Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign in June. In the six months since, he has sparked controversy, grabbed headlines and dominated most opinion polls.
He claims that Mexico sends rapists to the United States, says Senator John McCain is not a war hero despite five years as a prisoner of war in Viet Nam, has insulted women, the physically challenged, and insists that American Muslims were celebrating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
The media are to blame for Trump popularity
George Washington University Professor John Sides in July correctly chastised the news media for their disproportionate focus on the antics of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump at the expense of other GOP hopefuls.
Obviously most journalists cut class that day or we would have more informed coverage. Instead most journalists rush like Lemmings to be the first to publish the Trump Trope du jour. Their behavior is so predictable, so fawning, so embarrassing, and so pathetic.
They are complicit in extending the life of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and popularity.
Yet, they seem to be angry that he remains in the news!
It isn’t just the proliferation of social media and alternative news sources that have multiplied reporting of Trumps antics and kept his campaign alive.
The New York Times fell for the same ploy in August when it highlighted Trump’s encounter with Univision’s journalist/activist Jorge Ramos. Headlines for Trump but not a story about America’s immigration policy.
In September, Trump attacked media coverage of his campaign. An issue that is unimportant but was dutifully covered by AOL thus assuring more publicity for The Donald. Again, not a story about America’s pressing social needs.
Also in September, Trump unveiled his proposal on guns only to have media focus on a comment he made about Muslims in response to a reporter’s question. This instead of an in-depth report on proposals to ease the nation’s ethnic, racial, and cultural tensions
Half a year after throwing his “Make America Great Again” cap into the ring, Donald Trump continues to benefit from this regrettable yet avoidable news practice to the detriment of the American people, who are deprived of informed political discourse.
Huffington Post is one of the few news organizations to condemn as illegitimate Trump’s carnival barker routine. The magazine announced in July it would no longer cover Donald Trump as a serious presidential candidate. Instead stories about the New York City real estate billionaire would be relegated to the publication’s entertainment section.
Meanwhile, other media efforts to debunkTrump only serve to give The Donald the attention he craves.
The latest example is by Greg Sargent of The Washington Post and whether Trump made fun of a physically-challenged journalist. The commentary attempts to reveal Trump’s latest mendacity but does nothing to enlighten us about the more important issue of health care in the United States
Again, Trump makes headlines, the media provide more free publicity, and other presidential candidates with serious ideas and truthful statements are ignored. And these same news organization wonder why Trump continues atop the political polls.
Both The Donald and the media should be ashamed of the statements and undeserved coverage. But such is the regrettable state of political campaigns and contemporary journalism.
I’m glad I worked as a reporter when journalism actually tried to provide a public service–before the business lost its moral compass, abandoned its ethics and declined to this pitiful state.