Since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the President, he has enjoyed the lion’s share of media attention. Whether it was social media hits, Google searches or whatever, Trump wins. By the end of 2015, Trump had more coverage in the mainstream media than Clinton and Sanders combined. Admittedly, given the coronation of Hillary Clinton, most of the news and excitement is on the Republican side. Republican debates have broken viewing records and continue to even as the field narrows. And Trump, of course, takes full credit for this.
Lost in all this excitement is the fact that at least eight of the seventeen GOP candidates were/are infinitely more qualified than Trump. Dare I say, even Kasich is better, although listening to Kasich is like watching cement dry.
Media attention is one thing. Trump has mastered the use of Twitter to keep his name in the news, despite the outlet. He seems to work under the adage that even “bad” news is good news. Even when he cannot articulate a single policy or distance himself from David Duke and the KKK, Trump gets the media attention. One perfect example is the most recent debate held in Detroit. In the aftermath in the spin room, Ted Cruz won that debate by most accounts (although Rubio could be considered the co-winner). Still, most of the questions posed to Cruz were about Trump. Some of that is because Trump is the front runner, but still…come on.
What this writer finds most interesting is the fact that some media figures who conservatives often relied upon have so completely fallen for the Trump act. Some have seen the errors of their way (example: Mark Levin), but it is too late. Others persist in their support while others who pretended to be “neutral” have now shown their true colors, since jumping on the bandwagon over the “inevitability” of a Trump nomination.
On a recent episode of Fox News’ The Five, they were discussing the Detroit debate. Two of those panelists- Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric Bolling- reached the unbelievable conclusion that Trump handled himself well in the debate. Even when the most memorable thing about Trump coming out of that debate was a defense of the size of his man parts, they came to this conclusion. There was nary a mention of Cruz or Rubio’s performance. Perhaps the only thing they got right was the perception that Kasich was “just there.”
Using this same show, two weeks ago they were all over Marco Rubio because he did not commit to appearing at CPAC this year (he since has). Yesterday when Trump pulled out of his scheduled appearance at CPAC, these same commentators declared it a good political move that he decided to stay on the campaign trail with appearances in Kansas and Florida instead. The hypocrisy is palpable.
Another example from the same show was Bolling’s defense of Trump’s statements about giving the military orders to kill the families of terrorists. His defense centered around Trump’s follow up press release where he was forced to walk back his debate statements. To Bolling, it was he changed his mind and “there is nothing wrong about that.” Only Juan Williams took him to task saying that Trump’s biggest selling point is that he “speaks his mind,” but when his mind is wrong, even then he gets a pass. You know something is seriously amiss when you start agreeing with Juan Williams vis-a-vis Donald Trump.
Prior to his endorsement, most were critical of Chris Christie. After his endorsement of Trump, suddenly it became the big news story of day. It was a major development in the race. Christie the whipping boy of the conservative media became a major player and influential backer of Trump in the race. Suddenly, because of the endorsement, the northeastern moderate (not conservative) Governor became a darling of the conservative talking heads.
Most conservatives do not get their news from the three big networks or their spin offs like CNBC or MSNBC. Instead, they rely mainly on Fox and talk radio. And that is proving to be a damn shame. Reliance on talking heads for your cues makes one a lemming following whoever happens to be uttering the support for Trump.
Another one is that walking stick Ann Coulter. Here is a sampling of her Twitter accounts of the race:
- Trump is the leading vote-getter tonight among natural born American candidates;
- Based upon exit polls, Rubio seems to have gotten the lion’s share of the prevaricating little weasel vote;
- Fox is slyly denigrating Cruz by ignoring him…but its all hands on deck for the sweaty little Marco;
- Who’s gonna break it to little Marco that in the real world, 3rd place=participation trophy?
Well, at least we know where Trump got his “little Marco” line. Coulter has a huge slobbering love affair with Trump. She even defends the fact that Trump has openly and financially supported Planned Parenthood by claiming that since he is not a politician, he is unfamiliar with how politicians slip through funding for that organization. Huh? And people fall for this crap?
Rush Limbaugh is another one who falls in this category. For years he has criticized the media using polling data to drive the story of the day. Apparently he never listened to a Trump speech where he drones on about polling data. He attacks Obama repeatedly about the vagueness of his message. When has Trump offered anything of substance? Trump’s stream of consciousness ramblings are considered “telling it like it is” by these pundits. Limbaugh has even stated that Trump is special because he is unique: America has “not seen an embattled public figure stand up for himself, double down and tell everyone to go to hell.” There is an equivalent to that; visit a mental patient ward.
Limbaugh and Levin have lamented the rise of low-information voters during the course of their radio careers, blaming that phenomena on the rise of Obama. Yet today it is the low information voter that supports Trump. Because the low-information voter supports Trump, to these pundits, suddenly the low information voter is just fine and dandy? That is called hypocrisy- a word Limbaugh needs to look up in a dictionary one day.
Since, Levin has changed his tune and is now apparently supporting Cruz. Even still, his initial enabling of Trump categorically eliminates him as a reliable pundit on the Right. Even if his support of Cruz now is sincere, his slobbering love of Trump early on casts a shadow over anything he says now.
This writer rues the day people cannot make up their own minds and have to rely on talking head punditry- conservative or otherwise- to get their news to make up their minds. If this campaign season has taught us anything, it is the so-called lions of the conservative media can be just as easily duped as the next person. If Trump is the GOP nominee, I suggest a write-in vote for Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Hector Camacho of Idiocracy fame because that is where we are right now.