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Monday, 1 August 2016

Has Murdoch Abandoned Trump?

Many have talked about election campaigns being part of a “Post-truth politics”, where those campaigning just say what they believe will get the voters on side, then worry about it later - after the event. The way those campaigning for Britain to leave the EU sprayed around a number of claims it turned out they could not stand up is cited as a prime example. But, as Ronald Reagan once said, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.
Donald, where's yer hairspray?

That is because in Ronnie’s homeland, the campaign to become the next President of the USA has, on one side at least, ventured beyond merely letting whoppers to a mixture of hatred, intolerance, dishonesty, abuse, incitement, racism, misogyny, and a total disregard for reality. That is the rolling car crash that is the Republican Party’s nominee, alleged businessman Donald Trump, aka The Combover Crybaby.

Many in the GOP are now openly distancing themselves from the increasingly wayward Trump, and especially after he smeared the parents of a soldier who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Iraq adventure. The Donald pulled his smear, let us put this directly, because Humayun Khan was a Muslim. Thus his insulting and demeaning attitude towards Khan’s parents, his rather Khizr, and especially his mother Ghazala.

Observing that Ghazala Khan had stood silently by her husband as he addressed the Democrat National Convention last week, Trump said “His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there … She had nothing to say. She probably … maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me. But plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet. And it looked like she had nothing to say”.

But Trump still has one formidable backer in the shape of Rupert Murdoch, who has stood by while Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) has been The Donald’s main cheerleader, with hosts such as professional loudmouth Sean Hannity falling over themselves in their efforts to grovel before The Great Man. Then came the forced resignation of Fox News head man Roger Ailes. And that may have changed things.
That Rupe may be experiencing buyer’s remorse is hinted at as the New York Post, a Murdoch tabloid with the same subtlety level as the Sun, splashed an old photo of Trump’s current wife Melania on its front page yesterday. She used to be a nude model. The caption could have come from Kelvin McFilth himself: “THE OGLE OFFICE … Exclusive Photos … You’ve never seen a potential First Lady like this!” Yeah, phwoar, eh?!?!?

The thought enters that this is not the kind of publicity needed by a candidate under fire and characterised as a less than totally serious and fit choice for the White House. The NYP would not have put that on the front page without at least Murdoch’s acquiescence. Some very senior Republicans are having doubts about letting Trump remain as their candidate, with every horrendous gaffe gifting Hillary Clinton more ammunition.

On top of that, Trump is now trying to chicken out of the Presidential debates. Rupert Murdoch has been a faithful ally of the GOP since Ronnie’s time. Perhaps the ground is being prepared to have The Donald shuffled off. Perhaps it’s just Rupe distancing himself. Perhaps it’s got something to do with Ailes being fired. But it looks for all the world as if Murdoch is cutting Donald Trump loose. He knows a loser when he sees one.

7 comments:

David Aust said...

Interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if even Rupert has concerns about Trump - the sort of mayhem he might unleash isn't good for business, after all, and he has less to fear from Hilary than from Bernie, I suspect. Also, Fox News has been more critical of Trump of late. That said, I'm not convinced this Post from page is a subtle attempt to undermine him - I'm not sure its readers do subtle. I could be wrong though...

Anonymous said...

Where Trump is concerned: I have seen the future. And it doesn't work.

Where Murdoch is concerned: Given that front page, it's difficult to see who's the biggest tit.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Did everyone miss out on the parallel story: "Playboy Cover Model Donald Trump Pivots On Porn, Signs Pledge"?

JSG said...

It could simply be that Murdoch is more interested in his market than in particular politicians.

Trump is, as I understand it, pretty widely detested in New York. "We know him, so we hate him," as a New Yorker friend of mine explained (she added "We know Hillary, too, so we hate her as well, just not as much as we hate Trump").

So maybe it's simply Murdoch's New York paper taking the line its readership will like, rather as the English and Scottish editions of the Sun sometimes take opposing editorial views.


Debbie O'Neill said...

Call me cynical, but I expect this is getting it out there for Trump now, rather than later, when it might hurt him more. When it comes to doing what's best for themselves, I don't think there's a fag paper between the two of them.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

What's worth a nano-second of factoring in is the "other who and why".

Who and why pointed the NY Post in this direction? After all, the Post — especially at week-ends — is not an obvious reserve of investigatory journalism.

There clearly is something very odd going on.

After the plagiarised speech, there was the sudden taking-off (there's a lot of it going on, in this context) of the claim from the lady's own web-site that she had a degree in design and architecture, earned in Slovenia. This claim appeared in the Republican National Convention program. Whoops! On 19th July CBS demolished this, and asserted that Melania Knav (afterwards, in Milan that became "Knauss") had dropped out after one year of the course.

This, though, a miscellany collected by Martha Ross (and in the "local sports" section), mross@bayareanewsgroup.com:

Trump's sanguine response raises more questions: notably, whether he or someone in his campaign helped make sure the photos were published.

After all, the photos were published in a newspaper that has endorsed him and might be inclined to gain some P.R. leverage.

And, what would Trump himself have to gain?

Gawker and the Huffington Post have some theories. A.M. Mitchell with the Huffington Post believes the publication of the photos was timed by Trump or his people to "plant a red herring into our political news cycle."

Mitchell drills down on the timing. The photos went online after the Republicans had a pretty disastrous convention the week before and after Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination on Thursday ... And after Trump this past week incited outrage over his various comments about NATO, Russian hackers sabotaging Clinton, Vladimir Putin and the Ukraine ... And after he launched his controversial and lacerating criticism of the Muslim-American parents of a slain army captain.

What's disturbing, Mitchell said, is that by publishing the photos, "Donald Trump and the Post are hanging Melania out to dry in a culture which is still, at its core, puritanical. ... They are counting on her being retributively shamed by liberals who are hungry to avenge sexist slights against Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton in order to gain what? A couple of points in the polls?"

She continues: "Donald Trump is complicit in allowing a publication which has endorsed him to victimize his own wife. If there is any story worth talking about here, that is it."

Man From Atlan said...

It might be that Murdoch (like the GOP establishment) is distancing from Trump, but consider this: doesn't this enhance Trump's position? See, he isn't liked by the elites!

Given the climate in the US, this sort of mass media excoriation might well have unintended consequences; rather like with Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.