Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has a message for Donald Trump about BuzzFeed blogger McKay Coppins, and it’s one that other Republican officials might heed when liberal journalists come looking to “humanize” them.
“This nervous geek isn’t fit to tie the Donald’s wingtips,” Palin told Breitbart News after Trump ripped Coppins for lampooning him with what he alleged were out-of-context quotes and boorish behavior at Trump’s Florida resort. “Don’t ever give him attention again.”
Coppins tricked Trump’s advisers into thinking he would profile Trump as a potential “major” GOP 2016 presidential hopeful. As Breitbart News reported, the Jan. 5 email from Coppins to now former-Trump aide Sam Nunberg read:
“I’ve already done big profiles of all the major 2016 GOP players, including substantial sit-down interviews with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Scott Walker, and features on Ryan, Rubio, Cruz, etc,” Coppins told Nunberg, adding that choosing BuzzFeed for the profile would “show that he’s ahead of the curve and understands the new media landscape.”
His access secure, Coppins attended Trump’s speech at New Hampshire’s famed “Politics and Eggs” breakfast, which has hosted nearly every major presidential candidate. The resulting piece, “36 Hours on the Fake Campaign Trail with Donald Trump,” was one of the most venomous hit pieces in recent memory. Coppins trashed Trump as a joke, with all the preconceived notions, snark, backhanded compliments, innuendo, and mockery that those like MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, a notorious Trump hater, and Coppins’ editor, Ben Smith, have been throwing around for years.
Evidence suggests that Trump gave Coppins the benefit of the doubt when he should have expected the worst. The supposedly “objective” Coppins was caught on a hot mic trashing Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential election. As Breitbart’s John Nolte wrote then:
This is yet one more example of just how childish and unprofessional these partisans disguised as “objective” reporters are — and it gives you a hint of what Romney’s been up against throughout this entire campaign. Not just from the likes of BuzzFeed, and they’re bad enough, but from a media atmosphere so stacked against Romney and in favor of Obama that anyone pretending to be an “objective” journalist can feel comfortable popping off like this.
It’s also a look at how comfortable these elitist jerks are behaving this way amongst themselves when they think no one is listening. I have no issues with reporters joking around, but it’s no coincidence that you never ever hear this kind of thing coming from the “objective” media about President Obama.
In addition, Coppins’ editor is the infamous Ben Smith, whose arsenal of clever tactics to protect and shield liberals spawned the term “BenSmithing, which now has an entry in UrbanDictionary.com. Smith has reveled in mocking Trump, and Trump’s camp has admitted that they underestimated him.
If anything, the treatment BuzzFeed gave Trump should be a warning for GOP politicians, especially those with 2016 aspirations, to never let their guard down.
This is something Palin knows all too well. In 2008, she was the running mate for a candidate who once boasted that the mainstream media was his “base.” But just as soon as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) secured the GOP nomination, the mainstream press savagely turned on him. They asked him questions on his “Straight Talk Express” bus about things like viagra and birth control in a seeming effort to make him look old, cranky, and out of touch against the “exciting” Barack Obama, whom the press neither vetted nor criticized as they drooled over his “historical” candidacy.
But even that paled in comparison to how they vilified Palin, the “Caribou Barbie,” during and after the campaign. The low point may have occurred when Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in 2011: CNN, which by its own account did not have any evidence whatsoever, suggested Palin’s political rhetoric may have been a cause of the attempted murder.
Palin has said she does not need to cooperate with outlets and reporters from the “lamestream” press that have a track record of biases and distortions. And because the mainstream media do not have as big a monopoly as they once had on the news cycle, candidates–especially those who already have plenty of name-recognition–do not need the mainstream press like they did even two presidential election cycles ago.
Trump, Nunberg and Bianka Pop, a Trump resort employee, alleged that Coppins ogled other women in a way that made them feel uncomfortable.
“There were two beautiful girls walking around Mar-a-Lago,” Trump told Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle in a phone interview. “He said to me, ‘Boy, I wish my wife looked like that’ while he was gawking at them. Unbelievable. What a scumbag.”
The Coppins Trump profile has prompted some Republicans to send out warnings about interacting with the BuzzFeed scribe. But often, the allure of liberal respectability is too much for GOP politicians and their advisers to resist, prompting them to provide extraordinary access to journalists who have left a trail of carnage in their wake.
That has been and will be a recipe for disaster. Ask Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), another potential 2016 presidential candidate, who has already been burned twice–by BuzzFeed and, before that, GQ. Ask Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) about his time with New Yorker scribe Ryan Lizza. Ask Rand Paul about his New Republic cover shoot.
Candidates vying for the GOP nomination in 2016 will be flattered and swarmed by pesky liberals like Coppins, who are all to eager to shiv GOP candidates before the general election. Coppins even has a book deal with Little Brown about the Republican Party; it’s due out in 2015.
That’s a game Palin is refusing to play. Palin’s message to Trump after the BuzzFeed snark-job was directed at Coppins, but it is worth repeating because it applies just as well to all mainstream media and left-of-center reporters who either view conservatives as the enemy or exotic species in a remote rain forest: “Don’t ever give him attention again.”