Why Trump is dominating coverage again, skewering pundits and prosecutors

Within five days, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, and Merrick Garland blew up on the political scene.

It’s like that mega-blizzard that dropped 80 inches of snow on Buffalo – nobody’s ever seen anything like it.

The media has been consumed by each explosion, buoyed by the surge in clicks and ratings, turning their spins on the resulting wreckage.

Remember, only a week ago Trump did what some of his advisers urged him not to do, launching a third campaign immediately after disappointing midterm results that many in his party blamed on him.

Media Savage Trump Speech, Cast Him As Dangerous, Including On The Right

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Trump’s surprise initial announcement drew condemnation from the mainstream press, which attacked him personally for having the audacity to run again. The journalistic attack went beyond his monotonous speech, which was barely quoted in major newspapers and not carried by MSNBC.

Instead, the stories originally stated “Donald Trump, who masterminded an insurrection, twice faced impeachment, is a threat to democracy and is a really bad guy to boot, has announced his candidacy.” announced…”

And some in the conservative media, led by National Review, have called Trump unfit for office and a man who will lead the party to losses as he did in 2018, 2020 and 2022. When the former president wished the magazine’s demise, it carried a fundraising appeal on its home page: “Donald Trump National Review to Die.”

A direct result of Trump’s announcement was Garland’s decision to name a special counsel to run the Justice Department’s investigation of Trump. The attorney general also cited Joe Biden’s intention to seek re-election as a reason for putting the neutral prosecutor in charge. Garland will still have the final say on any impeachment, but it will be difficult for her to go against the appointee’s conclusion that there is either a strong case against Trump or no case at all.

It is striking that in choosing Jack Smith, someone no one had ever heard of outside certain legal circles, Garland sparked a debate among all who became instant experts on his career.

Among left-leaning outlets, reaction was divided between those saying Garland certainly thinks there is strong evidence and those calling it a terrible idea that creates an unnecessary bureaucratic layer and slows down the investigation. gives.

The argument, among conservative commentators who have paid little attention to this, is why Garland waited so long if she has a conflict of her own, and is challenging Smith’s impartiality. The truth is that Garland would have been shocked either way.

Trump is now calling Smith a “radical left prosecutor” who is “fully controlled by President Obama and his former AG, Eric Holder,” and calling the investigation “just another witch hunt” by a “weaponized” Justice Department. Used to be.

The basis for the “radical” allegation is that Smith served in the DOJ during the Clinton and Obama administrations. But that does not change the fact that he was a prosecutor by profession. In fact, he once headed the Public Integrity Unit, the most sensitive position in the department, prosecuting current and former officials and generally leading people of unblemished character. His current position was adjudicating Kosovo war crimes in The Hague.

That doesn’t mean Smith’s record can’t be criticized — his conviction of former Virginia GOP governor Bob McDonnell was overturned by the Supreme Court — but he’s about as close to an impartial prosecutor as one can get.

That story was still exploding when Musk stepped in. In a move cleverly designed to lead up to the Sunday talk show, he reinstated Trump’s Twitter account.

A photo of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 7, 2013, along with the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk.

A photo of the US Capitol in Washington, DC on October 7, 2013, along with the new owner of Twitter, Elon Musk.
(Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

This fueled both media outrage and praise. Some liberals announced that they would rather quit the app in protest than share a stage with Trump (weren’t they already sharing it with all kinds of sleazeballs?). Others said the presidential candidate should be allowed on Twitter after nearly two years on Jan. 6.

No one could be shocked by the move, which Musk practically made a campaign pledge. But the way he did it underlines his erratic management style.

After the site was taken down, Musk said that none would be reinstated until he could create a content moderation council to review such actions. This was part of an effort to persuade advertisers that he was not abandoning existing rules against offensive content.

But Musk abruptly dismissed that idea, reinstated some and posted a Twitter poll asking whether Trump should be allowed to return. When the idea was supported by a narrow 52-48 percent margin, Musk declared that the people had spoken.

As a traffic generator, it was spectacular: nearly 15 million people voted. In terms of policy, it was inconsistent.

Trump denounces Biden, airbrushes his tenure, vows to take back country

Trump, who encouraged people to vote for him, said he sees no reason to return to Twitter and is sticking with Truth Social. But I’ve long said that if he has a chance to reach the 88 million followers he had when he was banned, he will. A settlement would be made and Tweetstorm would return.

People ask if all of Trump’s coverage reflects a media obsession. Perhaps, but he has been at the center of three big political stories in just a few days.

Former President Donald Trump had a Twitter account "permanently suspended" In January 2021.

In January 2021, former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was “permanently suspended”.
(Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Foot Note: Another prediction of mine was that the scripted and restrained tone that Trump employed in his announcement speech would not last.

Within days, he was talking about rigging the election and disparaging critics.

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Take Maureen Dowd, who savaged him as a traitor in her New York Times column: “The arsonist seeking a job as a firefighter is the liar and con man who destroyed trust in our elections.” reduced.”

Trump hit back at Truth Social, calling him a “super whacko who constantly writes so bad about me.”

Then there was a crackdown I couldn’t follow: “Why doesn’t she write about her Trump escapade, where she bombed badly over and over again.”

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and finally: “He’s a sick and angry person, probably mentally disturbed. Leave it, Maureen!”

Now imagine if it had reached 88 million followers.

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