MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: In Trump we trust?

Columnist Glenn Mitchell says watching Donald Trump is like watching a trainwreck

Trump, Trump, Trump.

That’s either the sound of someone banging their head against the wall in disbelief at what the Donald has said or done in the last hour or so, or it’s the chant from the crowd at the latest rally that the president of the United States has somehow fit in between his busy schedule of television watching and tweeting, sometimes simultaneously.

Although a lot of the media’s fascination with the Donald is understandable – he’s unpredictable, in over his head, has no respect for political conventions or traditions, is pretty much self-absorbed, incredibly insecure, lies more than a carnival huckster, not so much ethically challenged as amoral, and yet still somehow won the election for the highest office in the world (Gee, thanks Hillary) – but it seems there must be more to it than meets the eye.

Like a train wreck I suppose. You can’t help but stare in amazement. Except this train wreck happens like twice a day, or more, depending on who’s counting. If it’s CNN it’s more like five times a day at least, and a dozen or more if things are really hopping as the network seems utterly fascinated with all things Trump.

Of course their coverage, and MSNBC for that matter, is more of the astounding and can-you-believe-it variety, while Fox News doesn’t berate the beleaguered president like the talking heads on CNN so much as pump him up. And that’s not an easy task but they’re up to the challenge as they go after the “biased mainstream media,” which is code for everyone but themselves (their bias is of a different and purer variety).

On those days when Trump doesn’t do anything good and he’s done something so bad that they can’t even spin it enough to make it look good, Fox simply covers the “biased mainstream media” over-reacting to the latest scandal with disgust and despair and then call them hypocrites or worse, anti-Trumpers.

Fox sometimes scores points by noting that the media goes after Trump for transgressions that they would forgive or ignore if the same thing was done by Hillary, or Bill Clinton for that matter. But mostly it’s trying to find a positive spin on all the departures from Trump’s cabinet, his latest tweet or obscure stats that prove Trump is a great president despite all the “left-wing” rhetoric trying to show otherwise.

Fox also likes to focus on the economy, except the huge debt load, that is running on all cylinders, apparently due to the fact that Trump gave all his rich buddies a tax break and so far it’s boosted the economy and stock market (but again increased the debt load but don’t go there).

They have the same problem as Tass or Pravda used to have in the Soviet Union, slant the news in favour of the state and the president or risk losing your job or at least risk having the president saying bad things about you, you know like he talks about those rags the New York Times and Washington Post (you ever notice how the cable news channels start ‘breaking news’ with “The New York Times is reporting…” I guess you need actual reporters, not just talking heads, to break news.)

Although it’s entirely understandable why the world’s media is fixated on Trump for all the reasons stated and 1.25 million more – will this week’s scandal finally be the one that finishes him off? – but I’m pretty sure it’s not healthy, and I should know I watch way more than I should.

It’s much cheaper for the cable news channels to cover Trump 24/7 with the same talking heads and hosts every day rather than having actual reporters all over the rest of the country and the world covering what used to be called the news. Okay, maybe they’re getting rich thanks to The Apprentice Goes To Washington show but they should start planning for when he’s gone because I’m pretty sure The Joe Biden Show won’t bring in the same ratings, thank goodness.

Of course the other guy could win and it will be Trump’s Swamp once again beating out the Deep State Part II.

And more Trump, Trump, Trump.

Glenn Mitchell is a former editor of the Vernon Morning Star.

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