Monday, December 28, 2015

The Donald and the Damage Done

The left has long depicted the typical Republican as a white, racist, misogynist male with a big bank balance and a small brain. This is a caricature, of course, but the current election cycle has produced an ostensible GOP presidential candidate who personifies the parody so closely that he may as well have been constructed in a laboratory by the Democratic National Committee. Donald Trump is the cartoon Republican that Hillary Clinton and her media lackeys want to run against in 2016 and they are working hard to assure that his florid, frowning visage becomes the face of the GOP.
As Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight notes, “Trump has received 54 percent of the media coverage of the GOP primary.” He has been getting more free press than all the other Republican candidates combined. Trump’s supporters believe this is about his skillful manipulation of the media. In reality, it is they who are being played by a press corps that is giving him 24/7 coverage to bolster his illusory lead in the national polls. But these polls tell us nothing about the state of the race. Because there’s no such thing as a national primary, they measure little more than name recognition.
The people who run the major media outlets, such as CNN, are well aware of this reality. Yet they knowingly publish misleading national surveys, like this poll released last week, showing Trump with an implausible lead of 21 points over his nearest rival. Such “blockbuster” surveys provide a pretext for another tsunami of “news” stories about his alleged lead, additional interviews, and more coverage of the campaign rallies during which he almost always says something ignorant or offensive. These statements are then reported as generally representative of GOP positions. 

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