Charles Pierce: Media Facilitated Trump’s Rise By Being Too ‘Blind, Stupid, or Afraid’ to Expose Right-Wing ‘Madness’

Conservatives and liberals often agree that the media have played an outsized role in making Donald Trump the Republican presidential frontrunner but differ about how they’ve done it. (Here’s a view from the right.) Lefty Esquire blogger Charles Pierce argues that the list of offenders in this regard is long; in fact, it includes every journalist who’s failed to point out over the last few decades that the GOP has been going out of its mind.

“You know who in the media really created He, Trump? Anyone who laughed at Ronald Reagan's casual relationship with the truth and with empirical reality,” declared Pierce in a Monday post. “Anyone who draped [George W. Bush] in a toga after 9/11. Anyone who cast Newt Gingrich as a serious man of ideas. Anyone who cast Paul Ryan as an economic savant…Anyone who watched the conservative movement, the only animating force the Republican party has, drive the party further and deeper into madness…Trump merely has taken the bark off ideas that were treated as legitimate for far too long by far too many people.”

From Pierce’s post (bolding added):

For four decades now, ever since Ronald Reagan fed it the monkeybrains…hitching his party to the snake-oil of supply-side economics and to the sad remnants of white supremacy, often as expressed through an extremist splinter of American Protestantism, the Republican Party has been afflicted with the prion disease that now has blossomed into utter public madness. That's the story everyone was too blind, stupid, or afraid to tell. You know who in the media really created He, Trump? Anyone who laughed at Ronald Reagan's casual relationship with the truth and with empirical reality. Anyone who blew off Iran-Contra. Anyone who draped [George W. Bush] in a toga after 9/11. Anyone who cast Newt Gingrich as a serious man of ideas. Anyone who cast Paul Ryan as an economic savant, that's who. Anyone who wrote admiring profiles of how shrewd Lee Atwater and Karl Rove were. Anyone who put Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck on the cover of national magazines based simply on their ratings. Anyone who put Matt Drudge on a public-affairs program. Anyone who watched the conservative movement, the only animating force the Republican party has, drive the party further and deeper into madness, they are the ones who share the blame. He, Trump merely has taken the bark off ideas that were treated as legitimate for far too long by far too many people, most of whom don't really give a damn about the plight of the vanishing middle class except for its use as fuel for rage-based, self-destructive politics…

…Democrats didn't merely "feel" disadvantaged by the rise of the crackpot news bubble. They actually were, at least in part because people like Limbaugh—who is no more a serious political thinker than is He, Trump—were treated as oracles due to their ability to sell a lot of auto glass and male enhancement nostrums...The media bears a great responsibility for the rise of He, Trump, but not because he is sui generis, but, rather, because the media has been buying conservative charlatanism by the bucketful for so long that it's lost its bearings.

Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Esquire History Charles Pierce Ronald Reagan Donald Trump


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