In the sad, soul-cratered world of desperation politics, size matters. It really, really matters. And nowhere does size matter more than inside the distortion machine that is our national political media.
Donald Trump jets down to Mobile, Alabama — the very heart of Nowhere, America, as far as the media/political establishment is concerned — on a slow, hot Friday night. Wearing bright white patent leather shoes that look like they came from Cousin Eddie, Mr. Trump rustles up what very well may be the largest political rally of the year for any campaign in either party. Not bad for a guy who has zero political experience and is regularly dismissed by all the experts as a lightweight and a huckster.
Well, apparently, some 30,000 people decided that the lightweight huckster in his own Boeing 757 and fleet of Cadillac Escalades is a hell of a better bet than all the professional lightweight hucksters who have so thoroughly been destroying America for the last couple of decades.
So The Donald went down to ‘Bama, jammed tens of thousands of supporters into an outdoor stadium and put on a political hoedown the likes of which The Charlie Daniels Band could be proud.
How is this news greeted by the expert class of reporters and politicians?
“Donald Trump Fails to Fill Alabama Stadium,” trumpeted The New York Times, the addled, graying den mother of the political press corps. And then, as if attempting to insult not only Donald Trump, but also all of his followers, added: “But Fans’ Zeal Is Undiminished.”
The paper literally cannot conceal its contempt for Donald Trump and all the many Americans enthralled by his boisterous, energetic and hard-punching campaign.
Politico, meanwhile, which normally takes politics very, very seriously, apparently decided to dispatch a child reporter, perhaps a college intern, to cover one of the largest political rallies of the season. The kid gets down there, starts digging around and discovers — that George Wallace was from Alabama 50 years ago!
I am not kidding.
“It was immigration, not segregation, that brought some 20,000 southerners — far fewer than predicted — out for Donald Trump on Friday night, but the ghost of George Wallace loomed large,” the child wrote.
Because enforcing current immigration laws that have been passed by Congress and signed into law by presidents is, um, well, just like supporting segregation.
And then the child reporter goes on and on about all the similarities between Wallace and Mr. Trump. Only one passing and confused reference to the fact that law-enforcing Mr. Trump is a Republican while avowed racist Wallace was a Democrat. Oh, whatever!
“Wallace carried five Southern states, and Trump, who is leading early national polls in the race for the Republican nomination, touted his leads in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Texas.”
So if you are a politician who gets Southern votes and then your campaign touts this support, you are racist? Some people really should just stick to college.
What is particularly strange about how needling the press is over Mr. Trump and the size of his Alabama blowout is the sudden onset of skepticism. Where was this skepticism about crowd sizes in 2008 when reporters could not shovel fast enough the crowd estimates tossed around by the Obama campaign?
And look at the frenzy over these crowds that Socialist Bernie Sanders is getting.
“Bernie Sanders ‘Stunned’ By Large Crowds Showing Up For Him,” blasted one headline. Seven hundred people showed up for that event in Des Moines.
“Bernie Sanders Draws Big Crowds to His ‘Political Revolution,’” reads another. About 1,800 people showed up for that one in Dubuque.
Some news outlets are so desperate to pump up Sanders’ crowd sizes that they actually took to combining multiple events over multiple days across multiple states and added them all together.
“100,000 people have come to recent Bernie Sanders rallies. How does he do it?” enthused The Washington Post.
“Bernie Sanders’ Eye-Popping West Coast Swing: 3 Days, 70,000 Cheering Supporters,” reported Bloomberg.
You, literally, could not make it up. Yet they do. Every single day.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter via @charleshurt.