Saturday, August 22, 2015


I told you in the last post that the attitude of the mainstream media toward Donald Trump is evolving from "What an absurd vulgarian!" to "Y'know, he's kinda cute." If you doubt that, watch this video, which just went up on the website of The New York Times, and which purports to explain Trump's appeal. Really, just watch it.

The fans say exactly what you expect them to say (Trump says what the rest of us can't because we're forced to be "politically correct"; Trump's immigration plan is not only brilliant, it's short and "easy to read") -- but it's what they don't say that reveals the video's tilt. There's no rage. There's no animosity toward immigrants, even though hostility toward immigrants is Trump's only issue. The fans seem like sold, thoughtful citizens. The video sanitizes them.

And sanitizes Trump as well. No anger from him, either -- he's a genial guy who has a comedy club MC's timing and a jolly rapport with the press. When the one skeptic in the video, who appears to be an earnest teenager, asks why there aren't position papers on the Trump campaign site on any issue other than immigration, Trump humiliates the questioner by asserting that the media cares about silly old policy papers, but not real people. The editing makes clear that we're supposed to regard this as a sensible, appealing answer.

This video is awful. I know it's meant to show us Trump as his admirers see him, but his admirers don't admire him just for being shruggy and jokey and disarming -- they admire him for saying ugly things and getting away with them. But the press likes a winner, so expect a lot more Trump coverage like this.


Blackstone said...

I hope you are wrong but fear you are right. It's Ronald Reagan all over again, if you are old enough too remember. He began as a right wing extremist, but got mainstreamed

Ken_L said...

"Hillary proceeds uneventfully to the White House" was never going to be a starter for media narrative of 2016. Where's the fun in that? Trump's like Sarah Palin with a decent work ethic. And he's RICH! Of course they'll fawn on him.

Feud Turgidson said...

By now, already he's gotten so, I dunno, "established" I guess, that I've thought about, Hey, if were in his campaign group, in messaging or something, what would I urge he do? First thing I thought of, Get rid of all those questions and so the perception of his being maybe vulnerable for being lighter than air on policy. The way you DO that is get your people to make up a really seductive, for conservative voters mostly but also for wing watchers and the I Am Curious (Blue) crowd, 24/7 Trump on the News Dump.

Then I started narrowing it down to logistics: Trump never talks his campaign, so it's said anyway, so as his campaign's chief guy with this, what I think of as a great idea, something with no downside and big potential dividends from levering, as much as possible OTHER folks' money, I needed to think practically, how would it work?

And then, in flash it came to me. I happened to be surfing Drudge, and wondering (as usual), How does D create this routinely brilliant platform, as Fresh and reliably seductive as a barely legal hooker on her first swim thru this or that town? The key is: every slate is cued up to stuff that, you don't know til you click the link, could be punditry, could be pure news, could be a little of both, so it's got that element of SURPRISE! working.

Hear me out on this: what the Donald's campaign could do is a Drudge-like site, could maybe be called Drump, or Drump! for those folks that need feeling up to get them to goddam vote for the goddam candidate FFS.

Only on Drump/Drump! you'd get a pure news item on the Donald, usually funny because those are always funny, OR a kwik kwote on the same subject right out of some speech or other thing he's said, or both.

Then as I'm thinking how'my ever gonna get the candidate in direct secure contact to discuss all this and BOOM! It came to me: I don't need to talk to the candidate AT ALL, I just need to aggregate everything Trump.

Or else forget the whole thing because Drudge is already doing all that good work for free.

Victor said...

I just got up and made some coffee, so I'll look later.
I don't want to start my morning with a couple of lumps of Trump.

Unsalted Sinner said...

Earnest young man in the audience: "Do you have any policy positions beyond building that wall?"

Very serious professional journalist: "Have you ever worked with a body language coach?"

Your media at work. Don't expect them to bring Trump down.

Steve M. said...

Exactly right, Unsalted.