By Jonathon Van Maren
I can now tell you, with almost complete certainty, what the next several hundred online news articles about Donald Trump will be called: “Donald Trump finally goes too far.” Or perhaps: “This time, Trump has gone too far.” In a burst of creativity, some clickbait writer may even come up with: “You’ll never believe what Donald Trump just said!” The entire media seems to be in a constant state of shocked outrage, like an elderly grandmother who has found herself watching a Quentin Tarantino movie but won’t change the channel.
The media, obviously, does not understand the extent to which right-leaning Americans loathe them.
The average conservative/populist/libertarian does not just disagree with the mainstream media. They despise it. This media, after all, has been labeling them racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, and any number of other recently-invented bigotries almost ceaselessly for decades.
They remember when news outlets were trying to say conservative protestors carrying guns near an Obama rally were racist—and the photo that was circulated as proof turned out to be an African American man who had been pictorially beheaded by the media.
They remember the entire mainstream media, without exception, loudly condemning the Tea Party as racist.
They still feel the sting of having every criticism of Barack Obama dismissed as racist.
And now, they’re savoring the sight of a candidate who gloriously thrashes them at every opportunity.
And he’s doing a brilliant job of it. My opinion of Donald Trump is not a very high one, but it’s hard not to watch with glee when he calls out reporters at his rallies: “Are you with CNN? You guys are terrible.” Or in interviews: “See, you guys don’t even know what you’re talking about!” Or throwing reporters out of his campaign events. Trump knows the media is not his friend, and thus treats them like his enemy. At the same time, he knows his celebrity is just too big for them to ignore. For the first time, the media has met a candidate they cannot sink.
This is why it is so hilarious when the media churns out thousands of articles all asking the same, desperate question: “Has Donald Trump Finally Gone Too Far?” What they don’t realize is when they accuse someone of making racist statements, no one is listening anymore. They’ve been calling everyone on the Right racist for decades. They called President Bush the Elder a racist when he brought up crime. They said President Bush the Younger was racist and didn’t care about black people dying in the wake Hurricane Katrina. Over and over again—every conservative, no matter what his or her credentials, is a racist.
And now, like the boy who cried wolf, they find themselves unable to get anyone to believe them when they loudly point to a host of asinine Trump statements on Mexicans and immigrants. On one hand, they believe Trump is evidence that conservatives were racist all along, despite opposition from nearly every articulate conservative with a pen. But in reality, the media has been so firmly in the tank for the Left for so long that they’ve lost the ability to influence anyone on the right side of the spectrum.
People are sick of the perpetual PC merry-go-round: Famous Person Says Horrible Thing. The media goes wild and accuses that person of some sort of phobia, regardless of the context. That person delivers a tearstained apology on some late night show, to the sympathetic nods of the host manning the confessional. And again, everything is right with the world.
Not anymore. Donald Trump doesn’t need the media, and thus can afford to tell them exactly what he thinks of them. And many conservatives, after years of gritting their teeth and enduring contempt from the mainstream media, are experiencing a glorious catharsis they never thought would come.
Don’t get me wrong. I hope Trump loses, preferably soon. I think he’s an awful candidate, and a worse human being. But since his presence on the public stage must be tolerated for the time being, at least we can enjoy watching perpetually smug reporters have their entitlement shredded by the famous tongue-lashings of the Donald.