He plays the same game the big stars do: For all his merits, Bob Kerrey may not be an infallible press analyst.
He’s quoted in Frank Bruni’s new column complaining about the press corps. They shouldn’t be covering Candidate Trump, he almost seems to say.
Bruni notes that Candidate Trump is leading the national GOP polls. Who cares about that, Kerrey asks:
BRUNI (7/22/15): “This is not a national primary,” Kerrey said, noting that Trump’s 24 percent has dubious predictive power for a consequential handful of individual contests in early states that aren’t exactly mirrors of America. “So who the hell cares what his numbers are nationally?”Kerrey is right about one thing. Presumably, TV news programs are airing Trump all night and all day because he runs a great sideshow.
“He’s not going to do that well in Iowa,” Kerrey continued. “There’s nothing about Trump that indicates that the evangelical community there is going to embrace him. And does anyone seriously think he has the kind of ground organization in New Hampshire to turn people out to vote?”
“He’s got no ground game,” Kerrey continued. “It’s all up in Donald’s head! Everything’s in Donald’s head. It’s the political version of ‘Being John Malkovich.’ ”
“The people running the networks know this,” he added, sighing. But they deliberately play it down as they seize almost every opportunity—including the McCain insult—to Trump anew and to Trump ad nauseam.
Kerrey groaned. “They’ve got a good sideshow going: ‘Are veterans offended?’ ‘Donald, are you going to apologize?’ For insulting McCain? He’s been insulted by better than Trump.”
On the other hand, it’s news when Candidate Trump, or anyone else, is suddenly doubling everyone else in the national polls. It means that a significant chunk of GOP voters prefer him to all the rest.
Kerrey says Trump can’t win in the end. That may be true, or may it be false. But he’s asking news orgs to ignore real events which are actually happening in deference to his conjecture.
Without any question, Trump is being over-covered on our cable “news channels.” Presumably, this is happening because the sideshow is good.
That said, we were struck by the way Bruni defended his own branch of the press:
“Television has succumbed to the mantra more than other media, because it in particular thrives on theater,” the columnist writes. “But those of us at newspapers and websites have definitely done our part, uncertain of the best approach.”
Shorter Bruni: The TV people are deliberately clowning. We newspaper types just haven’t been able to find the best approach!
In our view, Bruni is going very easy on the whole floundering press corps. Trump keeps making ridiculous statements—statements which insult a sensible person’s intelligence.
He’s going to build a fantastic wall—and make the Mexicans pay for it! He has a foolproof plan for defeating ISIS—but he doesn’t want to say what it is! The negotiation with Iran should have taken a week—truthfully, more like a day!
These are moronic statements, not unlike the moronic statements Trump wouldn’t stop making about Obama’s birth. But the newspapers ran off and hid in the woods when Trump was playing that moron card, and they don’t seem inclined to discuss the inanity of his current statements.
Alas! Our journalists only know how to respond to a statement to the extent that it’s deemed “offensive.” For obvious reasons, they don’t seem to know how to challenge a statement because it’s just patently dumb.
It isn’t hard to see why. Our discourse has been running on “dumb” for a very long time now. Our press corps has never complained about this. In truth, they were converted, long ago, to the high church of The Dumb.
We posted some very dumb statements by Trump. But how much dumber are his statements than the following trio of claims, which lay unchallenged and unexamined at the heart of our discourse for a very long time:
If we lower our tax rates, we get more revenue! The Social Security trust fund is a pile of worthless IOUs! The United States has the best health care in the world!
He’ll make Mexico pay for the wall? Is that statement really dumber than the old chestnut about lower tax rates? The press corps agreed to live with that groaner for quite a few decades, not necessarily excluding right now.
Is it any wonder that Bruni’s crew can’t find the best approach to this buffoon? They’ve been tolerating their own buffoons for a great many years now:
They were first warned about “Creeping Dowdism” in 1993! They still pretend that they can’t see that their glorious Pulitzer winner is poisonous, ludicrous, venomous, mindless, just this side of insane.
They spent two years repeating this shit: Al Gore said he invented the Internet! Al Gore said he inspired love Story! Al Gore said he discovered Love Canal!
They kept that up for two years! In a less consequential episode, they tugged on their dicks and played the fool when Lady Collins wrote, in more than fifty columns, that Candidate Romney drove to Canada with his dog strapped to the roof of his car.
They’ve promulgated every line of nonsense there is or ever could be. Candidate Trump is their idiot spawn. He’s playing the same dumbbell game they play. He just plays it a little bit better.
They’re uncertain about the best approach? Panchito, please! Candidate Trump is you!