The feud between Huffington Post and Donald Trump took a drastic turn which has ironically exposed the publication (Huffington Post) as a villain. Huffington Post has taken the drastic measure NOT to cover Donald Trump’s campaign for president in political coverage. Huffington Post is ethically wrong to take that position. On January 2009 during Obama’s inauguration for his first term presidency, I watched Fox Opinion (known and referred to by most as Fox News) airing George W. Bush’s departure from the White House instead of the inauguration. I complained of the foolishness and the lack of professionalism at and of Fox. The event itself warranted live coverage by major news organizations let alone an historical event, the first black President in the country was being sworn in. Today, we found Fox Opinion’s nemesis, the Huffington Post. Both have something ridiculous in common, they refuse to cover the candidates they do not like, they refuse to cover the individuals they think are unworthy of coverage. This is an extreme position for such a large publication. There is no amount of spinning which could justify Huffington Post’s action but one thing is certain, political reporters at Huffington Post are sanctioned all the while the publication decries the Obama’s administration to have placed restriction on freedom of the press; it is probably the most blatant hypocrisy by a news organization. No longer would Huffington Post be able to criticize Fox Opinion for its lack of professionalism and its biased coverage; both are now in the same league, both share the same views when it comes to reporting.
In the meantime, in spite of the Huffington Post’s position, Donald Trump is in the News. When has he ever not be? Since he has stepped into the ring of aspirants for the seat of the presidency of the United States, Donald Trump has unfairly suffered the wrath of the media; this is not to say he did or said nothing wrong, far from it! But the media obsession with Trump has a created a vortex of gossips with outcomes far different from what was expected.
Upon the announcement he’s running for president, the media went haywire, mocking him for his hair, for his look, for his words, for how he entered the podium to make the announcement. To the media – myself included – and most everybody else, Trump’s candidacy was going to be a flash in a pan. Trump would get his five minutes fame and go away; there was even a silent consensus he would not make it to the Iowa Caucus. Boy was the media wrong!
But instead of humbly admitting to the colossal mistake, the media continues to cover – or NOT to cover in the case of Huffington Post – Mr. Trump in very negative light, with his unconditional help of course but that’s not the point. Has the media covered Trump the same way it covers other candidates, Mr. Trump could probably be higher in the polls; in other words, Donald Trump is doing much better than the polls suggest. Think about it! Despite the negative coverage by almost all networks, Mr. Trump has managed to keep the top spot of the Republican Party. The media is not the only medium that’s out to destroy Trump; the other candidates are waiting for opportunities to pile up on him – which they did when Trump made the comment that McCain is only a hero because he was captured; and they also did when Trump made the comment about Megyn Kelly, that “Blood coming out of her wherever.” – in the hope something would stick and they could all go back to politics as usual.
After the comments about McCain hero status which generated the wrath of McCain himself and everybody else who wants Trump out of the way failed to materialize into marginalizing Mr. Trump, they all waited for the first debate to do the trick; boy were they wrong! Donald Trump not only survived the first debate but also managed to get a boost in the rating following derogatory comments he made about Megyn Kelly, one of the hosts for the debate, which leaves the “political experts” baffled. How could someone so unhinged manage to defy stats, to challenge the status quo? The answer is not complicated at all.
- For over two centuries now, politicians who have aspired to any public office have mastered the art of pinning one party against the other without any plan, willingness or desire to do anything meaningful for the constituents. For that long as well, those politicians have served nothing but lip service and “The People” have yearned for changes. Some have already thrown the towel and are no longer participating in the election process, a behavior that is much welcome by anyone who runs for public office. Donald Trump has changed everything in a blink of an eye. What’s not to like! But don’t expect the media to cover Trump fairly, that’s not going to happen. Already, Huffington Post has doubled down on its decision not to cover Trump’s campaign; the Time reported a comment Trump made about Heidi Klum’ waist size as an insult, and the list goes on and on. This is very unfortunate and a serious blow handed by Huffington Post to the political process. It’s perfectly okay for any individual to take a stand for or against a candidate but it is crossing the line for a news organization to stop covering a candidate because it doesn’t like what s/he says or stands for. Huffington Post has crossed the line. There is no need to wonder what the editors (at Huffington Post) have to do to prevent such coverage; they have to sanction their reporters, a far cry for a news organization which claims to have given its reporters the freedom to write.
- Trump comes across as probably the smartest guy when it comes to marketing; he’s been getting free press everywhere he goes. Everyone – except Huffington Post after sanctioning its reporters – wants to be the first to catch him saying something bad, something lunatic, something detrimental; the media got its wish, Trump has not shied away from saying exactly what he thinks about everything. Reported as his greatest weakness, it is however Trump’s greatest strength which has helped him reach and keep the top spot among the Republican candidates. Trump is a savvy businessman; he is very quick at spotting opportunities and taking advantage of those. His off the cuff comments, at times (ok, most of the time) superficially insulting, reflect the genuineness of a candidate, something no other candidate can claim, which might explain why the media is fascinated with Trump, a love-hate relationship. Contrary to the insults directed at Mr. Trump by Huffington Post – while imposing sanctions against covering his campaign – Mr. Trump’s entertainment style approach to important issues has done much good; it has forced discussions of the issues, something that was sorely missing in political debates.
- Other candidates such as Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, have not been as critical of Trump as the other aspirants to the Oval Office for they are positioning themselves to be the beneficiaries of Trump’s supporters if he should drop out of the race, but the most interesting candidate is Jeb Bush who is praying for Trump’s “demise off the race”; most polls suggest he is the most likely candidate to slide to the top spot in the absence of Donald Trump in the race.
- And of course there is Fox Opinion whose management has always placed business before journalism; Trump has proven – in the first debate – he is able to singlehandedly rally Fox’s largest audience by his very presence in the debate. Fox’s management considers Trump a very important FREE asset to achieve its main objective, to increase Fox’s coffers. His spat with Megyn – during and after the debate – was seen by most as the beginning of the end of Donald Trump, for anyone who has dealt with Fox knows much too well that a coordinated approach to destroy the competition has succeeded without a hitch. To everyone’s dismay, Roger Ailes, Fox News’ president personally called Donald Trump to mend the rifts.
Huffington Post should take a page from Fox; Donald Trump is much too important to simply ignore, not because of his boisterous behavior but rather because Mr. Trump doesn’t bend to the whims of campaign donors. For the first time in the presidential election, there is a candidate who doesn’t have to compromise his principles (good or bad), who doesn’t have to negotiate his beliefs for campaign financing. We may not agree with everything Trump – there is never a consensus on any candidate anyway – but we welcome his candidacy.
We can all agree Mr. Trump is not refined; we can all agree Mr. Trump doesn’t typify our concept of politicians, much less someone bidding for the highest office in the land. We can all agree Donald Trump has ruffled some feathers but Donald Trump is NOT to be wished away. The Donald Trump phenomenon is probably the best thing that has happened to politics in America. For seasoned politicians, Mr. Trump could certainly be a nightmare but his candidacy is timely and a much needed change to end the status quo.