With a few notable and laudable exceptions, the mainstream media is so committed to chasing ratings by pretending that Donald Trump is running for something, it keeps dishonestly downplaying the things Trump is saying and doing that give away that he’s not really running for anything.
No one who’s trying to become President dines with Nazis and calls for the termination of the Constitution. You’re just giving away all the votes in the middle. Even Trump knows that. This isn’t about 2024. It’s about raising money from his deranged base before he’s indicted.
The media knows this. But it figures it can spend the next 30 to 90 days, or however long before Trump is indicted, milking “Trump 2024” for ratings. And even then it can act shocked at the “unprecedented” news that a “presidential candidate” has been indicted for high crimes.
If the media genuinely believed Trump was an actual 2024 candidate, it would be framing Trump’s recent behavior in terms of how shockingly inappropriate and disqualifying it is for a presidential candidate to behave in this manner.
But the media knows that while it could get ratings by playing up the inappropriateness of Trump’s behavior, doing so might tip off audiences that he’s not actually running. And the media’s overriding ratings goal is to help Trump pretend he’s running for as long as possible.
It’s so dishonest and fraudulent. Yet this is the same media that pretended the Hillary email scandal was real, pretended Biden was going to lose the 2020 primary, and recently pretended there would be a red wave – all fake ratings driven narratives, easily disproven at the time.
So are we really surprised that the media is now helping Donald Trump pretend he’s running for President in 2024, and dishonestly downplaying the seriousness of his most egregious behavior? Perhaps we should just consider ourselves lucky that the media (outside of Fox News) isn’t running with the latest phony Hunter Biden scandal. Then again, if phony Hunter Biden scandals were good for mainstream media ratings, we’d probably be seeing endless stories about it across the dial.
Something has to change about the media’s decision making process when it comes to how it approaches these things. Something’s got to give before 2024. We can’t keep going into election cycles with the mainstream media operating as a de facto third party, screwing up election results in the name of carrying out its own attention-seeking agenda.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report