Dear Trump: Drop the Media Bias Crutch, Put on your Big Boy Pants, and Do Better

This is really getting tiresome. The Trump campaign has started to use the excuse of “media bias” in the same way that spittle-flecked liberals used to use the word “DIEBOLD” to explain why they always lost elections because they couldn’t face the possibility that the public was rejecting their ideas and their candidates. After his “Second Amendment people” comments last night, the Trump campaign went into immediate blame-the-media mode, faulting them for having the gall to record his words and broadcast them to the world.

Whatever. Does liberal media bias exist? Sure. Is it the reason Trump is getting his ass handed to him by Hillary right now? Nope. Trump himself is responsible for the virtually endless stockpile of ammunition that he has given to both the media and the Democrats to use against him. People don’t dislike Trump because the media told them to, they dislike him because he keeps saying and doing stupid things.

A few points to be made about the vapid hooting and hollering from the few people in America still willing to defend Donald Trump in public. First, the cry of “YOU’RE NOT COVERING HILLARY’S SCANDALS AT ALL, YOU BIASED MEDIA” is, for perhaps the first time, almost completely empty. The media, including traditionally liberal outlets like CNN have aggressively and openly and repeatedly called Hillary Clinton a liar for her responses to the email scandal. Every time a new revelation comes up, the media dutifully covers it and rakes a Hillary operative over the coals. The reason they don’t stay on these stories is because Trump won’t let them. 

I was watching TV most of the day yesterday, and the media was just warming up on the latest State Department releases of Hillary’s emails when Trump blew everyone’s mind with his Second Amdendment comments. If Trump had been able to keep his big, dumb mouth shut, who knows, maybe the media would have stayed on this story, especially given that it was a slow news day. Moreover, it isn’t just the email scandal, just look at how aggressively one specific liberal outlet (the Washington Post) has covered a relatively small scandal (for the Clintons), the Clinton Foundation’s ties to a shady Haitian mine deal.

Look, Hillary Clinton did not get to be nearly as unpopular as Donald Trump just by wearing bad pantsuits. She is regarded as untrustworthy because the media has in fact reported many of the ways in which she has been repeatedly dishonest. Do they cover Trump more and more harshly? Maybe, but in their defense, he is making them do it. You can’t make a crack about your supporters shooting the other candidate and not expect a freakout to occur, and if you do, you’re an idiot. Sorry, there’s no other way to put it.

Second, even if you legitimately believe that the media’s coverage has been tremendously unfair to Trump, you’re an even bigger idiot if you didn’t see it coming. We said it here at RedState repeatedly during the primary, and we were not the only ones: the media is treating Trump with amusement now because he is good for ratings and they know he will lose to Hillary, but when the general election comes they will turn on him with a ferocity you can’t even imagine.

Billions of people said this. These warnings were ignored by both Trump and his supporters. For them to complain that Trump has to deal with media bias now is like a swimmer complaining that there’s water in the pool slowing him down. Media bias, and double standards applied to Republican candidates, is one of the specific things Republican voters should and must take into account when voting for a candidate in the primary, because it isn’t going away any time soon, and it has a real effect on public opinion.

This is life: Republican candidates have to be better than their Democratic counterparts because of the media. Bitching about it doesn’t change the facts. It can be effective when used occasionally at key moments; using it as a constant refrain and crutch just makes you look like one of the many NBA players who, based on their interactions with the referees, believe they have never committed an actual foul in their life.

For whatever reason, Trump’s primary voters really liked the fact that he was a whiner. They thought it was great how often he said things were “unfair.” The vast majority of Americans do not. They dislike whiners and babies who don’t take responsibility for their lot in life. And that’s exactly what Trump and his campaign sound like right now.

You know what would go a long way? Manning up. Apologizing. Accepting responsibility for not being as careful with your words as you could have been. These things only work at this point if they come directly from Trump’s mouth. What would work even better would be if Trump would just stop handing the other side weapons-grade ammunition just when Hillary is about to have a meltdown.

However, if Trump were capable of doing any of these things, you would think he would have displayed that capability by now. So now we just get to watch the death spiral continue, and take untold numbers of actual Republicans with it. Wish I could say that made me sad.