Monday, March 14, 2016

Is Donald Trump Deliberately Scamming the Media?

I have noted how some of the forces Donald Trump is unleashing mirror to some degree what Adolph Hitler did in early 1930's Germany.  But there are other parallels to that time and while not directly connecting the dots, Joe Scarborough makes the case that trump is playing the media much as Hitler did throughout his rise until, of course, his regime took over the German media.  How is Trump doing this?  By staging his rallies and seeking out confrontation to garner media coverage and to further inflame his deranged followers.  Some of what has happened at Trump rallies is indeed frightening. What may be more frightening is how the mainstream media is allowing itself to be manipulated. Here are highlights from Scarborough's column in the Washington Post:
We keep talking to ourselves. Constantly. Trying to make order out of chaos and sense out of the surreal. And this year, most doing the talking have gotten it wrong. Wrong about Trump. Wrong about Rubio. Wrong about Bernie. And now wrong about the road ahead.
What are we talking to ourselves about now on the Sunday shows, on cable news, in newspaper columns, in the blogosphere, on Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook? We are grimly warning the world that following Friday night’s fracas in Chicago, America faces a deepening divide that is tearing away at the fabric of this great land.
What mind-numbing nonsense.  Friday’s freak show was as prepackaged as an rerun of “Celebrity Apprentice.” The only difference was that Donald Trump delivered his lines on the phone from a hotel room in the Windy City instead of on the set of his made-for-TV boardroom.
It was all a scam.  Has anyone noticed that Trump’s campaign now regularly stages media events designed to eclipse any negative coverage that predictably follows Republican debates?
When news broke early Friday night that the Chicago rally had been cancelled because of safety fears, you didn’t need to be a programming genius to predict what would be jamming America’s airwaves for the rest of the night. And for the next four hours, the candidate who is promising to weaken libel lawsspoke on cable news channels about how his First Amendment rights were being violated. He was doing all of this while reaching a far larger audience than he could have ever done while actually speaking at a rally.
As has been the case throughout the entire 2016 cycle, Trump thrives on the political chaos that he helps creates. If it is true that opportunity and chaos are the same word in Mandarin, Trump should stamp that word on a poster and sell it at his next scheduled event. For the Manhattan billionaire, manufactured chaos is just as profitable for his brand as Paris Hilton’s sex tape was for hers.
Friday’s spectacle in Chicago was more reality show than political revolt.  The rally was cancelled, we were told, because law enforcement officials consulted with the campaign and concluded that scrubbing the event was in the best interest of public safety. One problem: The Chicago Police Department said that never actually happened.
And if you find that curious, perhaps you will find it even more interesting that a political campaign whose security has been so stifling as to draw angry comparisons to fascist regimes would plan a key rally for Trump in the middle of a racially diverse urban campus. The fact that that campus sits in the middle of a city that is so Democratic that it has not elected a Republican mayor since before Franklin Roosevelt was sworn in as president makes the venue’s selection even more bizarre.
Following the rally’s cancellation, Trump supporters expressed surprise at the number of protesters that were filling the lines and streaming into the event on a campus that is 25 percent Hispanic, 25 percent Asian and 8 percent black. William Daley, the son of former Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley, did not share that surprise. “Whoever picked that location knew what they were doing as far as poking that sleeping dog there,” Daley suggested to the New York Times that the venue was staged for the purpose of provoking protests that would energize Trump’s own supporters.
[E]veryone got sucked into the political sideshow. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio’s brief appearances on TV during the rolling cable news coverage only made their own candidacies seem smaller under the glare of Donald’s Big Tent Show.
Friday night’s farce was a made-for-television event with a handful of Trump supporters squaring off against protesters offended by Trump’s presence on their campus.
Unfortunately for his opponents, most of the protesters who appeared on camera during the night shouted profanities at cameras, intimidated others being interviewed by networks and played directly into the Republican frontrunner’s hands. 
Donald Trump wants to be the next president of the United States. But that will never happen unless the man who is about to lock down the GOP nomination drops his reality show routine, starts working on uniting his party and gets serious about the daunting task before him.  Mark me down as skeptical.
I would caution Scarborough that many were skeptical that Hitler would rise to power as he did. Hitler manipulated the media, played the victim when appropriate, and played the discontent and rage in Germany like a fine violin until he secured enough power to make himself dictator.  Rather than be skeptical, learning from the past and recognizing the danger at hand is more appropriate.

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