At this point, Donald Trump is essentially a fascist dictator. He thrives solely via a cult of personality. He spewsonlymendacious propaganda aimed at stoking the resentments of his rabidly reactionary fan base. He admits that facts don’t matter to him. He preaches the exclusion of immigrants and people of color and dare any of them speak out against him, his supporters will literally beat them down while Trump declares post-mortem that they probably deserved it. He’s a frontrunner for the GOP nomination for president who actually suggested registering Muslims and forcing them to provide identification when demanded. He rounds up journalists and keeps them in a pen at his rallies and should any of them say something negative about him, they’ll be exiled completely, even forcibly, from his campaign.
On this last note, it now seems as if America’s broadcast and cable news organizations have had enough of being mistreated by Trump and so they’re banding together to take a stand. Clearly, Donald Trump is going to take this very seriously. Expect him to spend several seconds furrowing his brow and stroking his chin reflectively, followed by a hearty belly laugh and a request that CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS all, in one breath, go fuck themselves.
According to the Washington Post, all of these news outlets have dispatched representatives to come together for a common cause and against a common enemy: Donald Trump. They reportedly want Trump to immediately stop antagonizing correspondents sent to cover his campaign. That means no more “time-out pen” and no more threats to revoke the credentials of reporters who don’t obey Trump and his Mafia henchmen-like campaign aides. Some of this stems from the back-breaking straw that was the Trump campaign’s intimidation of CNN correspondent Noah Gray, who tried to get near a Black Lives Matter protest at a recent Trump rally only to be told by somebody associated with the campaign, “get back in the pen” or risk being “fucking blacklisted.”
Trump went into last Friday’s rally already down several news outlets, organizations he’d banned from the outset. They included Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post and Univision. You’ll remember the lattermost of these is home to Jorge Ramos, who went head to head with Trump a few months ago only to be removed from a Trump event, with Trump telling the multiple Emmy-winning journalist, “Go back to Univision.” (This was immediately followed by a Trump aide menacingly telling Ramos out in the hall, “Get out of my country.”) In other words, Donald Trump’s relationship with the press hasn’t simply been contentious, it’s been downright threatening on the part of the presidential candidate.
With that in mind, these poor news outlets are now, basically, pleading with Trump to treat them with respect. They’re not going to do anything if Trump does what he’s absolutely going to do — laugh in their faces — so they have nothing to bargain with. If all these organizations had balls they’d simply back out of covering Trump and tell him he’s on his own, which is a serious threat because Trump, like all worthless reality TV stars, positively relies on attention. True, in the normal run of things it would be imperative for journalists to cover Trump because he’s running for president — and his Nuremberg-esque rallies tend to devolve into ultra-nationalist violence — but Trump has already proven that his campaign doesn’t represent the normal run of things.
News outlets have some leverage they can use against Trump and his antics, but the problem is they won’t. And they’ll cite their professionalism as to why not, which is laughable when you consider that, were they really all that professional, they would’ve called Trump out on his bullshit a thousand times over by now, allowing him to get away with nothing. But they haven’t done that and in this fight they have nothing to bargain with. All they can do is ask Trump indignantly but politely to stop it — and Trump will just ignore that.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.