What Now?

| May 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

George Mitrovich

In June of last summer I watched Donald Trump in New Hampshire speak at a campaign appearance in a big home before an all-white audience.

I watched his show courtesy of MSNBC, which astonishingly covered it live – all of it.

Trump in his Live Free or Die campaign stop, was my first indication that MSNBC, ostensibly the “liberal” cable network, would become Donald Trump’s personal cable network. I would have thought Fox, maybe CNN, not MSNBC, but there it was – and there it remains.

At that point, and for many months thereafter, the vaunted national media consistently dismissed Trump as nothing more than a billionaire blowhard. But that day on Facebook I wrote Trump would be a player in the presidential campaign, that to dismiss him was a mistake.

A “player” he’s become.

After big wins in the primaries of New York and Pennsylvania, the odds of denying Trump the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, seem improbable. I thought it would come down to California, that John Kasich, the Ohio governor and decent fellow, might find a way to stop trump, to force the Republican convention to a second ballot, with Kasich emerging as the nominee.

I thought such a scenario would benefit America, that having an adult in the Republican race would serve our country’s interest, that while Kasich leading his party would complicate Secretary Clinton’s chances of becoming president – polls show the governor beating her – the interest of the USA Trumps the interest of the Democratic Party, and Kasich as nominee would end the insanity of Trump’s candidacy.

While I was right about Trump and national media wrong, none more so than David Brooks of “The New York Times,” in the end, it appears, we were all wrong. National media in getting it wrong for so long, and me for thinking that however seriously I viewed his candidacy, it would not end with him as GOP nominee.

My being wrong is of no consequence; national media being wrong is vastly consequential for America – resulting in the rise and triumph of Donald Trump.

By aiding Trump’s rise MSNBC, Fox, and CNN, sold their collective souls for higher ratings and hundreds of millions of dollars in unanticipated revenue.

But of the three primary cable networks, MSNBC has been the most egregious and shameless in its 24/7 saturation coverage of trump.

In their coverage, MSNBC broke a trust with its viewers; a trust based upon an assumption, that MSNBC has a moral center and possesses progressive beliefs about politics and government.

The evidence suggests viewer loyalty at MSNBC is secondary to ratings and money; that the two matter more than a candidate’s hateful politics, or, in trump’s case, not just hateful politics and division, but the Philosophy of Me; and, in consequence, moral equations for MSNBC, such as fairness in coverage, is illusionary.

But while Trump has made cable ratings soar and advertising revenues increase, the return to trump, the man who wrote “The Art of the Deal”, has been $1.9 billion in free television time, says mediaQuant.

Not a bad deal, and MSNBC executives, producers, and on-air talent, existing in an apparent moral vacuum, were only too happy to make the deal – not only happy to make it, but to keep on making it.

The amount of coverage extended trump, not just by MSNBC, but Fox, CNN, and the networks, dwarfs that of all other candidates.

According to mediaQuant, the amount of free coverage given Secretary Clinton is $746 million, while Senator Sanders received $321 million (or $156 million less in free media given Taylor Swift).

Am I saying that Donald Trump is wholly a media creation?

No, of course not.

Donald Trump was writ large on television before he decided to run for president and “Make America Great Again.”

I am saying, however, that absent the 24/7 coverage he’s received, the $1.9 billion in free air time, he would not have emerged as the front runner of the Republican Party and, apparently, the GOP’s nominee for president.

But while I saw Trump as a force in the Republican Party’s presidential politics, beginning in June of ’15, I never thought there was any chance he would become their nominee – and certainly never, ever, thought there was any chance he might become president.

Now, I’m not so sure.

He embodies hateful elements of our country, racism and hatred of Muslims and Mexicans, while representing a profound ignorance of the world beyond our borders and of realpolitik.

Those of us who believe we represent progressive and enlightened views of our country and the world beyond; who have an understanding of and tolerance for humankind, need a reality check.

We’ve been too quick to dismiss and reject those among us, whom H.L. Mencken called the “great unwashed,” and arrogantly thought our numbers superior to theirs; that the United States of America, the most powerful nation in the history of the world, would never, ever, elect as president the likes of Donald Trump.

And the good and enlightened people of Germany, ever dismissive of corporal Schicklgruber, never, ever thought Adolf Hitler would become Reich Chancellor of the Weimar Republic.

The fear I have has come upon me very sudden. What I considered impossible, may now be probable – Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

I entitled this column, “What Now?”

Indeed, what now?

George Mitrovich is a San Diego civic leader. He may be reached by email: gmitro35@gmanil.com.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: National News

About the Author ()

"Mine Eyes Have Seen"