction: The original version of this article stated that the Apprentice was an ABC program the show is broadcast on NBC. Note that makes things worse, because it is obvious that Comcast and the so-called journalists at NBC News are covering up for Trump. Perhaps to protect themselves from a sexual harassment lawsuit.