Donald Trump will give a lifeless incoherent CPAC speech that proves he’s finished. It’ll give away that he’s only interested in furthering his delusions about having secretly won the 2020 election, and that the advancing criminal cases against him are shredding whatever was left of his cognitive focus. The media will then hold up Trump’s speech as supposed evidence that Trump is the 2024 frontrunner.
Nevermind that Trump will have faced multiple criminal trials by then, and will surely be in prison. Nevermind that his financial house of cards is on the verge of collapse. And nevermind that he’s so toxically unpopular, he just lost an election by seven million votes even after he sabotaged the Post Office to keep even more people from voting against him.
None of those facts matter, because as far as the media is concerned, this is about ratings. It’s not even about getting ratings in 2024, because everyone in the media knows Trump will be rotting in a cell by then. It’s about getting ratings now, by pretending that Trump is going to be a factor in 2024. It gets pro-Trump people to tune in because they need some feeble hope to latch onto. It gets anti-Trump people to tune in out of fear. And by the time 2024 rolls around and Trump is long gone from the public stage, everyone will have forgotten that the media spent 2021 pretending that Trump was on the verge of some miracle resurrection.
Given how thoroughly the media is trying to milk Trump’s CPAC 2021 speech for ratings this week, you have to wonder if this helps explain why some in the media have also been trying to falsely scandalize President Biden these past few days. The mainstream media is not our enemy. But we have to call them out when they resort to ratings-driven antics like this, because it’s harmful to the public discourse.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report