Donald Trump put out the word that he was having a press conference at his newly-opened Trump International hotel in Washington, D.C. He then changed that to an “event.” It was expected that Trump would address his birther flip-flop-flip. The media salivated.
They are Pavlov’s dog. They always salivate when they see a chance to land the killing blow on Trump. They all cover the same news, and they all write these penetrating research stories about Trump. The Washington Post even had two of its reporters publish a entire book on Trump.
With Hillary Clinton, the main stream media is in complete lockstep. Their coverage is consistently positive or spun so much the negative is mitigated, although she went more than a year without a press conference. For Hillary, the press isn’t so much covering her as explaining her and publishing her campaign talking points. She needs a lot of explaining.
Trump needs nobody to explain him, so the media compete to see who will land the whale, and therefore allow themselves to be divided and conquered. Norm Ornstein illustrated this point in an online conversation with The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, which Cillizza then published:
I have no doubt that the fact that other outlets, from the Times and AP to the TV channels, network and cable, have largely ignored what Fahrenthold has done is the usual professional jealousy. But it is bad and unprofessional. When stories have been done about Trump’s behavior as a businessman, or in cutting off the health coverage out of spite for his grand nephew with cerebral palsy, they tend to be one-offs, no follow up and no other outlets picking up on the story. Trump has gotten plenty of negative coverage, but it is different in nature and tone from that of Clinton. And so much of the coverage, including especially the nattering on cable news chat shows, has been about his campaign and its tactics.
This deeply-engrained attitude allowed Trump to gather the media in one place and administer one of the greatest rebukes/trolls ever. He started with a hotel tour for about an hour. Then, after having them listen to decorated veterans say wonderful things about The Donald for 20 minutes, the candidate took the stage.
They all covered it live. More salivating.
“President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period,” Trump said, ignoring reporters’ questions despite earlier indications he would hold a press conference. “Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”
No questions. Event over.
The media was volcanic in their anger. “How dare he do this to us!”
Media on Donald Trump 'birther' news conference: 'We got played'
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) September 16, 2016
The media called it a “trick.” But it wasn’t a trick. It was a spanking, and the media deserved it. It was delicious. Even those of us who would never vote for Trump thought it was high time someone gave them their comeuppance.
It was a low moment for politics and political coverage. A nothing-burger filled with falsehoods covered as though it was the Super Bowl. But for Trump, it might have been his crowning achievement: All eyes on him with the chance to direct the play in whatever way he saw fit. The ringmaster — calling the shots in all three rings of the circus. It was peak Trump.
That was Chris Cillizza. Wrong, Chris.
The media gave us the nothingburger, you included. The media has been doing that for years, feeding the public whatever you wanted. So Trump cooked up a turd on a gilded plate for the media to serve, and they did, after taking a huge forkful.
This is why we distrust the media, and Trump did a wonderful service to the country by making them eat their own product.