[guest post by Dana]
I wanted to bring to your attention several interesting items I read this week.
First, former NBC and CNN anchor Campbell Brown has written a revealing piece about why she believes that TV news is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. (Because they’ll do anything for ratings, even if it means handing over complete editorial control):
I really would like to blame Trump. But everything he is doing is with TV news’ full acquiescence. Trump doesn’t force the networks to show his rallies live rather than do real reporting. Nor does he force anyone to accept his phone calls rather than demand that he do a face-to-face interview that would be a greater risk for him. TV news has largely given Trump editorial control. It is driven by a hunger for ratings—and the people who run the networks and the news channels are only too happy to make that Faustian bargain.
Trump gets about six appearances on the major networks for roughly every one his rivals Ted Cruz or John Kasich get. In fact, Trump’s exposure has been three times greater than that of Cruz and Kasich combined. He received 50 percent of the exposure when there were more than a dozen candidates—a percentage that has only grown. Of course, by now, you’ve all also read the figure of close to $2 billion worth of free media the New York Times cited for Trump’s TV bonanza. And that story was back in March. No campaign’s advertising budget can compete.
So yes, I believe Trump’s candidacy is largely a creation of a TV media that wants him, or needs him, to be the central character in this year’s political drama. And it’s not just the network and cable executives driving it. The TV anchors and senior executives who don’t deliver are mercilessly ousted. The ones who do deliver are lavishly rewarded. I know from personal experience that it is common practice for TV anchors to have substantial bonuses written into their contracts if they hit ratings marks. With this 2016 presidential soap opera, they are almost surely hitting those marks. So, we get all Trump, all the time.
Second, Jay Nordlinger observes that some things are simply unbridgeable:
There is a gap between people who think that Donald Trump ought to be president, or is fit to be president, and those who don’t. And that gap, I’m afraid, is unbridgeable.
Very likely. The clearest evidence at this time of just how unbridgeable is the gap between Trump’s brand of populism and Cruz’s unwavering conservatism is that many voters, in good conscience, will not be voting for Trump in the general election if he becomes the party’s nominee.
Third, there was rioting at the Trump rally in Southern California this week as hundreds of rioters attempted to shut down the speech of a presidential candidate as well as destroy both private and public property:
…stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate.
Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. Protesters smashed a window on at least one police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police sport utility vehicle, and at one point tried to flip a police car.
One Costa Mesa police officer was struck in the head by a rock thrown by a protestor, authorities said.
About five police cars were damaged in total, police said, adding that some will require thousands of dollars’ worth of repairs.
This nicely sums up up the collective idiocy:
“I’m protesting because I want equal rights for everybody, and I want peaceful protest,” said 19-year-old Daniel Lujan, one of hundreds in a crowd that appeared to be mostly Latinos in their late teens and 20s.
“I knew this was going to happen,” Lujan added. “It was going to be a riot. He deserves what he gets.”
Of course the MSM worked hard to soften the image of the rioters and their political motivations. It’s almost as if the media believes if anyone should have their rights to speech curtailed, it’s Trump.
And lastly, demonstrating that she is a natural at this sort of thing, Hillary Clinton, on the semi-heels of having offended the black community, has now added Native Americans to her list of Offended Minority Groups. This latest offense took place during an interview when she was asked about Trump and his criticisms of her and she responded:
*I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak.
Clinton’s National Political Director Amanda Renteria tried to smooth things over:
About the use of an expression today that has some very offensive roots…Divisive language has no place in our politics. @HillaryClinton meant no disrespect to Native Americans. She wants this election to be about lifting people up, not tearing them down.
No comment from Elizabeth Warren.
For the record, consider if Clinton’s comment had been made by any of the male candidates in the running:
I have a lot of experience dealing with women who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak.
Imagine the furious accusations of sexism that would come, only to be followed by any number of Hillary women cards being played in righteous anger!