The media’s idiotic anticipation of a Donald Trump “pivot” away from racism and insanity and toward something more “presidential” has found its perfect exemplar in MSNBC host Chris Matthews. At the close of Wednesday night’s Hardball, Matthews used his “Let Me Finish” segment to fervently wish that Trump would turn things around from his “slump” this week, stop talking about all this “ethnic stuff” (that’s WhitePeople-ese for “racism”), start attacking Hillary Clinton, and just “build!”:
Let me finish with this week’s reversal of fortune. I’m talking about the big lead that Hillary Clinton now holds in the polls. What’s all this mean? That Trump is doing something very wrong, his attack on the judge, his call for an enlarged travel ban on Muslims, his failure to exploit the negative inspector general’s count on e-mail. Politically Trump’s clearly in a slump and for good reason. He’s not doing the job of a Republican presidential nominee. He’s not uniting his party, he’s dividing it, leaving himself alone to confront the enemy. Many would say the country is better off because of Trump’s drifting off and that said, I would like to hear more of a Trump message that elevates the American political debate, about the need to rebuild this country, the city, the country, the subway, the rail and sewer systems, what we need to do to catch up with the rest of the world. I want to hear a republican presidential candidate and a builder speak up about truly making America greater. That means replacing the smell of decay with the smell of construction. Unemployment, under employment, the hollowing out of our manufacturing base, all of it would be overcome if we’d just start building. The rest of the world is. Why can’t we? Why can’t Trump? Trump should get off the ethnic stuff that is killing him, and talk about the stuff that would make this country, not “Great Again,” but greater.
Matthews’ weird fetish for building aside (he seems to have taken the term “Erector Set” entirely too much to heart), Matthews’ rant is everything that’s wrong with the mainstream media’s coverage of the Trump campaign times ten. Trump is not in a “slump,” he’s been doing the exact same thing for exactly one year, and the only thing worse than expecting him to reverse it now is thinking that reversing it could undo the damage he has done to himself. The political media in general, and Matthews in particular, treat Trump’s racism, xenophobia, and misogyny like messaging problems instead of the fatal moral failings that they are, and his loony, frightening policy pronouncements like knocks in an engine that just needs some fine-tuning.
It’s no coincidence, though, that the media is dominated by the type of person who can more easily forgive and forget racism and bigotry and misogyny if Trump would just keep them to himself. It’s easy for them to fill out a blank pardon for Trump’s bigotry, because they were never going to be directly affected by it anyway. They should take a page from Trump and “ask the blacks, the women, the Hispanics, the Muslims” if they think Trump can “pivot” anywhere but straight to Hell.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.