From Margaret Talbot:
The irony of Donald Trump’s relationship with the press is that, while he has spent his entire campaign complaining bitterly about it, he has also sopped up more media attention than arguably any Presidential candidate in history. According to Andrew Tyndall, of the Tyndall Report, which tracks broadcast news, Trump received, in the period from January 1st to Labor Day, a combined eight hundred and twenty-two minutes of screen time on the nightly news broadcasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC. Hillary Clinton received three hundred and eighty-six minutes—and nearly ninety of her minutes were devoted to the controversy over the private e-mail server she used while Secretary of State. (Tyndall compiled these comparisons at the request of the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi, who reported on them last week.)
The coverage disparity can be attributed, at least in part, to journalism’s built-in bias toward the new. Mitt Romney got more airtime than Barack Obama in 2012, and Obama got more than John McCain in 2008. The Trump phenomenon is, of course, a new thing in so many ways. But Trump’s own thirsty courting of the media has also played a role. (As has Hillary Clinton’s reluctance to hold press conferences.) During the primary season, Trump regularly phoned in to the Sunday-morning interview shows, like a kid making prank calls while the rest of the family is at church. And until those news organizations decided that they didn’t want to be conducting interviews with the leading candidate for the Republican nomination that way, most took his calls: he racked up thirty such conversations, while none of the other candidates had one. Early on in his campaign, Trump’s press strategy looked like an attempt to re-create the cozy relationship he cultivated, in the nineteen-seventies, eighties, and nineties, with the New York tabloids, who had loved him for his excess and his accessibility. He kept them up to date on all his doings, and they kept him in boldface.The real irony is that without Trump, this race would be a re-run of that tedious 1996 contest between Bob Dole and Bill Clinton, as the nation sleep-walked to the polls. Talbot would be writing about gardening or reviewing someone else's book on gardening, while relaxing on Martha's Vineyard playing tennis with a third tier Kennedy.
But Jeb did not make it. Instead, Trump jumped in and promoted his presidential campaign with a pizazz the likes of which the political punditry had never seen, nor likely will see again. His gauche embrace of patriotism and the slogan Make America Great Again gets the blood coursing through the veins of our sallow political class. Trump awoke the electorate, who in turn roused the Washington and Manhattan snobs (they lack the talent to be elite) and now here is Talbot churning out an installment of New Yorker's “Trump and the Truth” series in a vain attempt to stop the train. Like Wile E. Coyote soaring toward his doom, they have only a sign and a paper umbrella.
So the news media covers Trump because the news media has a "built-in bias toward the new," which is perhaps why we do not call it the olds business,
Trump is outside the New Yorker's ken. Its writers do not get Trump, nor should they. They should be writing about other things. Ballet. Opera. Whatever fills the columns in between those wonderful New Yorker cartoons.
Instead we have Talbot stumbling over herself trying to Talbotsplain how Trump will destroy libel law:
Trump’s comments on libel have evinced a juvenile understanding of both the Constitution and of jurisprudence. When Fred Ryan, the publisher of the Post, asked Trump if, by opening up libel law, he meant weakening standards like malice, Trump said nothing to indicate that he was familiar with either the legal sense of that term or with the Sullivan decision. “Yeah,” he said. “I think I would get a little bit away from malice without having to get too totally away. Look, I think many of the stories about me are written badly.” More frightening, though, is the way that Trump has spoken about the law as an instrument of personal vengeance—his way of getting back at his critics and making them pay. “We’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before,” he said, talking about reporters, at a February rally in Texas.Trump's actions on libel were more interesting than his jumbled up answers to insipid questions. Someonen online said his wife worked in an escort service and the Daily Mail repeated the lie. The London newspaper stood by this lie. Months later, his wife filed a $150 million libel suit. The next day the newspaper apologized and retracted the story. If such action scares the New Yorker, then I suggest it enter the real estate business.
The media writes about Trump -- I write about Trump -- because he is the only national political leader we have. Its either Trump or the chinless token woman candidate. Most of the nation is uncomfortable about the choice. Far from being a bad campaign, this is a great one. Americans must decide whether to continue on this road to perdition or chose the new route, which may also lead to perdition and perhaps a worse spot in hell, or maybe -- just maybe -- lead us away from Satan's cauldron.
Trump has commanded the media's attention. That's what a leader does. Talbot thinks she hurts Trump. She aids him.
From Michael Godwin of the New York Post:
The debate fix was broadcast on the front pages well in advance, yet Trump wasn’t ready for it. Although he didn’t make fatal mistakes and survived Clinton’s best punches, his meandering digressions, along with his failure to demand the answers from Clinton that Holt didn’t, cost him precious time and opportunity. As such, they fall into Peter Kihss’ category of “stupid answers.”
But here’s the other side of the story: Trump won’t suffer much voter pain, certainly not enough to put victory out of reach. His secret weapon is that his core supporters, including many independents, distrust the media nearly as much as they distrust Clinton.
Consider that, while most media professionals said Clinton won the debate, most online polls of viewers had Trump winning.
The split verdict reflects a theme that goes back to the earliest GOP primary debates. Candidates who blasted media moderators for being prejudiced against Republicans got rousing ovations.
Ah yes. One of my favorite sections in my book was chronicling the debate coverage. The moderator would target Trump, who would say something that caused the media to go bananas, and after the debate Frank Luntz would say his focus group went from loving Trump to wanting to tar-and-feather him because he said Rosie O'Donnell was faaaaaaaaaaaaat!
Then those online polls would pop-up and show he won.
Goodwin is of the opinion that the media's help for Hillary will backfire.
Trump has to earn media. And he does. And he is very, very good at it. He forced the media to cover him, and much as they want to, they just can't quit him.
My new book, "Trump the Press," is a fun read that details how the experts missed the rise of Trump. Read the reviews in the right column.
Please purchase "Trump the Press" through Create Space.
The book also available in Kindle and as a paperback on Amazon.
Autographed copies area available. Email me at DonSurber@GMail.com for details.