At first, the Major Mainstream Media were in awe of Donald Trump's brazenness and non-traditional approach in his campaign strategy--some were even calling his a genius. Virtually every media outlet in the country could not wait to publish his every utterance, to interview Trump and his campaign staff and surrogates, to speculate on his strategy and where he was headed in his political philosophy, and understand and examine his policies.
They wrote articles about Trump stating things like:
- "There is a very good chance Donald Trump will be our next president"
- "Trump is sweeping the polls--riding a wave of extraordinary popularity"
- "If Trump continues his aggressive style of campaigning, Hillary, decidedly unpopular, does't stand a chance"
- "Trump's message is one of change that Americans by the millions are welcoming"
- "Trump rips Washington's 'political status quo' and promises to 'Throw The Bums Out!"
Media outlets across the American spectrum--Left and Right--were fixated on Trump and virtually everything he said. As a result, Major Media gave Trump and his campaign more than three times the exposure given to Hillary Clinton--and it was all for free.
"This is how to run a campaign!" Trump said, promising to show everyone how you could run a political campaign with far less money than campaigns had traditionally used. People were impressed, often amazed, and laudatory that this 'maverick' could change the political landscape in an historic way. Trump's enormous amount of free media exposure has been calculated to be the equivalent of over a hundred million dollars--and it continues.
When Trump began making campaign promises to 'build a wall' between the US and Mexico, and began stating that he would unconstitutionally ban immigration of people based upon their religious ethnicity, in this case Muslims, the Mainstream Media chose to largely ignore these statements as nothing more than rhetoric, preferring instead to give his every colorful speech live coverage--multiple times that of Hillary Clinton's.
Democrats were alarmed--here was a 'successful billionaire' gaining enormous support across traditional party lines--Trump was a charming, roguish populist and spoke to the American zeitgeist.
Indeed, Trump was a true 'media darling', and he was milking it for all it was worth.
Then something happened.
When media began digging into his past and exploring his 'policies', they began to uncover a rather different Trump than the one on camera.
When a Gold Star family who had lost their heroic son in Iraq raised a copy of the constitution and and told him to read it--that excluding immigrants on the basis of their religion and ethnicity was patently unconstitutional--Trump descended into a petty, unwinnable argument with the family and proceeded to denigrate a grieving mother.
Instead of remaining above the fray and continuing to exploit his strengths, it became apparent that Trump was more concerned with a nearly pathological defense of himself against any and all critique leveled at him, often speaking at length in defense of his comments--comments that were indefensible.
When the Mainstream Media covered his comments and his actions in their typical style, they became the 'Left Wing Media' and were suddenly "part of a massive liberal establishment plot to elect Hillary.
It is easy to comb through the past and note similar accusations about the MSM by politicians that don't like getting caught out with lies or misbehaviors--both the Left and the Right have been guilty of this.
But, as Trump will do, he doubles and triples down on these accusations and continues--perhaps pathologically--to lapse into defensiveness against any and all critique or adverse comment. That Trump is not only a victim of his past, but continues to exacerbate his own problems, is indicative of an unstable, immature personality.
Today Trump is continuing his amazing tirade against 'The Liberal Media' and accusing the MSM of being part of "The rigged system" rigged 'against him' and part of 'the criminal liberal conspiracy against him. That he takes virtually everything as being 'part of a plot against himself' is borderline pathological paranoia.
Duly, what the MSM has uncovered about Trump and his past--that he may not be a wealthy as he claims, that he has been, admittedly, a sexual predator, that his policies don't make sense, that some of his proposals are obviously anti-constitutional, that he fabricates and continues to expound proven falsehoods and outright lies, has apparently left what was once a promising political career in ruins.
While leading republicans have abandoned him, while no Fortune 500 CEOs endorse him, while women he once accosted come forth after his true character was revealed through an open mic, while a majority of Women, Blacks and Hispanics despise him, Trump increasingly blames it all on a plot against him by the 'liberal media', as if his past and his words are not important at all.
It's not too hard to see why Trump's base agree with him. Traditionally, members of the media are educated people--many with graduate degrees--and use their educated knowledge of the world and the state of our nation to question and further investigate the veracity of a politician's claims. If they did not use their full faculties to research a person's claims and attempt to verify truth, we would noeither respect them or ever listen to them. In other words, we would not want the MSM to be a load of uneducated, fearful, paranoid, deluded, people with the dumbed-down bigotry that applies to such people--parroting proven falsehoods in order to take both political and monetary advantage of those with virtually no higher level education.
The once free-riding, media star Trump, playing it up for the cameras and enjoying millions of dollars in free campaign coverage, is falling flat on his face due almost exclusively to the negative impact of his own words and behaviors, while calling it a 'rigged system'.
To the under-educated, such claims are manna. To the world's greatest democracy, it is anathema.
Above all, Donald Trump's campaign has become--by his own hand--nothing more or less than a battle for the country between the uneducated and fearful and the educated and thoughtful.
For the former, Trump's collapse is the result of a massive plot by 'the Liberal Media', while to the latter, the media isn't being aggressive enough in exposing Trump as a fraud and a liar.