On Monday’s MTP Daily, a BuzzFeed writer who tried to preemptively take out Donald Trump with a 2014 hit piece said he did not know how to “stop” Trump from rising in the polls after controversial statements and policy proposals—like building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and banning Muslims from entering the United States. BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins even conceded that Trump’s latest proposal to ban Muslim immigrants would probably help him in the polls.
Coppins was asked on MSNBC whether Trump “pays any price” for his latest proposal to put a moratorium on Muslim immigration.
“The problem is that we’re talking about it. We have to talk about it. It’s our job to hold candidates responsible for stuff like this,” Coppins said before noting that “every word that’s said about Donald Trump’s latest provocations, every headline, every negative, every fact-check only reinforces his message that he’s crusading against the evil media liberal elites.”
Coppins, whom Trump once labeled a “scumbag” for his hit piece on Trump, added, “I think this will help him and I don’t know how to stop that.”
On his Tuesday radio show, Rush Limbaugh said the mainstream media are becoming “unhinged” and “unglued” because “they can’t” stop Trump.
“They’re powerless, and this has them in a panic. The media that can make-or-break anybody cannot touch Trump, and every time they try, all they do is make him bigger. They can’t explain this. They are frustrated to no end, and so are both political parties who rely on the media to be the great equalizer in all of this,” Limbaugh explained. “Nothing’s working. No matter what Trump says, the media is there, and every member of the media is there. Every network, every camera, every microphone is there.”
Limbaugh said that “Trump has direct access to his voters, his supporters, the American people. Trump has direct access to people around the world.” According to Limbaugh, no matter how hard the mainstream media try, “they can’t stop covering him. They can’t humiliate him. They can’t embarrass him. They can’t diminish his support.”
Limbaugh added that “what really frustrates them, is they can’t get rid of Trump by simply repeating what he says. Trump has direct access. Trump did not need the media in order to be heard, in order to have his message flavored and formed for proper receipt by the audience. He has direct access. He doesn’t need them. He can go right over their heads.”
“It’s causing them to come unglued and unhinged, while they think it is Trump who is unhinged and coming unglued,” Limbaugh said.
New media and Trump’s celebrity have neutered the legacy media’s ability during the 2016 cycle to shape voters’s perception of the businessman and GOP frontrunner.
Last week, Pat Buchanan argued that “millions now regard the media as ideologues who are masquerading as journalists and use press privileges and power to pursue agendas not dissimilar to those of the candidates and parties they oppose.”
According to Buchanan, Trump’s “popularity is traceable to the fact that he rejects the moral authority of the media, breaks their commandments, and mocks their condemnations. His contempt for the norms of Political Correctness is daily on display.”
He observed that “large slice of America that detests a media whose public approval now rivals that of Congress, relishes this defiance” and “the last thing these folks want Trump to do is to apologize to the press.”
Buchanan noted that “the media have played right into Trump’s hand”:
They constantly denounce him as grossly insensitive for what he has said about women, Mexicans, Muslims, McCain and a reporter with a disability. Such crimes against decency, says the press, disqualify Trump as a candidate for president.
Yet, when they demand he apologize, Trump doubles down. And when they demand that Republicans repudiate him, the GOP base replies:
‘Who are you to tell us whom we may nominate? You are not friends. You are not going to vote for us. And the names you call Trump — bigot, racist, xenophobe, sexist — are the names you call us, nothing but cuss words that a corrupt establishment uses on those it most detests.’
What the Trump campaign reveals is that, to populists and Republicans, the political establishment and its media arm are looked upon the way the commons and peasantry of 1789 looked upon the ancien regime and the king’s courtiers at Versailles.
Buchanan noted that in Teddy White’s The Making of the President 1972, White wrote that the “power of the press in America is a primordial one. It sets the agenda of public discussion, and this sweeping political power is unrestrained by any law. It determines what people will talk and think about — an authority that in other nations is reserved for tyrants, priests, parties and mandarins.”
“Today the press decides what words are permissible and what thoughts are acceptable,” Buchanan wrote. “The press conducts the inquisitions where heretics are blacklisted and excommunicated from the company of decent men, while others are forgiven if they recant their heresies.”
Buchanan pointed out that “with the rise of network television and its vast audience, the fourth estate reached apogee in the 1960s and 1970s, playing lead roles in elevating JFK and breaking Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.” According to Buchanan, Nixon ultimately “inflicted deep and enduring wounds upon the fourth estate” because he rallied the “silent majority” against their agenda.
Buchanan mentioned that “a huge majority rallied to Nixon and Agnew, exposing how far out of touch with America our Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal had become.”
“Nixon, the man most hated by the elites in the postwar era, save Joe McCarthy, who also detested and battled the press, then ran up a 49-state landslide against the candidate of the media and counter-culture, George McGovern,” Buchanan noted. “Media bitterness knew no bounds.”
He said that when the “press extracted its pound of flesh” with Watergate, the media had “reached a new apex of national prestige.”
He pointed out that though “Nixon and Agnew were attacked for not understanding the First Amendment freedom of the press… all they were doing was using their First Amendment freedom of speech to raise doubts about the objectivity, reliability and truthfulness of the adversary press.”
After four decades, the tide has turned—perhaps permanently—against the mainstream media, according to Buchanan.
“Since those days, conservatives have attacked the mainstream media attacking them,” Buchanan wrote. “And four decades of this endless warfare has stripped the press of its pious pretense to neutrality.”