After dismissing him as a reality TV show celebrity with no chance to win the nomination last summer, this summer, the New York Times dismisses him as a reality TV show celebrity with no chance to win the presidency.
From the paper's media critic Jim Rutenberg:
Mr. Trump is not running a campaign in the modern sense — or what was the modern sense until about yesterday. Rather, he oversees a prolific content production studio that has accomplished what every major media conglomerate is trying to pull off with mixed success.
It has managed to produce a huge amount of inexpensive programming that has consistently dominated the ratings and the conversation across the entire new-media landscape — cable news, broadcast news, radio, Twitter, Facebook and who knows what else.
With Mr. Trump as its star, show runner and chief content officer, the operation has taken over the vast media space with multiple running plotlines (War With Megyn Kelly; Peace With Megyn Kelly!), shocking comments (A federal judge can’t be fair to me because he’s of Mexican heritage!) and personal insults (Hillary belongs in jail; that reporter is a sleaze!) that keep Americans glued to their screens.Well certainly he dominates the news. He keeps things interesting.
But Rutenberg overlooks one huge detail: Trump offers steak to go with that sizzle. That's why it works.
He wants to make America great again by closing its borders, by renegotiating trade agreements and mutual defense pacts, and by strengthening the military.
So far all Hillary Clinton has offered is to be a token woman president whose husband will "run the economy," and whose foreign policy will be a continuation of Obama's dysfunctional aggressive-passivity -- talk big but carry no stick -- policy.
Rutenberg is undecided if Trump's TV show will win again this fall:
A major “super PAC” supporting Mrs. Clinton, Priorities USA Action, is already running commercials with several of Mr. Trump’s off-color comments about women. (PolitiFact called the spot false for taking one of the comments terribly out of context.)
Geoff Garin, a pollster for the super PAC, said television advertising would prove to be more potent against Mr. Trump in the general election. “People will think more and more whether he’s a good president, not whether he’s a captivating personality,” he said. That is, the content of his content is going to matter in a different way.
On Thursday, Mrs. Clinton showed the perils of Mr. Trump’s current programming by using some of his more explosive foreign policy pronouncements against him in her speech in San Diego. It won wide coverage across television, social media and news sites, heartening allies.
Then came Mr. Trump’s new comment that the judge presiding over a civil-action lawsuit against Trump University, Gonzalo P. Curiel, had an “inherent conflict of interest” because he is of Mexican heritage and Mr. Trump is “building a wall.”
That hijacked the news feed once again. I asked Mr. Trump if that was his intention and he said no, that it was only about the judge and Mrs. Clinton’s speech was too scripted (“phony”) to have much effect.
Whatever the case, it was the latest offering from Trump Productions, which has so far proved that content is king. Now, will that sort of content be kingmaker? Or will it better serve the queen?I am puzzled by how Trump's domination of the news will help Hillary. The real story is Hillary is going Full Jeb with a barrage of ads to promote her candidacy from a distance, while Trump continues to wade into the press pool.
Wade? He cannonballs.
Coming soon -- "Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race."