When does the madness stop?
Even as the mainstream media has begun to admit that Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t real, and that Trump is getting indicted on serious criminal charges, the media then turns around and portrays him in the next breath as being a viable 2024 candidate who’s not facing any of these troubles – and most of the audience doesn’t question it.
The media has spent every single day of the past two years insisting that Trump is a 2024 frontrunner. That kind of repetition has conditioned audiences to just accept this as fact, and continue accepting it as fact even as these same media outlets basically admit he’s toast.
The media is now telling us that Trump’s numbers are terrible, he’s getting indicted for espionage, and his campaign isn’t even real, but when we get to this mythical place called “2024” none of this will negatively impact his viability.
And audiences just accept this insanely incompatible combination of premises, because for two years they’ve been conditioned daily to believe that literally nothing can stop Trump from retaking power in 2024. That he’s going to prison, that he’s not even running, doesn’t matter.
This is, obviously, an insane combination of beliefs. And yet it’s important to understand how thoroughly, and how insidiously, the media has worked to brainwash audiences into believing that an obviously destroyed Trump is somehow inevitable in 2024. On MSNBC, for instance, when the host announced that Joe Biden had won the 2020 election, that host turned around in literally the next breath and insisted that Trump’s supposedly strong 2020 showing meant that he was the frontrunner for 2024.
Nevermind that even with all the advantages of the incumbency, Trump had just lost by a whopping seven million votes. That part didn’t matter. The media didn’t see any way that it was going to be able to get ratings out of President Biden, and so it decided on the spot that it would simply spend Biden’s entire term insisting that Trump was a lock for 2024.
Of course Trump has done everything he possibly could to screw this up for the media. He instigated January 6th, which finished off what little chance for 2024 he might have had. Then he largely disappeared, only surfacing occasionally to whine about how the election had supposedly been rigged against him – the one Trump friendly narrative that the mainstream media had already decided it wasn’t willing to amplify. Then Trump got caught stealing classified nuclear secrets, and on and on.
But in spite of all of this, the media has just kept drilling home the narrative that Trump is inevitable for 2024. And so now audiences are so spun around, they’re passively accepting the notion that Trump is toast and inevitable for 2024, because they can see the overwhelming evidence that the former is true, yet they’re brainwashed into believing that the latter is true.
Unfortunately this media charade isn’t likely to end any time soon. Trump’s 2024 “campaign” has turned out to be such a nonexistent punchline, the media is mostly ignoring it, so it doesn’t get in the way of the narrative that Trump is inevitable in 2024. That’s right, the media is now basically pretending that Trump’s pathetic actual 2024 campaign doesn’t exist, so it can keep hyping the fictionally dominant 2024 campaign that it’s spent the past two years selling everyone on.
Even once Trump is indicted, the media charade might still continue. We’ve already seen a number of media folks pushing the notion that if Trump is indicted, it’ll simply be a black mark on his record when he runs in 2024. They’re going so far as to try to pretend that felony criminal indictment doesn’t come with things like arrest, bail hearings, criminal trial, verdict, and prison. The narrative now is that Trump will be indicted and then… that’s it, he’ll just go about his business and nothing else will happen to him.
Even if Trump gets indicted and then announces that he’s dropping out of the 2024 race in order to deal with the charges against him, you get the sense the media might still try to portray him as inevitable for 2024. He’ll just use that time to make his campaign even stronger, they’ll tell us, before he magically re-enters the race in 2024 and magically dominates.
Nevermind that Trump is already polling so poorly for 2024, he’s in a distant third place in Republican primary polling in Utah, and that’s before he gets indicted and arrested. Are we supposed to believe that people are going to be more likely to vote for a guy once he’s hit with serious criminal charges that could make him, ahem, unavailable? This stuff is absurd beyond the pale. And yet you might as well get ready to hear it, because it’s what you’ll end up hearing.
At some point this insanity has to stop. The media is now quietly admitting that its thoroughly dishonest ratings-driven coverage of the 2022 election cycle is what kept the Democrats from winning the midterms outright. But that confession does us very little good at this point, particularly when the media is still dishonestly hyping Trump 2024. At what point does the ratings-driven madness stop?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report