Donald Trump proved once again today that he is a master manipulator of the mainstream media — and the mainstream media is not happy about it.
After Hillary Clinton revived Trump’s connection to the “Birther” controversy Thursday, the Trump campaign teased a press conference in which the Republican candidate would address the issue.
“Once again, the American news media gets totally played by Trump.”
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In the Friday morning press conference, in which Trump was joined by a number of military officers and veterans, he did eventually address the controversy — but only after a number of highly decorated former and current generals spent 30 minutes singing Trump’s praises.
Yet again Trump turned a manufactured controversy to his advantage, playing the press like a fiddle in the process. “We got played, again, by the Trump campaign,” said John King on CNN after the press conference finished.
“Once again, the American news media gets totally played by Trump,” tweeted Jim Roberts, a consulting editor for The Hill. “Wall-to-wall coverage. We’re all guilty.”
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“Trump’s campaign hyped up change on birther issue. And now that TV networks carrying it live, we’ve had 20 mins of veterans endorsing Trump,” tweeted CNN’s Jeremy Diamond.
Glenn Thrush, Politico’s chief political correspondent, threw a Twitter tantrum befitting a 12-year-old girl. Thrush noted that “18 months into this cable networks are still letting Trump hijack them for free airtime — ad time — by promising a ‘major announcement.'” Minutes later he added “this is a f—king disgrace.”
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One would think the media would have learned its lesson by now, given Trump has largely spent his entire campaign playing the media in such a fashion.
During the primaries, he released tapes of himself pretending to be his publicist. His “softening” immigration stance made the media forget about the Khan controversy and provided the candidate with a week of wall-to-wall media coverage of his commonsense immigration policy. His call on Russia to release Hillary Clinton’s missing emails ensured that the media spent a week talking about Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.
Indeed, while many frequently make mention of Trump’s alleged unpredictability, his media strategy is wholly predictable — the brilliant minds in the media just haven’t caught on.