The media has all the ammo needed to take down Donald Trump. They're holding back for ratings.
MSNBC's lightweight treatment of Donald Trump at their town hall is just another in a long line of softball questions to the real estate mogul -- but don't think for a minute they don’t have all the ammo needed to derail his candidacy. In an election cycle that has seen a lot of "look at me" moments, the media is the one cashing in on ratings as they watch Trump rise to the top. But once he is the nominee, the ratings game changes to "watch him burn" mode.
At first glance, it might appear the media actually likes Trump – and why not? His ideas do line up more with the liberal mindset than with conservatives. But make no mistake, they are biting their tongues just hoping he becomes the nominee that will go up against either Hillary or Bernie.
“And I want you to know -- here's why -- it works two ways for the mainstream media. First, they get their ratings. They get their ratings on the buildup, all the way to the summer,” Glenn explained on radio Friday. “Then when he gets to the election, it's that tension and that anticipation. And is he going to win? Is he not going to win? What's going to happen?”
Just when the ratings hit a fever pitch and you think it can’t get any more crazy, that’s when the media will unleash all the info they have on the Donald to watch him burn to the ground.
“And then once that happens, then they get all of the ratings of the beatdown. And then the tension of, who is going to win? Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? So they win twice on this story. That's what's happening. They're taking a win two times. The ratings up and then the ratings down,” Glenn said.
Trump might think he’s made out of Teflon, but he probably doesn’t even see what’s coming.
“The media beatdown that's coming is going to be of biblical proportions because he's going to escalate it,” Glenn said.
The Huffington Post Isn’t Playing Along
In an article posted on The Huffington Post written by Slate.com, what could have happened during the town hall forum was juxtaposed to what actually occurred.
Here is what was written:
Is Donald Trump in trouble? After facing hostile questions from Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Wednesday night—they comprehensively laid out his flip-flops, presented him with damning videotape, and asked him to explain the inconsistencies in detail—Trump was confronted by hostile audience members at MSNBC’s televised town-hall forum. When a Muslim questioner got up to ask why he had said such bigoted things about minorities, Trump seemed to struggle while Scarborough forced him to respond. The candidate looked uncomfortable, unhappy, and somewhat lost. It could be a turning point.
If only. Of course, none of this actually occurred Wednesday night, just like it hasn’t occurred once this entire campaign season. Instead, Scarborough and Brzezinski hosted what appeared to be a rehearsed and “safe” town hall, in which American voters asked the candidate such hard-hitting questions as “Why did you decide to run for president?” and “how will you set yourself apart” from other Republicans? It was completely worthless television, except in one sense: The program highlighted the many ways in which the media’s coverage of Trump has been soft, insufficient, and without substance.
Glenn explained why The Huffington Post is one of the only media outlets that have decided not to play along, because they know the truth about Trump.
“And it's only because Arianna Huffington has said, 'He's a fraud. He's a total and complete fraud. We're not playing this game.' Assuming -- just like we did -- that others on our own side would also say the same thing because they know,” Glenn said.
Common Sense Bottom Line
Donald Trump himself has said he can change to be whatever he needs to be, meaning he doesn’t have any deep-seated beliefs that can’t change to be what is best for Donald at the moment. So far The Huffington Post stands alone, but the media knows who Trump is and it’s only a matter of time before they go after him.
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: MSNBC town hall with Donald Trump. This is from The Huffington Post. It was disgraceful.
STU: Well, they think everything is disgraceful.
GLENN: No, well, they're the ones coming out against Donald Trump. They're the only media outlet on the left that's telling the truth.
STU: Yeah, I mean, one of them. They found a lot of the stuff, I will say, and they get beat up a lot for the list of -- the 47 things you should never say to your plumber. But Buzzfeed has done a lot of the work to find these clips --
STU: They have.
PAT: 89 things Donald Trump has said to his interior decorator about gold lame.
STU: They deserve credit for it though. They're the ones going back and listening to these interviews. Of course, the mainstream media will do all this work. They probably have done it.
GLENN: Yeah. Yeah.
STU: But they're waiting to release it until afterwards.
GLENN: And I want you to know -- here's why -- it works two ways for the mainstream media. First, the -- they get their ratings. They get their ratings on the buildup, all the way to the summer. Then when he gets to the election, it's that tension and that anticipation. And is he going to win? Is he not going to win? What's going to happen? And then once that happens, then they get all of the ratings of the beatdown. And then the tension of, who is going to win? Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? So they win twice on this story. That's what's happening. They're taking a win two times. The ratings up and then the ratings down.
STU: And you know who doesn't lose in the situation no matter what the outcome is, is Donald Trump. He's going to come out of this and say, "Oh, well, the media beat me up and I'm still worth billions and billions of dollars. And I have deals all over the world."
GLENN: I think the media beatdown that's coming towards him, I don't know if he does as well. He's no longer on TV. I really don't think so. The media beatdown that's coming is going to be of biblical proportions because he's going to escalate it.
STU: So odd. I mean, think about this. I was watching MSNBC. It was my day. I was assigned to watch it. And what is MSNBC doing? That was two days maybe. They're running a countdown clock to an interview with Donald Trump.
JEFFY: Oh, my gosh.
STU: Now, when is the last time they did something like that for a Republican candidate?
STU: When is the last time MSNBC bent over backward to promote to their audience an interview with a Republican? The answer is, never a clock. It doesn't happen. They don't do it because they don't like Republicans. They like Donald Trump. And that should make you question that whole thing.
JEFFY: Which is why he got sucked into the Mika question on socialism. Right?
STU: Did you see this, Glenn?
STU: If you missed it, Mika went through a list of descriptive items of a particular candidate. Do you have it, Pat?
PAT: Yeah, I have it here somewhere.
MIKA: I wanted to describe a candidate to you: The candidate is considered a political outsider by all the pundits. He's tapping into the anger of the voters, delivers a populist message. He believes everyone in the country should have health care. He advocates for hedge fund managers to have higher taxes. He's drawing thousands of people at his rallies and bringing in a lot of new voters to the political process. And he's not beholden to any super PAC. Who am I describing?
DONALD: Or any special interest or any donors, you're describing Donald Trump.
MIKA: Actually I was describing Bernie Sanders.
DONALD: Well, that's good.
PAT: Oh, that's good.
STU: And, Glenn, why does he fall for that? Donald Trump, as much as he's not necessarily to me informed on a lot of these issues, he's not an idiot. He knows the media. He knows what they're trying to do to him.
If you asked him that question, the exact same way, there's no way he's falling for it. Because he's thinking you're coming at him skeptically. He's so sure that MSNBC is a friend of his, that he's going down this road and falls for that, which she didn't even really deliver it convincingly.
GLENN: Listen to this: Is Donald Trump in trouble? After facing hostile questions from Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Wednesday night, they comprehensively laid out his flip-flops, presented him with damning videotape, asked him to explain the inconsistencies in detail. Trump was confronted by a hostile audience of MSNBC's televised town hall forum. When a Muslim questioner got up and asked why he said such bigoted things about minorities, trump seemed to struggle while Scarborough forced him to respond. The candidate looked uncomfortable, unhappy, and somewhat lost. It could be a turning point.
Of course, none of this actually occurred Wednesday night. This is The Huffington Post. Of course, none of this occurred Wednesday night, just like it hasn't occurred once this entire campaign season.
JEFFY: Think about it.
GLENN: Instead Scarborough and Brzezinski hosted what appeared to be a rehearsed and safe town hall, in which American voters asked the candidate such hard-hitting questions as, why did you decide to run for president? And, how will you set yourself apart from other Republicans? It was completely worthless television, except in one sense: The program highlighted in many ways in which the media's coverage of Trump has been soft, insufficient, and without substance.
GLENN: This is the left.
And it's only because Arianna Huffington has said, "He's a fraud. He's a total and complete fraud. We're not playing this game." Assuming, just like we did that others in our own -- on our own side would also say the same thing because they know.
GLENN: We know -- Pat, any doubt in your mind that everybody on our side knows, I mean, --
JEFFY: Oh, my gosh.
GLENN: In positions that we are in, they all know.
PAT: They absolutely know.
GLENN: They all know. Every one of them. They're not doing it. Why? I don't know why. I don't know why.
Arianna Huffington is the same way. She knows the media knows. She went out and said, "We're going to call this guy who he is. This is a joke. We're going to call who he is." So they've actually been doing reporting like this every time their side gives him a softball. They're like, "What the hell is wrong with you?"
Scarborough began the evening by noting that he and his cohost were prepared to debrief Trump and ask him important questions. Instead, the questions were mild. Follow-ups, nonexistent.
It remained shocking that after months of bigoted comments and almost a pathological dishonesty, Trump still lands these types of interviews. Wednesday night, there was no mention of his racist comments towards Mexicans, his praise for Vladimir Putin, his stigmatization of Muslims. He wasn't pressed hard for any policy detail or challenged about his well-cataloged dislike of the truth.
Scarborough began asking what else but about the polls, before ostensibly turning to the Supreme Court. After asking one question about the Second Amendment, which Trump dodged, Scarborough moved on. Scarborough's constant grinning at Trump's laughable dishonesty was the only suggestion that the host recognized the nonsense Trump was spewing. He simply didn't care.
When Scarborough had a chance to follow up on Trump's nonsensical answers, guns, health care, et cetera, he usually changed the subject.
Featured Image: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to the media in the spin room after the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center on January 14, 2016 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The sixth Republican debate is held in two parts, one main debate for the top seven candidates, and another for three other candidates lower in the current polls. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)