This is interesting. As I mentioned earlier, Donald Trump announced today that he would hold a press event to discuss birtherism. Cable news showed up in force, but instead of getting what they were told, they got this:
- Trump showed up an hour late, guaranteeing lots of extra coverage.
- He held the event at his new DC hotel and then spent several minutes telling everyone how great the hotel is. In effect, he conned the press into giving him a free, nationwide commercial for his hotel.
- Then he spent 20 minutes introducing a bunch of military folks who were endorsing him.
- Finally, at the very end, he gave a 10-second statement acknowledging for the first time that Barack Obama was born in the United States. Then he walked off without taking any questions.
So far, the reaction of the press corps has been scathing. It was a bait-and-switch. They got played. When will we ever learn? They are pissed.
So is this a turning point? It’s one thing to acknowledge Trump is a master of TV, but it’s another for him to be so blatant about manipulating the press. After all, there’s a point at which reporters stop being amused by the Trump campaign and start resenting it. Maybe we got there today.
UPDATE: Breitbart News rubs it in as only Breitbart can:
They keep taking the bait! https://t.co/EOLPpKlyto pic.twitter.com/ZIjplxmDFG
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 16, 2016
Keep in mind that Trump’s campaign CEO, Steve Bannon, was the head of Breitbart News until he took a leave to work for Trump. They really seem bound and determined to make sure the mainstream press knows just how badly they’ve been conned.