No aspect of this year’s Presidential race has been fascinating, more troublesome, or more perplexing than the big media’s love affair with Donald Trump. Never have I seen reporters focus so much attention on a candidate while doing such a poor job of reporting about him.
This makes me wonder if the support for Trump is not the old media’s method of getting revenge upon America or perhaps the political class. The 2016 Presidential contest has been distinguished by candidates that either ignore the traditional media (Hillary Clinton) or operate well outside its parameters (U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz).
Trump vs. Social Media
At least three of the major candidates. Clinton, Sanders and Cruz, have gone out of their way to build alternative media networks by using social media. Bernie’s whole campaign is based on his use of social media for purposes like fundraising. Cruz and his supporters have spent millions of dollars on sophisticated data collection efforts.
All this is done to bypass traditional media, which are biased and often inaccurate. Not surprisingly, reporters are enraged by these efforts, which makes a candidate who goes out of his way to pander to them, Trump, so attractive. Unlike Hillary, Trump is in constant contact with the media, and unlike Sanders or Cruz, he goes out of way to create newsworthy soundbites and create controversy.
This, of course, explains much of Trump’s success. He can get untold millions of dollars of free publicity by opening his mouth. More importantly, and unlike Hillary, Trump does not have to worry about reporters digging into his questionable past.
Yet I have to wonder if there is not more to it
Could some elements in the traditional media be pushing Trump to demonstrate its power, or worse, to punish Americans for ignoring them?
This troubling scenario seems justified when one looks at Trump’s politics and public image. He appears to a New York liberal’s caricature of a conservative. That is, he’s racist, xenophobic, intolerant, wealthy, arrogant, and rude. When I see Trump, I am reminded of a famous fictional character, Archie Bunker.
For those of you under the age of 40, Bunker, played by the late, great Carol O’Connor, was an arrogant, racist, bigoted lout who embodied a crude conservatism. The centerpiece of the popular series All in the Family, Archie, like Donald, was from Queens, and he was a loudmouth. More importantly, Archie was a famous liberal’s; TV producer Norman Lear’s, idea of what a conservative was.
Donald’s presidential act looks suspiciously like O’Connor’s performance as Archie, which makes me wonders if it is not deliberate. Trump is acting in such a way as to convince a bunch of New York liberals that he is a conservative, even though most conservatives see right through his sorry act.
Discrediting and Destroying Conservatism
Another goal of Donald’s comedy tour might be to discredit conservatism and the Republican Party. After all, he make conservatives and Republicans look real bad, as if they are all racists and jingoists.
Not only does this benefit Democrats, and most journalists lean Democratic in their politics, it benefits so-called moderate Republicans. One goal of the media’s here might be to try and transform the GOP into a sort of Democrat-Lite Party, moderate, gay-friendly, and inclined to big government solutions. A reason for this could be that many in the media and its allies on Wall Street fear the Democrats could soon turn hard left under Bernie Sanders, who is a self-proclaimed socialist.
Obviously, there would be no room for conservatives, libertarians, or religious voters in such a party. A major role of Donald might be to drive such people out or sow discord to make it easier for the corporate interests to completely take over the Republican Party. This, of course, makes me wonder if Donald is using the media or they are using him. Instead of being a genius or a smooth operator, Trump could simply be an old-fashioned pasty who is being used by the media to achieve goals that we are not aware of.
Is Trump a Patsy?
One such goal could be to punish average people for ignoring the media and turning to the internet and social media. After all, the old media has suffered dreadfully in recent years, with falling television ratings and plummeting circulation at newspapers and magazines.
The Trump fiasco makes the media seem relevant and powerful, even as it seems to help moderate Republicans, although it could backfire and discredit the media further, particularly if Trump suffers major losses in primaries or gets exposed as a criminal.
No matter what the truth is here, both Donald Trump and the traditional media are going to end up looking bad when his campaign crashes and burns. Both will lose all credibility; hopefully, Donald will find jobs for some of those reporters who get fired after this fiasco. Those people are going to need work, and Donald is going to need all the help he can get rebuilding his reputation after his presidential debacle.