- The Washington Times - Monday, July 18, 2016


CLEVELAND – It seems like Donald Trump can do nothing right in the eyes of the press.

The ridicule from the elite mainstream media in Washington and New York has been resounding in the week leading up to the Republican National Convention.

First, the media predicted the RNC convention to be a complete flop — last week, before the confab and even started. The headlines have been so negative, that any resemblance of competency coming out of Cleveland will be a success for Mr. Trump.

“GOP operatives dread Trump convention,” a headline from Politico read.

“Great News! The GOP convention will be a disaster,” a column from CNBC said.

No doubt, the punditry class was underwhelmed by Mr. Trump’s lineup of speakers — that many past nominees, like Mitt Romney and Arizona Sen. John McCain decided to sit the convention out, as did past presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

However, that news shouldn’t have been surprising — Mr. Romney has been trying to lead a conservative revolution against Mr. Trump (after he won the nomination), and the Bushes and Mr. McCain are licking their wounds after a tough primary season. Mr. Trump ran as an outsider and all parties not participating in the convention are consummate Republican insiders.

But the press loves to report how chaotic and divided the Republican Party is because of this. The week before the convention, MSNBC aired an hourlong interview with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has said he won’t vote for Mr. Trump, and frequently quoted operatives from Mr. Romney’s camp to give them the narrative they want.

To be sure, a Harvard University study released last week, showed how media coverage on Mr. Trump shifted sharply negative after he won the nomination. During the primary, Mr. Trump had 57 percent positive coverage, now he has 61 percent negative coverage — almost a complete turnaround.

The rollout of Mr. Trump’s vice presidential pick further demonstrates this bias.

The media, trying to out-scoop each other before the formal announcement, ran stories based on rumors, innuendos and unnamed sources. When Mr. Trump finally made his pick on Friday, instead of admitting that some of their earlier reporting could’ve been wrong, the media pointed their finger at Mr. Trump’s “unorganized campaign.”

Donald Trump just turned a key moment into a complete mess (once again)” the Washington Post criticized of Mr. Trump’s vice presidential rollout.

Trump’s erratic campaign style was on full display for VP search,” Bloomberg News concluded.

The media compared the search to a real-life version of Mr. Trump’s “The Apprentice,” trying out each potential candidate as if that were unusual — Hillary Clinton has done events with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine throughout the primary season — all of whom are rumored to be in the running as her vice president.

The press’ opinions of Mr. Trump’s press conference on Saturday announcing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president were also harsh.

The headlines coming out of the presser were about how Mr. Trump focused the conversation on himself, not Mr. Pence.

Donald Trump delivers a long, passionate speech. He introduces Mike Pence too,” the New York Times wrote sarcastically.

Donald Trump’s speech introducing Mike Pence showed why he shouldn’t be president,” Vox said, explaining Mr. Trump’s self-centeredness.

News-flash media: It’s Mr. Trump that’s running for president and there’s no rulebook on how vice presidents should be introduced. When introducing Carly Fiorina earlier this year, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz spent almost an hour speaking about himself. Some criticized Mr. Trump for making the announcement on a Saturday — Mr. Romney introduced now House Speaker Paul D. Ryan on a Saturday as well.

But it seems to be loathing, not reason, that rules the narrative with the national press corps.

The press mocked — childishly — the unveiled logo of Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence, with some thinking it sexual. The ridicule came so fast and was so harsh, Mr. Trump’s team dropped it for simple block letters.

Still, the media didn’t have its fill.

Later on Saturday, Mr. Pence sent out a tweet of his family in New York eating at Chili’s. Apparently the elite news media doesn’t enjoy a restaurant chain loved by most in America.

“@mike_pence you came to New York City and went to @Chilis???? Shameful,” tweeted Reuters reporter Dion Rabouin.

“You’re in the world’s dining capital and chose Chili’s. What should we read into this about your judgement?” David Catanese, a senior politics writer at US News & World Report wrote on Twitter.

It’s all very petty — but that’s how out-of-touch the mainstream media is with the rest of America.

As a reality check, I’m at the convention, and things so far, seem relatively orderly. The anti-Trump forces have been defeated, both denied a vote on the floor and at platform meetings last week, that would undermine Mr. Trump’s candidacy by unbinding state delegates. The protest sizes have also been smaller than predicted.

Today’s headline in the New York Times had to reflect as much — but gave ominous predictions: “Civil start to protests, but Cleveland is bracing for worse.”

Call me old fashioned, but I’ll report it when I see it.

As for Mr. Trump’s vice presidential pick, Mr. Pence, it’s also achieved what it’s intended purpose was — to show conservatives that Mr. Trump is a serious candidate who can make a conventional, reasoned decisions. Pro-life and evangelical groups lauded the pick, which was intended by the Trump campaign to be unifying.

So don’t believe everything you read or hear in the press — most of them are in the pocket of Mrs. Clinton and will do or say anything to make sure she’s elected to the White House come November.

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