More than one political pundit has explained the media’s role in the rise of the Trump campaign.
From the inception of the campaign, years before the current GOP presidential nominee actually announced his bid, Trump planned exactly how to play the media and turn negative press into non-stop, free publicity to keep himself fresh in the voters’ minds. It was a simple formula: say all the things your racist supporters think but are often afraid to say in mixed company, wait for the media freak out, watch endless loops of Donald Trump’s racist dog whistles calling to his supporters.
Meanwhile, Trump tells his paranoid supporters not to listen to anything the press says. They’re all corrupt and in Hillary Clinton’s pocket, after all. While news shows run those endless loops using words like “racist” and “bigoted,” his supporters laugh off the “crooked” media reports.
Trump even taunts the media at his rallies, pointing out specific reporters to the crowd and calling them “disgusting and corrupt.” His crowds lap it up with a spoon; they hate what they see as the liberal media.
It’s fairly genius, actually.
However, Trump may have finally bitten the hand that feeds him a little too viciously. Donald Trump’s campaign announced to the press that they would be holding a press conference Friday morning to discuss “a major announcement.” Reporters anticipated that Trump would finally answer questions regarding his belief that the president was born in the United States and prepared to ask him to apologize for the turmoil and divisiveness he created in promoting his racist birtherism message for years.
The press conference turned out to be a statement from Trump admitting that President Obama was born in the United States but blaming Hillary Clinton for starting the rumors.
He allowed no questions from the media, turning the press conference into something that isn’t a press conference. It was just a statement, and one that raised a million more questions the presidential nominee needs to answer. The press was not pleased.
CNN’s John King said that:
‘We just got played. And voters can decide what to make of that. After four or five years of leading a fraudulent, reckless campaign against the legitimacy of president of the United States, you get four or five words saying he’s decided it’s over. I guess he gets to decide that.’
King’s co-worker, Jake Tapper, took it a step further:
‘While these American heroes are people who we should all show reverence and respect — they’re much greater men than Rick Astley — it’s hard to imagine this as anything other than a political Rick-roll.’
Other reporters tweeted their frustration at the fake press conference:
Donald Trump’s staff told multiple outlets this would be a press conference. Donald Trump took the free cable TV air time and took no Qs
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) September 16, 2016
Now Trump getting free airtime for vets ad — amazing how he games the cable and network people — by saying he’s making ‘big announcement’
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) September 16, 2016
It seems as if the media made Trump, they may be actually to break him, as well. Doesn’t enraging the news media less than 60 days before a presidential election seem like bad campaign policy?
See Trump’s “press conference” below:
Featured image is a screenshot from the video.