You don’t have to like Donald Trump to be disgusted by the spectacle of the Beltway media’s self-congratulation over their collective role in trashing the man. Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins, author of last week’s sensational hit piece, was joined by Maggie Haberman of Politico on CNN’s Reliable Sources, hosted by Brian Stelter (and cheered by Dylan Byers and God knows who else) as they declared: “The Donald’s fifteen minutes may be up.”
Nothing says “bubble” quite like Coppins telling fellow journalists about how the media give Trump too much attention, after spending 36 hours with Trump on the “fake campaign trail,” in the course of a panel discussion that is entirely about Trump. “I’m part of the problem,” Coppins confesses. He doesn’t mean it, of course: he’s on a TV show, still talking about Trump. He just wants to applaud his own exquisite moral self-awareness.
Coppins says he wanted “to expose the long con” that, he says, is Trump’s political career. Yet to do that, he had to perpetrate a con of his own: namely, deceiving Trump into thinking his story was going to be sincere political coverage. Though Coppins apologizes for taking Trump seriously, he never apologizes for that malicious trick. In fact, he is proud of it, and relishes it, as do his fellow panelists: Stelter says Coppins’s hit was “delicious.”
The whole dialogue is peppered with the taken-for-granted leftism of the Beltway media. Haberman chimes in that it’s not just the media’s fault that Trump gets so much attention–the New York Republican Party is also to blame, simply for being so pathetic. Stelter takes some time to read a snide tweet from leftist David Corn–yes, he of Mother Jones fame, who helped bring down Mitt Romney with the “47 percent” story in the 2012 election.
Towards the end, Coppins adds: “I think that in the context of a political campaign, yeah, I think the political press could do a little better–this is myself included–making clear this is not a real political candidate, not a real political figure. This is a sideshow.” He and his fellow panelists agree to share the heavy burden–how honorable!–of weeding out bad candidates, since voters obviously cannot be trusted to decide on their own.
We’ll know Trump is “real,” Coppins says, when he starts making speeches “to sweaty crowds in Iowa.” Ah, the “sweaty crowds” of democracy, to whom Coppins and his colleagues must grudgingly defer. There is more than a bit of H.L. Mencken in the backslapping among these snobs. They resent the ignorant boobs at the ballot box, and envy the power of those they must trail for crumbs of content. Poor things–perhaps they could use a laugh.