The news media, both tele­vi­sion and the press, must stop giv­ing dai­ly expo­sure to the rant­i­ngs of Donald Trump.

It seems that hard­ly a day goes by that there isn’t some­thing about the man post­ed in the media, most often his ridicu­lous remarks to the dwin­dling crowds that he col­lects at var­i­ous venues.

Surely there must be some peo­ple in the upper offices of media out­lets smart enough to under­stand that Trump would nev­er have gained the office of President in 2016 had it not been for the over­ween­ing expo­sure giv­en to him every day, almost sole­ly because of the con­tin­u­ing crazy things he was saying.

He is a mas­ter of draw­ing atten­tion to him­self, and that seems to be his goal in life, to always be in the spot­light.  Remember how he shoul­dered his way to the front of the group at the inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence so that he could be on the front row when the pho­to was tak­en, phys­i­cal­ly shov­ing German Chancellor Merkel aside?

Now he is con­cen­trat­ing on test­ing his recog­ni­tion and pow­er by going after mem­bers of his own par­ty (and it is real­ly dif­fi­cult to think of him as a mem­ber of the Republican par­ty when he so obvi­ous­ly con­sid­ers it the Trump Party) who, in his mind, have not shown undy­ing and unend­ing sup­port of him per­son­al­ly, like the scant few who vot­ed to impeach him, and Liz Cheney who may actu­al­ly be show­ing the char­ac­ter­is­tics of what a real Republican should be.

Perhaps equal­ly as bad are those Republicans who have acknowl­edged his short­com­ings and inap­pro­pri­ate behav­ior in the past – think Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell – who now would not deign to speak against him for fear of alien­at­ing some of their voters.

So, one might sug­gest that the news media refus­ing to pro­vide Trump air time and print space is tan­ta­mount to cen­sor­ship.  Yes, it prob­a­bly is cen­sor­ship in some respect, and giv­ing pow­er to pri­vate resources to exert cen­sor­ship is nev­er a good option.

But look at it anoth­er way.  Doesn’t the media cen­sor news every day?  Don’t they select the sto­ries which go on the air at prime time or fill the front page of the morn­ing paper?  Of course they do, and almost every­one is occa­sion­al­ly – if not reg­u­lar­ly – frus­trat­ed by the over­ex­po­sure or lack of expo­sure of some sto­ry that they may think of as less or more wor­thy of air time or print space.

The per­fect exam­ple is the ongo­ing tripe relat­ing to the Will Smith slap of Chris Rock at the Oscar Award cer­e­mo­ny.  As this is being writ­ten, sto­ries about this event are still show­ing up dai­ly on tele­vi­sion and sure­ly every­one can agree that there is much more valu­able news to be aired.

It is a tightrope to be walked, pro­vid­ing valu­able news with­out bias or favoritism and it is a chal­lenge not met suc­cess­ful­ly every day.  Fortunately, the pletho­ra and vari­ety of news sources avail­able pro­vides some mit­i­ga­tion to this conundrum.

But Trump has one goal in mind, to be select­ed as the Republican can­di­date for the pres­i­den­cy again in 2024 and he is manip­u­lat­ing the media now just as he did in 2016, suck­ing them in like a Venus Flytrap draws insects with its sweet nectar.

If it con­tin­ues to fall prey to these machi­na­tions, the Republican Party itself is going to be faced with a very dif­fi­cult deci­sion two years hence, and the Party has shown no for­ti­tude thus far in repuls­ing his dri­ve even though, regard­less of the out­come, it could result in anoth­er January 6th which, frankly, should also be remem­bered as anoth­er “Day of Infamy.”

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.