Unlike my friend at MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell, I believe that what’s really going on is that the 24 hour news cycle has become no different than the endless sea of hokey reality shows that fill the airwaves. It seems to me that rather than just report the good old boring news, they’d rather hand over all the air time to lunatics with salacious things to say in the name of garnering ratings for their television shows, or to empty-headed politicians with pretty faces and big mouths with nothing real coming out of them (read Palin/Bachmann). The media is in the business of making us believe that non-reality is reality. Just like all the stupid reality shows that pour into our living rooms from every channel in an endless sea of staged lunacy.
I didn’t need Lawrence O’Donnell to tell me that Donald Trump was not running for President. I don’t care how many Trump towers the man has managed to build, there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING about him that says he has an intellect that could stand up to Barack Obama’s. Though I’m certain he’s at least smart enough to know that, and smart enough to know that by reviving the much maligned ‘Birther’ issue, he could get ratings for his show without paying a red cent for it. In that way, I suppose, the man is some form of media genius. But President material? Hell no.
And so, that the news media would seriously consider that he really was planning to run for President does not bode well for the future of journalistic news in this country. I mean, think of it – how many real stories went untold while CNN and Fox News followed Donald Trump around listening to him rant and rave about President Obama’s long-form, blah, blah, blah? And how many legitimate crises around the world went unreported while professional interviewers probed Donald Trump for more information about a potential presidential run that was never a real possibility? And worst of all, how many important tasks did President Obama have to put aside to deal with ‘Side-Show Donald’ and his traveling ‘birther’ act? Even if he spent five minutes on it, it was too much. All because the media didn’t know where to draw the line between the truth and a dumb, counter-productive lie.
It’s not good that the news media is so easily duped. They serve an important purpose – we need them to be lucid, and not running after every shiny, entertaining object that’s waved in their collective faces. We need them focused on real issues, real candidates, and real stories. Oh, if only this were the only time they had victimized us by giving countless news cycles to political circus acts, but no – regrettably, it is this same news media that gave Donald Trump his weeks and weeks of free, fake publicity that gave us the likes of Michelle Bachmann – a woman famous only for her shocking lack of intellect and the enthusiasm with which she puts it on display. If it was not for the shake-your-head-at-her-stupidity quality she brings to every public appearance, and the news media’s need to put showcase it, she would not now be listed among those who are considering a run for the highest office in the land. I mean, wow – really?
Well – at least as of today we can cross Donald Trump off the list of the loonies who would be President. With any luck, after the public flogging he got at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, this time he’ll hang up his fake stump speeches for good. And to steal a line from the hilarious Seth Myers, if the desire to run should rise up in him again, maybe the fox on his head will eat it.