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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Media meltdown

Donald Trump's success triggered a media meltdown is my reaction to a column by Wesley Pruden.

Pruden, editor in chief emeritus of the Washington Times, almost got a chapter of his own in my book, "Trump the Press," but if I gave a chapter to everyone I quoted, there would be 321 chapters instead of 47. Pruden is one of the few commentators in Washington who refused to make a fool of himself. He did his own research. He got the last laugh.

Now he is trying to warn the pundits and the reporters to not beclown themselves again.

Passions run high in a presidential campaign.

But no one has let passions get out of control like the mainstream press, but only so called, because in the digital era there is no mainstream, only angry tributaries of toxic venom and lethal bile struggling to be the mainstream. All standards of neutrality and intellectual discipline have been abandoned in the race to see who can be the loudest, the shrillest and the most irresponsible in decrying Donald Trump as a traitor, a mass murderer and a Republican (take your pick).
CNN, trying to live down its reputation as “the Clinton News Network” as it sinks to third place among the three major cable-TV networks, even behind MSNBC, set the standard this week for journalists behaving badly. CNN assembled a discussion panel of Jeffrey Toobin of New Yorker magazine, David Gergan, a lugubrious talk-show stand-in for presidents since Chester Alan Arthur, and Dan Bongino, a retired Secret Service agent who guarded several presidents.
A discussion about whether the Donald’s remarks about Hillary and the Second Amendment was a call for a mob to collect their guns, tar and feathers and join the Donald at the Hillary mansion, was moderated (to grossly abuse the word) by a lemon named Don. When Mr. Bongino said the hyperventilating of the likes of Mr. Lemon and the left had reached “the comical realm,” the lemon lost his cool, considerable spittle and all control.
“What you’re saying now makes no sense,” he screamed at Mr. Bongino. “You should be ashamed of yourself!”
“You don’t know crap about this, Don,” the agent replied. “You’re a TV guy. I was a Secret Service agent.”
Great theater, and footage to be retained for film school to demonstrate to hosts and anchors how not to lose control. It’s a perfect illustration for the rest of us about what happened to politics in the summer of ‘16.
We are not alone in noticing the media has made this a Summer of Hate.

Shame on those members of the Army of Davids who deserted ship. Bloggers who a decade earlier made their marks ridiculing the press are now cheering on this maelstrom of media madness. I guess some of them would rather suck up to the media in DC than call them out for this nonsense.

I am blocked on Twitter by the likes of Kevin Williamson and John Podhoretz. But I am also followed by Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg. If you read the book, go back and see if I treated the four of them differently. I try to be fair and balanced. I try to tell it like it is.

Sadly, the press is unfair and imbalanced. It is kookie out there. Thank God few of them carry guns, and those that do likely support Trump just to bother the snot out of the rest of them.

I am the opposite of angry. I am amused. These are weaklings -- skinny armed kids -- going after the biggest guy in the neighborhood. Some of them have daddy issues. All of them are helpless. The press lost its right to set the national agenda when it ignored Clinton's perjury over an affair with an intern. The press senses this.

Also, eight years of walking on eggshells lest you dare say something untoward about the First Black President took its toll. 

Trump is a safe target for media types to vent their frustration. Hillary is dangerous because after racist, no one wants to be called sexist. So they go after the Scarecrow, not the Wicked Witch of the West. Did they forget how the story ends?

The media is having a nervous breakdown.

There is only one person who can bring Trump down -- the man he sees in the mirror each morning when he shaves. 

The dopes in the press still haven't figured this out.

Don't just take my word for it. Paul Solotaroff of Rolling Stone followed Trump around for a few weeks and wrote a piece last September. Everyone in the media pounced on Solotaroff's quotation of Trump's That Face comment about Carly Fiorina.

They should have read the whole thing, because Solotaroff also noted this:
“In all the hysteria, however, what’s often missed are the qualities that brought Trump here. You don’t do a fraction of what he’s done in life—dominate New York real estate for decades, build the next grand Xanadus for the super-rich on the far shores of Dubai and Istanbul, run the prime-time ratings table for more than 10 years and earn a third (or sixth) fortune at it—without being immensely cunning and deft, a top-of-the-food-chain killer. Over the course of 10 days and several close-in encounters, I got to peer behind the scrim of his bluster and self-mythos and get a very good look at the man. What I saw was enough to make me take him dead serious. If you’re waiting for Trump to blow himself up in a Hindenburg of gaffes or hate speech, you’re in for a long, cold fall and winter. Donald Trump is here for the duration—and gaining strength and traction by the hour.”
But flying monkeys gotta do what a flying monkey does.

As the media melts down, AP reports Republicans are melting down. We shall see.


"Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race" is available as a paperback. Please order here.

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  1. If Trump makes the GOP Establishment melt down he will get my vote and a heartfelt "Well Done!" - Elric

  2. I wish Mr. Pruden luck, but there ain't NO way to pry the crazed media people off the needle pointing to "completely nuts and in the tank for Hillary".

  3. If you did have a chapter on him, it could be called "Pruden the Prudent."

  4. I plan to vote for Trump but sometimes I wonder if he really wants to be President?

    1. Ever read any C.S.Lewis fiction? The best kings never wanted to be kings.

    2. If he doesn't win, I bet he doesn't burst into tears. In fact, I bet his hypothetical concession speech would be along the lines of: "You've elected Hillary Clinton, and now I wish you all the joy of her."

    3. He waited through hundreds of requests over 20 years to go now.

      Because now the system has failed.


  5. I'd love to be able to access Clinton's teleprompter and, after a rant against Trump, insert "and his little dog, too!" and see if she just follows the copy.

    1. Given that she seems to spend half her time in Thunderbirds Mode these days, I believe she would.

      BTW, did anyone ever find out what "F.A.B." meant? I favor "F***ing A, Bro!"

    2. Fat A** B***h

      -Mikey NTH

  6. The question is not whether Trump is a fool---he's clearly not---but whether his campaign strategy is the right choice that will lead him to victory. The Liberal media cannot decide whether their best efforts to elect Hillary is to call Trump a clown or Hitler. He cannot be both. The more vicious these accusations get, the more popular Trump seems to become, causing Liberal pundit heads to explode with nuclear rage and frustration. After the election is over, the Liberal media will be just a toxic wasteland.

    1. "The more vicious these accusations get, the more popular Trump seems to become, . . ." and the more unhinged and, therefore, un-credible the media appear.

      This, of course, makes no difference to the Progressives or the "Never Trumpers," but there are many independent and undecided voters. For all their concern about a president Trump, the more un-credible the media appears in its Trump criticism, the more likely they are to cast their vote for him.

      It has been my thesis that Trump is campaigning against the media establishment rather than so much against Hillary. IMO he sees the media as Hillary's Siegfried Line. Get through that and it's easy going to "Berlin."

      Even though I think he's correct about this, that doesn't automatically make it the best mid-game or end-game strategy. But we DO have two and a half months left. Should be interesting.

    2. "IMO he sees the media as Hillary's Siegfried Line. Get through that and it's easy going to Berlin."

      If Hillary gets divided into four parts, I do NOT want occupation duty in whichever zone contains her yap.

    3. The liberal media already IS a toxic wasteland.

      Dave, I your last line is great!.

  7. It hasn't even started yet. About the only bit of conventional wisdom that is apt to survive 2016 is that the campaigns don't start until after Labor Day (Sept. 5 this year).

    The USC/LAT poll is of about 2,400 registered voters that are polled on a rolling basis each week. This poll shows very little volatility over the last couple of months (6%), well below the vaunted RCP average. Is it more accurate? Who's to know. But it does indicate that the curtain on the big show has yet to go up.

    Trump is set up perfectly. The Media has him painted as a frothing at the mouth monster. What do you want to bet that he becomes the model of sweet reason when the curtain rises?

  8. "There is only one person who can bring Trump down -- the man he sees in the mirror each morning when he shaves."

    Luigi his barber? Well, admittedly he's holding a razor, but he seems such a swell guy.

  9. The icing on the cake is that the Washington Times is still pretty NeverTrump.

  10. Trump has one major media asset few calculate into their election equations: Wikileaks. I'd bet a month's pay it plans an October doc dump on Clinton that will blow up her campaign.