When Donald Trump began jaw-flapping about becoming president a few months ago, the media quite properly regarded his delusions as a joke, and a bad one at that. Most were reluctant to take him seriously due to his utter ignorance of governing and the issues that impact the nation. Add to that his clumsy, racist, boorish rhetoric and childish insults, and why would anyone with a functioning brain stem consider him viable?
News Corpse was among those ridiculing Trump and his lunatic, unachievable aspirations. I explained then that the only reason Trump was leading in the polls was that the field of candidates was so large that it diluted all of the opposing support between more than a dozen non-Trump candidates. I wrote that…
“…there is a demographic in the Republican electorate that can best be described as batshit insane. And Trump has managed to secure a near monopoly on that addle-brained GOP faction. […] Trump’s confederacy of dunces is sufficient in numbers to rise above his rivals, so long as there’s a lot of them. That’s because when you divide the remaining Republicans who are not wacko-birds (h/t John McCain) among the fifteen other candidates, there aren’t enough of them left to surpass the Trump/crazy constituency. That does not mean that Trump has a commanding lead. It means that there are way too many players on the field diluting the results for each of them. As they whittle down to a more manageable number, the 82% of non-Trump supporters will disperse to other candidates who will then tower over his paltry flock.”
Nothing has substantively changed since then. Now, however, the political pundits that were dismissing Trump as the clown that he is, are beginning to warm up to the notion that he is electable. They generally propose that, despite their prior skepticism, the duration of his poll-leading candidacy requires them to reconsider and concede that he is a plausible contestant in the reality show of GOP politics. For example:
- Joe Scarborough, MSNBC: The Republican establishment for the first time saying, off the record, this guy could win.
- Alex Castellanos, GOP strategist: The odds of Trump’s success have increased and been validated in the past few weeks.
- Brit Hume, Fox News: His nomination now becomes something everybody has to say is possible.
- Ed Rollins, GOP strategist: Trump is a serious player for the nomination at this time.
- Chris Wallace, Fox News: I am beginning to believe he could be elected president of the United States.
On Fox News’ MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz devoted a segment to the media’s new found faith in Trump’s viability with a graphic reading “Media admit Trump could win after months of being in denial.” First of all, the media aren’t “admitting” anything. They are altering their previously held position. And secondly, they were not in “denial” at the outset. They were uncharacteristically correct in assessing Trump as unserious.
The only problem with this rush to anointing The Donald’s campaign as realistic is that it comes just as his poll numbers are sinking like a stone. There have been several polls in the past week that show him trailing Ben Carson in early primary states, and one showing him behind Carson nationally (not that Carson should be taken seriously either). On top of that, a new poll shows that the Tea Party, whose dying remnants have morphed into Trumpers, has dropped to its lowest level of support ever recorded.
Leave it to the media to crumble and adopt a lazy analysis about an alleged Trump rise to legitimacy just he is being rejected in ever-growing numbers. All of the reasons for treating Trump’s candidacy like a farce headed by a fool are still in place. He still caps out at about a quarter of the GOP vote in a field that is still crowded with rivals. Since when is a candidate considered serious when 75% of those polled choose someone else?
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
The myopic view that suddenly Trump is worthy of being called plausible runs contrary to all the evidence available. He is still what he has always been – a joke who most Americans hate and who can’t corral anything near majority. There are only two places where the Plausible Trump Theory resonates: 1) in his own party where “seven in 10 Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say Trump could win in November 2016 if he is nominated.” And 2) in the media that has been seduced by a hostile, immature, intellectually lightweight, bigoted, celebrity candidate. You think that their assessment of Trump has anything to do with their ratings?