Op Ed: Voters in Wisconsin are unlikely to decide anything in their primary Tuesday. There is no way Sen. Bernie Sanders can deliver a knockout blow. Sen. Ted Cruz is in the same position, unless the unpredictable Donald Trump decides the presidential race is boring him.
“Mr. Sanders might still pull off a big win. Barack Obama won the state by 17 points in 2008, after all. But a big win for Mr. Sanders would not necessarily put him on track to win the nomination. Even an overwhelming victory for the senator might only narrow Mrs. Clinton’s lead by 20 delegates,” the New York Times reported.
The TV pundits, and to a certain extent, newspapers and news agencies, are loathe to lead a story by saying it really means nothing.
Polls at present show Hillary Clinton likely to win Pennsylvania and New York by big margins, whether there is another debate between the two are not. Debates haven’t shown that they moved previous sessions between the two. Clinton also is ahead in California.
The sideshow that has been kept alive by the media on Clinton’s email also is unlikely to change anything.
But the media these days is 24/7 and needs to say something. These often unscripted sessions bring out claims that are as off the wall as something Trump would say.
In past years writers loved expressions like “it raises the question.” Trump learned, and has his own version. He will say “people are saying” Cruz is not qualified to be president because he was born in Canada. After Trump has said it enough times it becomes accepted that there is a legitimate question.
Trump’s daily blathering isn’t concealing that his campaign is close to being in tatters.
“Donald Trump’s campaign is increasingly falling into disarray as the Manhattan billionaire braces for a loss in Wisconsin that could set him on course for an uncertain convention floor fight for the Republican presidential nomination.
Since March, the campaign has been laying off field staff en masse around the country and has dismantled much of what existed of its organizations in general-election battlegrounds, including Florida and Ohio,” Politico reported.
Even if Trump manages to win the nomination he will have to rebuild his campaign staff while under fire from the Democratic nominee.
A Mason-Dixon poll this week found Clinton was within three points of winning Mississippi, the first time a Democrat has won it in 40 years.
A series of polls indicate Trump’s position on issues affecting women, as well as his highly publicized insults, will make it hard for him to win a national election.
There are two other possibilities: Trump could withdraw from the race, or decide that he should run as a third party candidate.
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.