Op-ed: The answer is yes. What remains to be seen is whether it will be partly responsible for getting him elected or simply destroying the Republican party.
Media executives themselves have gone on record as say confirming they give Donald Trump special access.
CBS CEO Les Moonves said, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” He said it was a “good thing.”
The “good thing,” was that the network’s ad revenue was driven up by the increased viewership resulting from the controversy created by Trump's insults.
The pro-Hillary Clinton site Media Matters said tv networks were letting Trump take over their news shows, letting him call in and get on at a moment’s notice.
Media Matters sent a letter to CBS: “Through the course of this election, time and time again your network allows Donald Trump call in to shows. We fully recognize that sometimes phone interviews are necessary. But Trump’s reliance on phone interviews is completely unprecedented and far exceeds what any other candidate has been allowed to do. By letting Trump phone it in, you’re just enabling media manipulation and reinforcing the idea that the more he takes, the more you'll give in. It's time for that to end.”
We’ve all seen this. Switch from one news channel to another and find Trump, even if he is not on the dais yet. Clinton was not shown after winning the Mississippi primary before everyone was focused on Trump.
Trump’s success may seem unprecedented, but war criminal Charles Taylor outdid him.
Taylor, who had fled charges in the U.S. and was trained by Muammar Gaddafi, led an invasion of his native Liberia.
He brought with him a satellite phone. He would daily be interviewed by the BBC and others, warning the Monrovia government that his forces were headed their way.
In many cases the government forces threw down their rifles and took off their uniforms believing Taylor was coming.
Supported by money made from blood diamonds and sales of guns to rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone, Taylor captured Liberia. He won the presidency campaigning on a slogan: "He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him."
He began a reign of terror that only ended after several civil wars and the intervention of 2,300 U.S. Marines.
After escapes and captures ultimately Taylor was convicted of bloody crimes and imprisoned in a British prison.
This raises two questions. Is the media responsible for what follows its decisions to publicize controversial characters. Is regime change necessary sometimes.
During the latest Democratic debate, references to Gaddafi came and went without mentioning how he had killed hundreds of Americans and others bombing planes outside of Libya.
President Ronald Reagan tried to have Gaddafi assassinated but barely missed.
As a long-time journalist I am disturbed by the concept that we have to show the people what we want.
Often in news rooms I heard we had to report copycat killers because if we did not someone else will. My feeling was we do not have to do anything we don’t want to do. Certainly just not for ratings.
We know, as was written in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday:
“American working class has legitimate reasons to be angry at the ruling class. During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class. The economists can supply caveats and refinements to that statement, but the bottom line is stark: The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn't increased since the late 1960s. ... During the same half-century, American corporations exported millions of manufacturing jobs (and) the federal government allowed the immigration, legal and illegal, of tens of millions of competitors for the remaining working-class jobs."
Republican candidate Ted Cruz, who I rarely quote, said Trump has been deeply involved in the ripping off the working class, cooperating with people for sale in government and using bankruptcy laws to his benefit.
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.