It was a rout. A thrashing. A washout. Daddy Trump has conquered the media, burned its corpse, and salted the earth of its grave. I couldn’t be more erect.
The Donald executed a stunning bait-and-switch yesterday, first teasing the media that he was going to make a statement on Obama’s birth certificate. Expecting a wild, outlandish comment that would reverse his polling surge, the cameras of the media descended on Trump’s new hotel in Washington D.C … only to witness a stream of military veterans endorsing Trump, which the media was forced to broadcast to the entire country.
Trump’s actual comments on Obama were limited to a single sentence: “Obama was born in the U.S., period.” Daddy managed to achieve free publicity for his new hotel, a nationwide broadcast of support for his campaign from military veterans, and simultaneously put to bed allegations that he is a “birther” — something that will ease concerns from independent and moderate voters. Jake Tapper called it a “political rick-roll.”
Trolling the media, particularly with the effortless skill of Trump, is a guaranteed path to popularity in politics. Last week, a Gallup poll showed trust in the the media at a shocking 32 percent — an all-time low. The more Trump humiliates the media, the more he will gain in the polls.
The media may whine that they “got played” in the unintentionally hilarious words of CNN’s John King, but very few voters are going to feel sorry for them. Instead, they will see Trump’s tactics as a perfectly legitimate – and masterful – response to a biased, broken media.
The media have no right to feel sorry for themselves either. Their sycophantic attitude towards Hillary Clinton and the Democrats is now well-established, as is their deeply entrenched bias towards conservatives and Republicans. The media is constantly looking for opportunities to humiliate Trump, and Trump, in response, is looking to humiliate them.
They keep losing.
But they can’t complain that he plays the game better than they do — after all, they’re the ones who made the rules in the first place. In Trump’s campaign arsenal, few tactics are more likely to cement his popularity than his hilarious ability to troll the media. In an age where journalists are rightly despised, even people who hate Trump are secretly cheering him on.