Thursday, May 12, 2016

Eyes on the plane

Wolf Blitzer on CNN earlier this afternoon, in the aftermath of Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan’s meeting with Donald Trump: “We’ll continue to monitor the takeoff of that plane.” Trump’s plane, of course. CNN kept that parked plane in sight, in one on-screen window, while talking heads continued to talk in another.

Andrew Sullivan’s recent lament about the failure of “elites” to protect democracy from the likes of Donald Trump misses the point that Trump’s candidacy is itself the product of an elite — not a political elite but a media elite, one that has kept Trump (and even his parked plane) front and center for months now. As Leslie Moonves, CBS executive chairman and CEO, said, in a remark that by now ought to be infamous, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” And CNN, and MSNBC, &c. Sarah Palin’s vice-presidential candidacy, we should remember, was the work of media and political elites.

A related post
Kristol, Palin, Trump

[There’s more that Sullivan gets wrong, I think. He dismisses Bernie Sanders as a “demagogue” (conflating him with Trump) and displays surprising enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Sullivan in 2007: “We have no excuse if Hillary Clinton becomes president. We know what and who she is.”]

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