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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

"You think I'm going to change? I'm not changing."

by digby

Donald Trump is angry for some reason.  He's won the nomination and the whole party is falling in line behind him but he's pissed. Yesterday he lashed out at the press in a way that even had the media balking, something they seemingly never do.  Apparently calling a reporter a sleaze to his face and then announcing that you have no intention of ever moderating your behavior was enough to provoke a days worth of punditry about just what has The Donald so up in arms. There was no consensus on what it was.  If I were to guess it's that Trump seems to have labored under the illusion that if he won the nomination that would be that. He is surprised that he is still being questioned.

But if you're wondering if this will hurt him with his voters, Rush Limbaugh gives us a good clue:

Trump felt the need to correct the record today and did so in his own inimitable way, which basically attacked the media for dishonesty and corruption.  And the thing is he stood there for, what, 45 minutes? I mean, he didn't hide, didn't run away from it, answered every question. He just took them on.  They have no complaint.  They can never say Trump avoids them. They can never say Trump does this or that to try to evade any kind of scrutiny, even though he got that question about scrutiny. 

But the New York Times... This is actually kind of funny, I think, because they're worried that Trump's constant access to the media and his unpredictability is frustrating Hillary.  Hillary doesn't know how to deal with this. Hillary doesn't know how to counterprogram Trump, if you will.  Hillary doesn't know how to go out and write her own narrative of the day.  Hillary doesn't know whether to focus on herself or to criticize Trump or to go after Crazy Bernie. She doesn't know what to do.  And the press doesn't, either.

The New York Times is admitting here that their capacity, their ability to shape and control the narrative -- the soap opera script -- every day, is almost impossible because of Trump.  And so the Times, in this story, is struggling to figure out some kind of Fairness Doctrine solution to the problem.  I kid you not.  They're trying to find a way they can balance this, because Trump is generating so much more coverage.  They're not starting it.  The press isn't.  Trump's just out doing what he's doing, and they are compelled to cover it.

They cannot not cover it.  But there is no... Hillary Clinton calls a press conference; it's no big deal.  There isn't a mad dash by countless members of the media to get there and see what she's gonna say.  There is no comparative excitement, unpredictability, drama, entertainment, you name it. There isn't any comparison.  Now, not to say Trump doesn't have any competition, because he does.  That's a crucial factor in all of this, too.  Now, the Times here, they're hand-wringing. They're worried. They're complaining. (paraphrased)

"It's not fair! It's not fair! We can't control the media 'cause of Trump."  The problem is -- and they don't want to say this, but the problem is -- that Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is interesting.  And Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is funny.  Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is different.  Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is drama.  Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is unpredictable.  All of that means, you can't miss it.

That's the right's most important propagandist who, by the way, has called himself "an entertainer" for years. Trump is his creature more than anyone else in America.

The sad truth is that close to half this country likes Trump just the way he is.