What the media and public thought could never happen happened. At the time I began to write this, the polls had not yet closed on the first Super Tuesday, but I was pretty confident that Donald Drumpf had taken an insurmountable lead toward securing the GOP nomination. After Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012, the Republican National Committee changed some of the states that vote on Super Tuesday, loading the plate full of Southern states — which, outside of Texas, will most likely vote Drumpf. The plan had been to shorten the primary period so that an early front-runner could appear for the GOP to rally behind, and thereby keep any infighting from harming the eventual nominee. Things didn’t turn out that way.
Then again, after eight months of Drumpf’s schoolyard-bully antics going unchecked, why wouldn’t he slide into victory? The news media — print, TV, Web — has had more than ample time and countless opportunities to call Drumpf out forcefully whenever he makes outrageous or flat-out wrong statements. Yet, time after time, they don’t question him. They allow him to continue to swim in his pool of bullshit without any consequences. Is the media, despite protests to the contrary, still infatuated?
If Drumpf’s repulsive statements had come out of any other candidate’s mouth, the media would call them out on it and ruin their chances of occupying the White House. (Carly Fiorina’s attack on Planned Parenthood = defunct campaign.) Not so much for the Master of Insults. Drumpf has denigrated women for decades: where’s the press on that? Drumpf’s blatant sexism and objectification of women comes as naturally to him as his casual racism: where’s the press on that? His Twitter account is rife with insults, which he hurls around like rancid afterthoughts. He proudly, and without any self-awareness, said this in an 1991 interview with Esquire magazine:
You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass,
Where’s the press on that? And, of course, its 25 years later and we now had the dust-up with Fox’s Megyn Kelly. After she dared to bring up Drunpf’s past misogyny during the Aug. 6 GOP debate on Fox News, Drumpf crudely said:
You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes — blood coming out of her wherever.
Which also missed the point of Kelly’s question entirely.
Like a child suffering from Twitter Tourette’s (Twitourettes?), Drumpf gleefully kept on with his insults, calling Kelly a bimbo on his favorite social media vehicle:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2015
For years, we’ve laughed at Drumpf and his 9-year-old, Triumph-the-Insult-Comic-Dog-Candidate persona. He’s our crazy, unstable uncle who just won’t shut up. You know the kind. He comes to a family dinner late with two busty companions on his arms and proceeds to sit at the head of the table because he’s more important than Dad. He serves himself first, overtakes the conversation, brags in a superlative-laden monologue about his life, ladies, yuge wealth and overall awesomeness. By the time you finally shove his sharkskin-suited ass out of the house, everyone has collapsed from exhaustion as you gulp in whatever oxygen remains in the room.
Except now our crazy, unstable uncle has moved in. Instead of bringing bombshells with him, he’s bringing actual bombs. His incendiary devices are racism, sexism, mocking anyone deemed unattractive or disabled, and approving violence against those who protest at his events. This week, he pumped out his Secret Service detail as a private security force in order to roust up a Time magazine photographer who stepped out of his caged-off press pen.
Drumpf has a history of threatening media when they do anything but French kiss each other. Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Drumpf Organization, threatened a young reporter for daring to bring up unsavory details from the divorce-court deposition of Drumpf’s first wife, Ivana:
I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know… So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?
The media still isn’t doing its job. They gloss over Drumpf’s comments or ignore them. Recently, when ABC’s Jake Tapper had a chance to directly ask if he supports the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan via David Duke’s robocalls, Tapper did not press Drumpf on his vague, nonsensical answer. Tapper did not ask specifically whether he’d ever heard of the KKK or welcomes its endorsement or that of any white supremacist group. And Tapper did a better job than most.
Trump is so ignorant of the U.S. Constitution, he actually thinks he can sue the press anytime his feelings are hurt. He’s so lazy that when he read the Constitution, he stopped at the title. If he had bothered, the next thing he would have read would have been the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Here is what President Drumpf actually thinks he’s “gonna” do when in office:
One of the things I’m gonna do, and this is only gonna make it tougher for me, and I’ve never said this before, but one of the things I’m gonna do if I win … is I’m gonna open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re gonna open up those libel laws. So that when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace, or when the Washington Post … writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money, instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected.
Why does he hate the media so much? They’re the ones giving him a free pass by not riding him each and every time he advocates violence.
Recently MSNBC’s Morning Joe had a one-on-one “Town Hall” with Drumpf and the questions they asked were dumbed down (allegedly) at the candidate’s request. In audio caught on a hot mic (why don’t they learn?), co-host Mika Brzezinski can be heard talking about which questions she should ask Drumpf. It’s not clear from the audio to whom she is directing her question:
“You don’t want me to do the ones — with deportation?” Brzezinski said.
After some cross-talk, co-host Joe Scarborough said, “We really have to get you some questions.”
“That’s right, nothing too hard Mika,” Drumpf interjected.
“Okay,” Brzezinski said.
The interview that finally unfolded was as soft and loving as a date between newlyweds. Scarborough and Brzezinski lobbed indulgent questions to Drumpf like “Why did you decide to run for president?” and “How will you set yourself apart from other Republicans?” Like every other TV news reporter, they blew their opportunity to grill him on his questionable comments about journalists, or school him on the Constitution, or question him on how, logistically and financially, he’d deport 12 million people.
No one has asked him to clarify what “worse than waterboarding” means or whether he knows that doing so would be an international war crime and probably a command that the U.S. military would not obey. Neither MSNBC co-host went after Drumpf when he could not name one military leader who would advise him. He wasn’t asked about his plan to replace Obamacare or how it would work. No one has asked Drumpf about Drumpf University lawsuit or his trail of other failed businesses. No “journalist” has forced Drumpf to explain his more outrageous and inciting language against Muslims, women, reporters, African Americans, Latinos (Mexicans in particular), protesters, women using the bathroom or anyone who disagrees with him.
This is what we, as a country, must accept? The media has abdicated its job for so long that it may be too late to stop the Drumpf Train to American Auschwitz. Media has had not just the last eight months, but decades to put this shyster blowhard with a dictatorial bent in his place. Instead, they all bowed and scraped down to their knees and winked and nodded. Very soon, this man will have a 50 percent chance of being the next president. There’s still seven-months-plus left to make up for lost time. They need to get to work.