I am so tired of the media tap dance around Donald Trump.
Earlier this week in Iowa, Univision journalist Jorge Ramos — regularly acknowledged by mainstream media as the Walter Cronkite of Latino America — was first ejected from a Trump news conference and then allowed to return to continue a heated exchange with Trump over immigration.
Ramos was trying to get Trump to explain how he would deport 11 million immigrants and build a wall along 1,900 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Ramos was insistent. He was not waiting his turn. You could even say he was rude, an accusation that veteran journalists brag about as a badge of honor, particularly when it comes from politicians.
Trump offered no policy details beyond bragging that if he can build a 94-story building, he surely can build a fence. He told Ramos to “go back to Univision” and assured him, “I have a bigger heart than you do.”
May I just remind everyone that this man thinks he should be our president?
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, the hosts and panel of journalists declared Ramos rude and grandstanding. They accused other journalists who covered the encounter as overreacting and overreaching.
Not one word of criticism for Trump. Now why would that be?
I offer this recent observation from Adweek‘s Mark Joyella:
“Fortunately for Morning Joe, talk of Donald Trump and the intensifying presidential campaign has helped the show hit a ratings milestone. A review of Nielsen ratings data shows for the first time in 2015, Morning Joe beat CNN’s New Day in the critical 25-54 demo for five consecutive weekdays.”
Here’s a secret most newspapers won’t tell you: The page views on their websites are skyrocketing because of Trump. This would be great, I guess, if print journalism had figured out how to monetize Web traffic. Oh well.
Trump is entertaining if you can ignore that he wants to be leader of the free world. He’s funny if you think racism and misogyny are great punchlines. If you’re not on board with that, you may think Trump deserves the toughest of questions, the ones Ramos wants to ask.
“He has to explain how he wants to deport 11 million people,” Ramos told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos after his Trump kerfuffle. “Can you imagine? How’s he going to do that? Is he going to put people in stadiums? We have to denounce that he wants to deny citizenship to children being born here. They’re citizens just like his, and it is impossible to build a 1,900-mile wall between Mexico and the United States, so that’s the kind of questions that I was asking Mr. Trump, and obviously he didn’t give any answers.”
The nerve of this man.
Also this week, Trump offered this explanation for why he wants to end birthright citizenship for children born to immigrant mothers who are here illegally:
“A woman’s getting ready to have a baby. She crosses the border for one day (and) has the baby. All of a sudden, for the next 80 years, we have to take care of” the child.
At the moment when most women (let’s call them white) can barely move and are bracing for the physical trauma of childbirth, Trump thinks Mexican women will undertake long treks fraught with danger so they can wobble across the U.S. border to drop babies — who will then spend their entire lives on the dole.
That there is a twofer.
His depiction of Mexican mothers as conniving women is a continuation of the misogyny he’s been directing at Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly ever since she dared to ask him why he calls women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”
His statement also echoes the racism he has displayed throughout his campaign, starting in June when he described Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers.
For this, Washington Post fact finder Michelle Ye Hee Lee awarded him four Pinocchios:
Trump’s repeated statements about immigrants and crime underscore a common public perception that crime is correlated with immigration, especially illegal immigration. But that is a misperception; no solid data support it, and the data that do exist negate it. Trump can defend himself all he wants, but the facts just are not there.
Trump also claimed this week — my, his mouth has been busy — that gangs of immigrants who are here illegally are taking over St. Louis and Ferguson, Missouri, as well as Baltimore and Chicago.
Modeling for journalists far and wide, Ferguson mayor James Knowles called him out on the lie.
“I’m assuming that Donald Trump’s saying that from his extensive experience here in St. Louis or in Ferguson,” he told KTVI-TV. “He’s never been here, as far as I know, and I’ve never seen any roving bands of illegal immigrants or gangs in Ferguson. I think he’s just trying to find headlines, and we just gave him one.”
Why, Mr. Mayor, how incredibly rude.
Connie Schultz is a a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and an essayist for Parade magazine. She is the author of two books, including …and His Lovely Wife, which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. To find out more about Connie Schultz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Photo: Jorge Ramos, via Facebook.