I’d be lying if I said Morning Joe wasn’t part of my daily routine, but something was different this morning. This was the first Monday post the first Republican Presidential debate, and the latest polls had just rolled it.
Naturally, the predictable round table discussions on whether or not Donald Trump’s antics would help or hurt him, the Republican Party, the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, Fox News, Ben Affleck’s “Batman”, the Easter Bunny or the Tattoo from Fantasy Island were in full swing.
None of those concerns would have been enough to hook me, but something else had gone down over the weekend. Trump, in classic Trump style, had gone on a twitter and on air tirade against Fox news and Megyn Kelly, in particular. Unsurprisingly, he felt that he’d been unfairly targeted by the Fox moderator’s and was not gonna let THAT slide. Ok…no surprise there.
What did catch my attention was the continual reiteration by the panel that Trump was ‘sucking up all the air’ on the Republican, and even the Democratic side of the race. This rhetoric continued throughout the day and into the evening on many of the major networks. Now lets be clear, this isn’t a new theme at all. In fact, many media outlets have been lamenting “The Donald’s” activities for weeks….playing victim all the while.
But it suddenly hit me this morning, right around the time Joe was talking himself into a corner and Mika was giving him the side eye: Whose fault is it really?
I mean really? Trump is gonna do what Trump does. We all know that. But it’s more than a little hypocritical when day after day, night after night, 70% of most 60 minute slots are devoted to him…yet for some unknown reason, the same outlets continue to claim that the ‘media’, whoever that it, isn’t paying enough attention to the other candidates or the real issues.
Am I missing something here? Today, it was reported that Roger Ailes, the Fox News Boss reached out to make nice with Trump. A WHOLE News Boss! (as we would say in West Africa). For some reason, someone in his position felt compelled to entertain Trump.
I could speculate as to why this happened and I’m pretty sure I’d come up with a few good theories, but thankfully I don’t have to. Trump, in classic Trump Style, said it all. He said it before the debate, he said it during the debate and he, of course, said it afterwards. Fox had one their highest ratings events ever last thursday. Trump knew they would and had no issues with making that fact known.
And why shouldn’t he? He was single handedly responsible for those numbers and the folks at Fox knew it. As conflicted as they may have been, at the end of the day, the all mighty dollar seems to have won out (as it usually does). But no mistake about it, it’s highly unlikely that any of the other big networks would have behaved any differently had they been presented with the same choice.
So why all the whining from so many news hosts? Trump getting too much play? Don’t have him call in to all of your 30 minute slots twice a day, three times a week. Don’t chase him down for exclusive interviews. And for the love of God, don’t devote the majority of your air time to him.
There isn’t much about Trump I respect, other than the fact that he says what he believes. He say’s exactly what he believes. If only the major media conglomerates were honest enough to admit that they’ve been enslaved by the ratings gods and have been for a long time. If only….