The site doesn’t dive into politics very often, but today’s Donald Trump press event deserves special attention. Whatever way you’re voting, his masterful manipulation of the media is something to behold.
It’s the equivalent of telling someone not to look down and expecting them not to look down. Trump’s press conference or long ass campaign ad was to announce he believes President Obama was born in the United States. No shit. Unless someone has a time machine and went back and placed the birth announcement in Hawaiian papers, forged a birth certificate and a litany of other details, Obama is an American.
The whole event was about veterans throwing his support behind him, but it was billed as his support for veterans. Hell, I’m not sure. 90-minutes of pure Trump and the media eats it up.
That’s a free campaign ad and I’m sure some of the media grabbed a bite to eat at his hotel. So, he made money off the press event. And all the coverage in the world. He started off the media event by talking about his hotel in all the common Trumpian adjectives. Then stepped away to have Medal of Honor recipients and veterans laud him.
Sure, the networks eventually cut away after they figured out it was actually an ad, but the producers were quick on the button to cut in once he made his proclamation that President Obama was born in America.
And he took credit for ending the controversy, blaming the 2008 Clinton campaign for starting it. That’s been debunked time and again, but there’s a memo from Mark Penn during the primary cycle that called Obama’s ‘exotic’ background more a liability than a strength.
It’s that ambiguity that Trump will hang his hat on. Not the fact Clinton thankfully ignored the advice of Penn and pushed back against the claims. Plus the birther movement was already bubbling to the surface without the leaked memo.
You would have missed the proclamation by Trump had you gone to make a cup of coffee. That’s how brief his announcement was taking credit for ending the birther movement.
And he had the media start off their 11 am hours like this nugget from CNN:
All right. John Berman with Kate Bolduan. Remarkable moment in the history of presidential politics. Want to show you live pictures from Washington, D.C. We believe a presidential candidate is about to stage a grand event in a hotel ballroom to essentially declare the sky is blue, water is wet and the sun rises in the east. We are told that today, for the first time, Donald Trump will–might– admit that fact is fact and he wants credit for it. At least in one conspiracy theory that he has flirted with for five years. We think, we think that Donald Trump might say that he now thinks that President Obama was born in the United States of America.
Yeah, that’s how to lead off a news block when trust in the press is at historic lows. Clinton and Trump both have negatives that astound political pundits, but the press is down in the mud too. 2016 is a pure turnout election. There are no undecided voters. There are ‘ehh, whatever voters’ left. And being sarcastic, while factual, is destined to push the ‘ehh, whatever voter’ to the side of the candidate being ‘attacked.’
How is he not the candidate the media always dreamed of? He literally speaks in sound bites. Don’t complain about specifics when the media model is the sound bite. Oh here’s some terrible shit someone said. Context? Coming up next we have a car chase video or a giant ass balloon rolling through a city in China. I actually have ADHD and my attention span is longer than that.
Remember during the 2008 and 2012 elections? Left-leaning sites would proclaim Obama was playing chess while everyone else was playing checkers. And it wasn’t wrong. The campaigns were masterful and I voted for him twice.
But take an objective view of what Trump has done over the past 15 months. He’s broken every rule of politics with such glee we wondered if it was some elaborate marketing stunt he was playing.
Then he shoestrings a campaign by being more available than any other candidate to the media. Phone in interviews, radio, TV, the works. And the cable networks saw the money he pulled in with the increase in advertising revenue. All the earned media in the world because his brashness increases the ratings.
How is that not a form of playing chess while everyone else plays checkers? Sure, he stomps on the board and tries to build a wall around it, but there’s a reason he has Democrats skittish. Not because nearly half the electorate is racist or deplorable. It’s because he continually rick rolls the media into free ad buys. Whatever Clinton or her surrogates say today will be lost in the circus show.
And judging by trust in the political system, that’s what voters have come to expect. They may despise what they hear, but Trump is acting out the Washington we’ve come to know over three decades. A damn joke.
It’s on you the next time you click the damn Rick Roll link CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. Don’t feign exasperation and bring on your panels to discuss him breaking all the rules when you happily let him play you.
Oh, you have a Clinton and a Trump supporter to debate the circus show? I can already tell you what they will say. The sky is blue. Water is wet. And the sun rises in the east.
I’d ask for a discussion of the issues, but that’s not what the media wants. Talking about the economy involves context. Military spending is nuanced. Healthcare is 50 shades of grey.
It all adds up to serious conversations that none of you want aired. For all the talk of serious debate, it never happens on the networks. That’s a simple truth. It’s talking points from each side. Ok, water is wet. Thanks, but explain to me how our foreign policy will look if we back out of TPP or Iran reneges on the nuclear deal.
Oh, a weak tropical storm is about to hit Florida? Dispatch all networks for what is a glorified thunderstorm so they can tie themselves to the balcony at the Ramada.
Being Rick Rolled isn’t fun, but after the first few clicks, it’s you who looks like an idiot. And Trump is the grand master at checkmating the media.