Paul Krugman’s Friday column, “Truth and Trumpism” confirms what many of us have suspected was going to happen: The Corporate Media is already hard at work making Donald Trump palatable to the American public:
I’ve already seen pundits suggest that both presumptive nominees fight dirty, that both have taken the “low road” in their campaigns. For the record, Mr. Trump has impugned his rivals’ manhood, called them liars and suggested that Ted Cruz’s father was associated with J.F.K.’s killer. On her side, Mrs. Clinton has suggested that Bernie Sanders hasn’t done his homework on some policy issues. These things are not the same.
I’ve talked about this repeatedly. The “liberal” media LOVES a close horse race because it means more money. If they don’t have one, they’ll MAKE one by hyping up any poll that shows Trump winning no matter how many other polls show him losing. By a lot. Krugman chalks this up to the media loving a good story but I think he’s being extremely generous. This is about grabbing eyeballs and keeping them, nothing more, nothing less.
Krugman also rips into the “liberal” media’s never-ending quest to paint “both sides” as equally extreme:
You might think that this would be impossible on substantive policy issues, where the asymmetry between the candidates is almost ridiculously obvious. To take the most striking comparison, Mr. Trump has proposed huge tax cuts with no plausible offsetting spending cuts, yet has also promised to pay down U.S. debt; meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton has proposed modest spending increases paid for by specific tax hikes.
That is, one candidate is engaged in wildly irresponsible fantasy while the other is being quite careful with her numbers. But beware of news analyses that, in the name of “balance,” downplay this contrast.
We’ve already seen this with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. In a desperate bid to make Trump seem less insane, the “liberal” media repeatedly compared the two as anti-establishment outsiders with crazy ideas.
Now, I’m no fan of Bernie as a politician but his end goals were about as far from radical as it gets. Unless you think that the single payer healthcare that every other industrialized nation has is as “radical” as building a 20-foot wall at the border? Or that free or almost free college which, again, most industrialized nations have is as “radical” as forcing Muslims to wear special badges?
Finally, Krugman blasts the impending media effort to “sanitize the positions and motives of Trump supporters, to downplay the racism that is at the heart of the movement and pretend that what voters really care about are the priorities of D.C. insiders — a process I think of as “centrification.”
Again, this is the media twisting itself into pretzels to avoid the truth that right wing politics are based almost entirely on racism. Krugman points out, accurately, that the “liberal” media went to great lengths to treat the Tea Party as an economically based movement which was, even at the time, a ridiculously transparent lie. It’s going to be even more ridiculous when the corporate media tries it again:
Now I’m seeing suggestions that Trumpism is driven by concerns about political gridlock. No, it isn’t. It isn’t even mainly about “economic anxiety.”
Trump support in the primaries was strongly correlated with racial resentment: We’re looking at a movement of white men angry that they no longer dominate American society the way they used to. And to pretend otherwise is to give both the movement and the man who leads it a free pass.
Which is precisely the point. If Trump and his supporters are presented to the general public as the angry white racists that they are, they will gain zero traction in the election. No traction = no close horse race and, as always, the horse race is the only thing that matters to the “liberal” media.
But not to end the column on a low note, Krugman offers this bit of encouragement:
In the end, bad reporting probably won’t change the election’s outcome, because the truth is that those angry white men are right about their declining role. America is increasingly becoming a racially diverse, socially tolerant society, not at all like the Republican base, let alone the plurality of that base that chose Donald Trump.
That’s exactly right. Donald Trump is going to activate and energize minorities of all kinds to swarm to the polls to oppose him. Women are going to vote their disgust. Even the religious are going to vote against him. The only group that is currently favoring him are uneducated white men and there’s just not enough of those to carry the day. There’s going to be a blue tidal wave to sweep an historic number of Republicans out of office.
Just don’t expect to hear about it from the corporate media.
Featured image via Getty.