Illustration by Business Insider
Blame the media.This is the tried-and-true (and popular) tactic employed by every citizen who doesn’t like something other citizens are obsessing about.
Such as Donald Trump.
Donald Trump is now basically the Republican frontrunner for the 2012 presidential race–despite the fact that many Americans think he isn’t running and/or that his campaign is a joke.
And because many Americans think that Donald Trump’s campaign for president is a joke, they blame the media.
For example, here’s digital guru Dave Winer on Twitter this morning:
We have the media to thank/blame for Trump.
Now, it’s fine to blast “the media” for inviting Trump on air and then letting him go on about his birther theories without actually challenging him with the facts. But some “media” is actually doing a good job of this. George Stephanopoulos the other day, for example, raked Trump over the coals.
What’s not fair is to blame “the media” for the whole Trump phenomenon.
The unpopular truth is that Americans are much more interested in Trump’s campaign for president than they are in, say, Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney’s campaigns for president. Right now, they’re even more interested in Trump’s campaign than Sarah Palin’s campaign or Michele Bachmann’s campaign.
How do we know that?
Because, every day, minute to minute, we at Business Insider can see clearly what people are interested in. Our readers vote with their attention. And when we run a story about Donald Trump, they click like mad. When we run one about Mike Huckabee, they yawn. When we run one about Mitt Romney, meanwhile, they pass out cold.
Now, this is in part presumably because Trump’s the shiny new object, and unlike professional politicians, he’s not afraid to say things that other people think are outrageous (read: interesting and entertaining). And it is also presumably because no one thinks Trump has a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming president, so it’s all just a bit of entertainment until we get down to the (boring) job of electing a professional politician. And it’s also because people haven’t actually stopped to think about what it would actually be like to have Trump as president. When they do that–just as they eventually did with temporary 2008 GOP front-runner Rudy Giuliani–Trump will likely plummet in the polls.
But, for now, folks who are blaming the media for Trump have it the wrong way around.
Want to know who to blame for Trump, America? Just look in the mirror.