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Here’s How The Media Should Fight Trump (It’s Easy!)

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Here’s How The Media Should Fight Trump (It’s Easy!)

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Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Tucson, Arizona March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich

This week we’ve seen a flurry of media activity that, up until the start of this election, wouldn’t have been noteworthy at all. Three days in a row, the likely Republican presidential nominee was… challenged by a journalist.

Yep, that’s it. Welcome to 2016.

On Monday, #NeverTrump-er and conservative Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes held Trump’s feet to the fire on his bullying and complete lack of policy knowledge.

On Tuesday, Anderson Cooper challenged Donald Trump to defend the hallmark of his campaign, acting like a semi-matured toddler on Twitter, and then didn’t let up when Trump tried to dodge it.

On Wednesday, Chris Matthews wouldn’t let Trump snake out of a question about punishing women for having abortions, even though it was clear mid-interrogation that Trump didn’t know what the hell he was talking about.

Good. These aren’t “gotcha” questions. They’re questions. Anyone who wants to lead the free world should have to answer them.

I’m not asking for much. All I want is for the national media, rather than asking Donald Trump about the controversies he purposefully creates to divert their attention, to ask him about him. Ask him questions he hasn’t heard before. Ask him policy questions to which you know he doesn’t know the answer, but that you would expect any other presidential candidate to answer easily.

It’s no secret why this hasn’t happened: Donald Trump is a money machine for media outlets. Personalities like the Morning Joe bunch don’t want to lose access to Trump’s campaign, so they let him call in to their show, or lob him softball questions at a specially-programmed town hall.

Or they simply let him have the floor, like when Fox and Friends asked, “Were you right?” in response to the Brussels bombings. Trump had previously called Brussels a “disaster.”

Donald Trump calls everything a disaster.

If there’s a single quote that explains this entire election cycle, it’s from CBS Chairman Les Moonves, about all of the free media his company gave Donald Trump:

“It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

The news networks can hide behind a false sense of neutrality — Look at how many millions of his supporters agree with building an impossible wall— but to do so ignores their responsibility to report for the sake of the public good, instead of just for the… public.

When you really listen to them, it’s crystal clear: If Trump goes down, so does our bottom line.

Enough is enough. The overlap between “Questions presidents need to know how to answer” and “Questions we haven’t asked Donald Trump” is incredibly large, and perhaps larger for Trump than any major candidate in recent history. We need to ask them — and demand a straight answer.

Better to ask those questions now than find out how Trump answers them with his finger on the gold-plated nuclear button. It’s a beautiful button, really. The best.

 

Photo: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Tucson, Arizona March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich  

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10 Comments

  1. Darsan54 March 31, 2016

    Yes, challenging questions from responsible journalists may be the way to bring Dump down, but I am not counting on journalists after the past few decades of their performance. Most are simply chasing an audience.

    Reply
    1. JPHALL March 31, 2016

      Yeah! Geraldo Rivera lead that charge.

      Reply
      1. The lucky one April 1, 2016

        I share your opinion of Rivera but he is not a journalist. He’s a virtual reality personality like Trump.

        Reply
        1. JPHALL April 1, 2016

          That is true now days. But once, a long time ago he was considered a journalist. Subject: Re: Comment on Here’ s How The Media Should Fight Trump (It’ s Easy!)

          Reply
        2. I of John April 4, 2016

          Rivera was once a real journalist with all of the chops required, but that was a long time ago now. He’s lost any shred of integrity he once held. He’s very sad with his little moustache.

          Reply
          1. The lucky one April 4, 2016

            He never got over the shock of finding Capone’s safe empty, or maybe he just realized there was more money and less work involved with promoting schlock rather than pursuing an investigation of substantive matters.

            Reply
          2. I of John April 4, 2016

            It’s funny I remember getting snookered into watching that whole Capone Vault thing. There is some time I’m not going to get back.

            Reply
  2. Dominick Vila March 31, 2016

    The media has two ways to fight Trump: (1) ignore him, or (2) nail him the way Chris Mathews did. Don’t let him engage in diversions, demand an answer.

    Reply
  3. latebloomingrandma April 1, 2016

    Some of these “news” organizations should be ashamed of themselves for completely catering to The Donald for revenue. They can be held responsible for this horror show as much as anyone. He should have been give the tough questions from the get go instead of kowtowing to a bully.

    Reply
  4. Otto T. Goat April 1, 2016

    It’s funny hearing complaints the “nonpartisan” media hasn’t been biased against Trump enough.

    Reply

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