Here’s your presidential election coverage in a nutshell. Last week Donald Trump delivered his big immigration speech in Phoenix, uttering this inflammatory claim: “Hillary Clinton has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days, and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security and Medicare for illegal immigrants, breaking the federal budget.”
Look, it’s all about the horse race and the ratings. But things are getting ridiculous. Trump’s right: he could say he’d been an All-Star third baseman for the Yankees or shoot somebody dead on national TV, and the next item on the evening news would involve Hillary Clinton’s damn emails. Has the press ever given such scrutiny to any other politician’s communications?
The fun began in 1999, when the then-First Lady was contemplating running for the U.S. Senate from New York. She made the mistake of going on the “Today Show” and telling Katie Couric she’d always been a Yankees fan. The host objected.
On a daily basis, the Trump campaign invites sheer disbelief. Recently, Ivanka Trump, the statuesque daughter her father talks about dating, posted an Instagram photo of herself sightseeing in scenic Croatia with Wendi Deng Murdoch — who has been “romantically to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.”
Supposedly 2016 is the Year of the Angry Voter. To hear the pundits tell it, Americans are just furious. Well, call me smug or out of touch, but I think it’s mainly a fad
The question isn’t so much if Donald Trump can win the election as whether or not he’ll still be the GOP candidate come November. Nobody can predict what mad trajectory the Republican nominee’s campaign might take.
Decades ago, one U.S. attorney dismissed another Clinton scandal on its face: “Even media questions about such an investigation,” he wrote, “all too often publicly purport to ‘legitimize what can’t be proven.’” Keep that phrase in mind.
Many of those “questions” about Hillary’s dishonesty originated in acts of journalistic malpractice so crude that their authors would have been shamed out of the profession—if the profession had any shame at the Washington pundit level.
An ordinary sociopath would have known to pretend shock and sorrow after the terrible mass murders in Orlando. Shielded from ordinary human interaction by his arrogance and wealth, however, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump had no clue how to act.
Instead of complaining about the complexity of election rules, Sanders would have been wiser to ignore Wall Street and billionaires for a few minutes to explain those rules to his supporters.
I’ve long insisted that my plan was to die in a fall from a horse at age 88—suitably remote as to make it a joke. A smug, stupid joke. I’ve also argued—as friends’ broken shoulders and fractured pelvises accumulated—that riding bicycles in traffic is a damn fool thing for mature citizens to do.
People are going about their normal daily activities with seeming equanimity — although there’s been a marked increase in convenience store parking space shootings, actually. Maybe an armed society’s not such a polite society after all. How surprising would it be to see gunfire erupt at a presidential campaign event? But I digress, and ominously.
For argument’s sake, let’s say you ran into this Trump character in a bar. First off, he’s boasting about how incredibly smart, rich and good looking he is. He’s a big, big winner. He’s even got his own TV show, and you don’t.
To somebody like me whose professional career roughly parallels Gabler’s, the man’s personal choices are mind-boggling. As he correctly points out, “writer…is a financially perilous profession.” To keep your head above water, it’s important to keep your wits about you.
Imagine if Hillary Clinton had flown to the Vatican and stationed herself at Pope Francis’s door for an ambush interview. She’d be caricatured as a power-mad shrew or worse.
When the corrections and retractions reach critical mass and the “investigative” articles start to read like Henry James novels — i.e. diffuse and impenetrable — the end of a given “scandal” episode is near.
Can anybody doubt that Obama would defeat either leading Republican candidate—the Sideshow Barker and the Snake Charmer alike—in a landslide? Doubtless his increased popularity derives partly from the contrast.
Some days I wonder if I’m qualified to express opinions about American politics anymore. See, I’m not particularly angry, and I also doubt that voters in general are any more worked up than usual. Voter outrage is mainly a media trope. Even at Donald Trump rallies, there’s a whole lot of sheer entertainment and play-acting.
This just in: Nothing boosts circulation or enhances ratings like a sex scandal. The more prominent the actors and the more prurient the allegations, the better. How else to explain the ugly resurgence of talking about the Clintons’ bedroom dramas?
It’s tempting, but specious, to draw comparisons between the publicity-seeking antics in Oregon and senseless tragedies involving law enforcement. That hasn’t stopped ideologues on the left from being as vocal in their enthusiasm for a shootout as anti-government militia types.