Much of the media’s growing hysteria about Donald Trump is feigned.
They’re really eating him up with a spoon.
He makes great copy. Any story featuring him is click-bait of an order that makers of listicles can only dream about. He is all by himself everything the media loves, sensation, spectacle, and scandal. CNN can’t get enough of him or give us enough. It’s as if he’s another lost airliner.
But what political journalists and pundits like best is he’s keeping the horse race a race, at least as long as the Republican primaries last.
On the other hand, though, I think many members of the press corps and the punditocracy are sincerely appalled by him and the prospect of his winning the nomination, let alone the Presidency frightens them and disgusts them. They’re frustrated by their inability to make a dent in his poll numbers by reporting the truth about him and his lies. They can’t understand why none of the other Republican candidates can stand up to him. And they can’t begin to get their collective heads around the idea that their obsession with him and the way they cover him contributes to his continued strength and potential to increase it.
Is there nobody who can save us from this madman? they cry.
This is why they’re so eager to join “establishment” Republicans in their desperate search for a “moderate” alternative.
Maybe, they hope as one, Rubio is the savior. Maybe Cruz isn’t as bad as he seems. (Dear pundits: he’s worse.) Maybe this time Jeb will finally get some traction. Maybe everybody but us hasn’t forgotten about Chris Christie.
Maybe, just maybe, Cruz and Rubio “colliding” at the debate signals…something.
“Question of course is what moments have legs for the next few news cycles. The Rubio v Cruz storyline is most likely,” NBC’s Chuck Todd Tweeted fatuously after the debate ended last night, as if this will happen magically, and Todd and his clubmates will have nothing to do with it, they’ll just report on the phenomenon.
And all this concern and the bizarre hope on the part of a still essentially liberal media that a Right Wing demagogue will save us from a Right Wing demagogue arises from a simple fact.
A great many journalists and pundits can’t shake the idea that a real President can't be anybody other than a tough-talking white man.
There is somebody who can save us from this madman. There is a true, responsible, grown-up political leader in the race. There is someone who is in temperament and in experience already a President. But this candidate has two qualities that blind the press corps to that candidate’s qualifications, abilities, and personal and public virtues.
The last name of Clinton.
And a woman’s body.