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Friday, July 01, 2016

Why Trump the Press

This morning, I published the most important book of this political cycle, "Trump the Press." I show how and why the political press missed the biggest story of the election: Donald J. Trump. Never before in American politics have so many experts been so wrong so often. The political punditry stood mouths agape as the electorate dared voted its conscience, and rejected the many, many, many candidates that the men and women in Washington and New York recommended.

More than three hundred experts are quoted, mainly to remind them of how bad their predictions were.

From the book:
Meanwhile, on Fox News on April 17, George Will bet an imaginary hundred dollars on who would win the Republican nomination, dividing it among several contenders. He concluded by saying, “One dollar on Donald Trump in the hope that he will be tempted to run, be predictably shellacked, and we will be spared evermore this quadrennial charade of his.”
Be careful what you wish for.
Will recently quit the Republican Party because Trump won. That was after demanding Trump sign a pledge to support whoever the Republicans nominate.

The herd mentality on cable news and on newspaper opinion pages was apparent and served no one well. The nearly universal agreement that Trump would lose ended any argument about whether we have an independent press. The lack of variance in opinions showed in their cliched arguments. We seemed to reach Peak Trump every other day, with Trump jumping the shark on the alternate days.

From the book:
If elected, Trump will be a healthy president, given the oceans of sharks he jumped just to get to the White House.
By the way, Happy Days continued for another seven years after the Fonz jumped that shark.
The power of the press is as impotent as a eunuch. The pundits thought they could be the kingmakers, but their three heirs apparent were all apparent errors.

Jeb Bush raised nearly 10 times the money that Trump raised, and used it to take a big lead in the summer and turn it into a huge deficit.

From the book:
Trump’s mastery of the news led to a comical situation in which after airing a report on the highlights of Trump’s latest free-wheeling speech, the news network would air a commercial showing Jeb Bush delivering the same boring speech to the same small crowd that aired in the same commercial the day before. In mid-July 2015, the two sat at 16 percent each on the RealClear Politics poll average. By year’s end, Trump stood at 35 percent and Bush at 4.3 percent. Bush had spent $49 million on television ads. Trump had spent zero at that point.
Marco Rubio had 90 political endorsements, while Trump had one political endorsement. But he had the endorsements of people who worked with him -- from celebrities to people you likely never heard of.

From the book:
Trump took risks, which Dana White, head of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, appreciated. His sport was once the bane of state athletic commissioners across the country.
“When we first bought this business, it was banned in most states, it wasn’t supported by the ACs, and no arenas wanted this thing. Donald Trump was the first one to have us come out at the Trump Taj Mahal. Not only did we host the events there, he actually showed up and supported the events. You will never hear me say a negative thing about Donald Trump,” White said.
Ted Cruz spent most of two months in Iowa while Trump flew in a few times a week before the caucus. He had a vaunted organization. Cruz won by less than four points to a rookie candidate. The press made this out as a huge loss for Trump, who finished second, while praising Rubio's third-place finish.

From the book:
While the pundits celebrated Trump finishing only second, another fellow who had won thirty congressional races offered a different take. Democrat John Dingell, who retired in 2015 after sixty years in Congress, tweeted the next day, “The GOP’s Iowa Caucus, the morning after: Third is the new first. Second is the new last. And first is the same old crazy.”
Dingell also tweeted, “Congratulations to Ted Cruz on winning the critically important primary state that also gave us President Santorum and President Huckabee.”
But The Donald was dead, the pundits in Washington assured America. On February 4, 2016, the vice president of the He-Man Trump-Haters Club, Bill Kristol, tweeted, “New Hampshire prediction, 5 days out: Rubio 25, Cruz 22, Trump 19, Kasich 17, others single digits.”
As usual, Kristol was wrong.
How in the hell do you remain on television week after week when you are wrong each and every time?

Trump did not need money (Bush) or political endorsements (Rubio) or organization (Cruz) to win because he had a message:
Make America Great Again.
How hard was that to figure out?

Thirteen million Republican voters figured it out.

Why couldn't five hundred journalists?

"Trump the Press" examines that giving 13 reasons why the press got it so wrong.

From the book:
Arrogance. Pundits believed they were smarter than the American people, especially white males without college degrees in West Virginia, or as I call them, neighbors.
Bubble. I realize this was the cliché explanation, but that only meant the explanation has its limits. If someone is outside your ken—as Nixon supporters were to Pauline Kael in 1972—perhaps you should not judge them so harshly. That applies to my judgment of Washington pundits as well.
Celebrity. Krauthammer and other cable news celebrities dismissed Trump as being a mere celebrity on TV.
Dinero. A cottage industry grew of being a Republican strategist—a common cable-news identification—who dumped on Trump. Also, the tax-exempt periodicals and think tanks relied on donors to stay alive, and he who pays the piper calls the tune.
There are nine other reasons for this colossal and widespread error. When doctors miss like this they pay dearly in court.

From the book:
This book points out their folly. Who am I to judge? I am a veteran journalist (literally, as I was a reporter for the European edition of Stars and Stripes in my Army days) who retired after more than thirty years in newspapers.
"Trump the Press" went on sale today as a paperback. Please purchase "Trump the Press" through Create Space, as I get a larger royalty. It is a subsidiary of Amazon.

The book also is on Amazon.

Regardless of how you purchase this must reading for Trump supporters and media critics alike. Please post a book review on the Amazon site. That helps attract other readers.

They have begun work on the Kindle edition.


  1. Donald Trump is the undisputed choice of the Republican Party rank and file. Like it or not, get with the program or get out of the way. - Elric

    1. Perhaps "voters" instead of "rank and file"; we have no rank, but do have mill bastard files.

  2. "How in the hell do you remain on television week after week when you are wrong each and every time?"

    1. By giving the bosses what they want.

    2. @Sam - By which you mean a "Lewinsky"?