All errors should be reported to

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Conrad Black, old journalist, on how Trump beat the press last month.

Billionaire Conrad Black, 72, has bought and sold more newspapers than I have ever read. His support for Trump stems from Black's utter disgust with the post-Reagan Republican Party.

From Black in the New York Sun:
The Democratic convention’s orgy of self-praise and joyous continuity generated enough jollity for the Trump-ophobic press to open up a five- to seven-point lead for Mrs. Clinton. But Donald Trump already has the 40% of Americans who share Archie Bunker’s dislike of political correctness, vote-buying with welfare, fiscal incontinence, and a feeble foreign policy, and there has been no further need to serve them up more raw meat.
So he has just disappointed, week after week, the frenzied press lynch mob that had implied he was a racist, a misogynist, an inciter of violence, a vulgar buffoon, a member of the Flat Earth Society, an advocate of an automatic firearm for every white seven-year-old American, and probably an enemy of fluoridated drinking water.
Don't kid yourself into thinking Archie Bunker is a liberal stereotype of a conservative. The television studio "conservatives" have a deeper contempt for them because those darned working class rubes make Will, Krauthammer, and Kristol look bad before their liberal buddies. How dare uneducated people with their prejudices and unfounded fears call themselves conservative?

Speaking of prejudices and unfounded fears, how about this from the Daily Caller?
Conservative activist James O’Keefe visited Columbia University’s campus in late August and brought a student to tears by showing his support for Donald Trump in chalk and cardboard bricks.
“I’m scared that you guys even think this,” a female Columbia student told O’Keefe in a video first obtained by The Daily Caller.
O’Keefe replied, “What do you mean?”
The student got distraught and said, “I don’t want my future to be this!” She later said, “You don’t have to make a wall. You don’t need a man like this!”
Tell me again how a college degree makes you educated. I mean for a hundred grand-a-year you should learn how to not wet yourself if someone writes something in chalk. Instead of whining, piss on it.

Or hose it down.

Black gets what Trump did, and I am thinking Bill Clinton (and now maybe Hillary) saw what happened and is getting deja vu from 2008.

Consider this passage from Black:
Peggy Noonan, who doesn’t much care for either candidate but whose innate fairness and seasoned expertise as a judge of political talent prevent her from joining the chorus of the hysterics, detected (on September 5 in the Wall Street Journal), as the Clinton lead eroded, that anxiety (over Mr. Trump) was less negative than depression (at the thought of the return of the Clintons). I think that is only half the story.
She is probably correct that anxiety about a candidate’s performance in office is less destructive to a candidate’s chances than the depression induced by, in this case, thought of another binge of the Clintons at the public trough, pandering to the aggrieved with the money of those who work for a living, flat-lining the economy with new taxes, and entrenching the dictatorship of political correctness. But an acceleration in the tilt of the scales in Mr. Trump’s favor is already under way because Mr. Trump the nominee, unlike Mr. Trump in quest of the nomination, is not saying anything worrisome or even in questionable taste.
The amiable husband and father of an exemplary family has, like a skilled driver shifting gears, deftly recalibrated. He was very plausible in his meeting with the president of Mexico, and now appears as he does to those who know him: good-humored, sensible, and moderate, if not altogether self-effacing. The unutterable rubbish of Democratic claims that he is temperamentally unsuited to high office (like the Republican revelations that 1968 Democratic vice-presidential nominee Edmund Muskie had repeatedly torn his cottage telephone off the wall in anger) has vanished without a trace or an echo.
The real Donald Trump emerges. The press is aghast to learn Celebrity Apprentice was not a documentary. He really does not fire people like that. He kept Corey Lewandowski on the payroll until Lewandowski got the CNN gig.

A year ago, Paul Solotaroff of Rolling Stone did a profile of Trump. Everyone went bananas over this paragraph:
With his blue tie loosened and slung over his shoulder, Trump sits back to digest his meal and provide a running byplay to the news. Onscreen, they’ve cut away to a spot with Scott Walker, the creaky-robot governor of Wisconsin. Praised by the anchor for his ‘slow but steady’ style, Walker is about to respond when Trump chimes in, ‘Yeah, he’s slow, all right! That’s what we got already: slowwww.’ His staffers at the conference table howl and hoot; their man, though, is just getting warm. When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. ‘Look at that face!’ he cries. ‘Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!’ The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. ‘I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?’
They missed the far more telling paragraph buried later in the piece:
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.
I did not miss that, and made sure it went into my book. You want conventional wisdom, go to a convention. You want the truth, hang around here.

One year after Solotaroff's prophecy, this truth has still not reached the benighted corners of America: Hillary and her Super PAC, the media. (I love that line from Ted Cruz.)

From Black:
There is no evidence that Mrs. Clinton yet realizes that she can’t rely on her opponent to discharge a verbal blunderbuss into his own cloven feet. Her vast train of bearers and beaters and cheerleaders and silent helpers, Bushies, Cruzites, the Sanders Left, the Hollywood claque, the largely leprous press corps, President Obama (in one of the most hilariously cynical professions of affectionate continuity in American political history) — all have only eight weeks to escape oblivion. It certainly could happen, but it is not now likely.
We still have two months to go. But last week, Real Clear Politics gave the odds of Trump winning at 20 percent. Last night, as I wrote this, the odds were 29 percent. This morning, as I edited, the odds were 31 percent.

Take those odds while you still can.

Trump is closing the deal while Hillary is still strategizing with her staff on how she is going to make her pitch.

UPDATE: Odds rose to 32 percent this afternoon.


I quote Conrad Black, Solotaroff, and more than 300 others in my new book, "Trump the Press," which is a delightful look at the blundering herd we call the media, and how they blew the story of the year.

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 for details.


  1. I always enjoy reading the intelligent and thoughtful articles written by Mr. Black. But an article partial to The Donald in Rolling Stone? Who woulda thunk? - Elric

    1. Was it partial to Donald Trump or, as I suspect, intended as a warning to his opponents to take him more seriously than they do?

  2. About four years ago we were in the Philippines and someone pointed out the construction of high rise condos and a casino being built by Trump. The first thing that went through my mind was How the hell did he manage that? The cultural resistance and cronyism that he would have to penetrate are enormous. I was not an early supporter of Trump, but after seeing that I knew better than to not take him seriously.

  3. When Black mentions the 40% of the electorate of Archie Bunkers, that's his floor. All he has to do is build on that.

    This was the lesson learned last year at this time by Trump's opponents. More on this here.

  4. A lot of Republicans in the media and in D.C. simply didn't understand that Trump was the only candidate that truly enlarged the pool of voters available to a Republican nominee. I don't think the Democrats really get it either- Trump has set up tent in the center, not on the fringe at all.

    However, I think they don't get it because Trump was smart- he identified with precision the overlaps between paleo-conservatives and people who are true independents, or only weakly lean right or left in their voting. That was his brilliance.

    1. Re: "the only candidate that truly enlarged the pool of voters available to a Republican nominee" - exactly right.

      Remember in 2012, after Romney lost and all the post-mortems said he didn't motivate the white working class? OK, well, guess what, that is happening in spades now, and Trump is the *ONLY* candidate who could possibly have done it. Yet none of the thought "leaders" in the conservative movement seem to care, since it's not their style of candidate who energized that base.

      In other words, they had no game plan to get them in the first place. Clueless, inept, and poised to lose every election into the future, but with principles fully intact though!

      Sometimes, just like with relationships, the person you need is not the person you want.

    2. "I don't think the Democrats really get it either- Trump has set up tent in the center, not on the fringe at all."

      And,IMO, Trump's target at first wasn't necessarily Hillary, but the media itself. He was savvy enough to recognize that the MSM was Hillary's Sigfried Line and that any attempt to weaken her was wasted with her MSM backing. So he sets out to be outrageous because that will draw media attention (As he readily acknowledged to Hugh Hewitt) and in the process chips away at media credibility with each claim of racism, sexisim, and buffoonery that the media tries to attach to Trump. This tactic rips away the MSM mask of impartiality and objectivity; working people see the Dems as an enemy of their American way of life and the MSM as Democrats with by-lines.

      Read the latest article by Salena Zito in The Atlantic. The link:

  5. Don Said, "Trump is closing the deal while Hillary is still strategizing with her staff on how she is going to make her pitch."

    Or coming up with a new story about her collapse. How many have we heard so far? Look how long it took them to settle on pneumonia. What are they gonna do the next time she faints, has a seizure, or goes into a massive coughing fit?

    1. They have already floated the trial balloon for that eventuality- poisoned by Putin and/or Trump operatives.

  6. Hillary's zombie impersonation is probably a belated attempt to corner the necrophiliac vote.

    Nice try, Morticia.

  7. Turmp's pitching to those who've been ignored or talked down to by both parties. We like what we see.

    1. Right on. The US has been getting beaten and slammed and pounded for decades. Trump is a wealthy and influential guy who cares, and can do something about it. He is looking at the nation and saying "Holy cow, what has happened here? Can I help?" I am not a blue collar worker (but I used to be), but those folks and their safe, clean, honest, and generous communities are a pillar of our country. They have been destroyed by outsourcing and by immigration. Trump sees this and gives a damn. I think he is an excellent candidate, I am not part of the "Well I guess he's the least bad we could get" type person. Trump is an excellent candidate and what he's done the past year is phenomenal. I admire and like him and am all in. Trump 2016. Let's see what he can do. This guy is a determined, accomplished doer!

  8. The PuffHo piece:
    1-Line-up of Sad Sacks.
    2-Got tired of reading.

  9. "UPDATE: Odds rose to 32 percent this afternoon."

    I thought I heard of a late scratch, but it was just more cattiness from the Washington Post.

  10. Hey Don, I have your post linked & give you a book plug as well in my newest weekly TrumpDay post here: