Over and over and over again, national news media wiseacres wonder aloud why Donald Trump keeps gaining support when every rational person in America knows he’s just a narcissistic blowhard spewing nationalistic populism without a single serious idea about how to govern America.
As Trump joins the 10 afterthought candidates at tonight’s big debate at the Reagan Library (don’t even get us started on the under card contenders — we can’t bear to watch that bar scene from Star Wars one more time), don’t look for a single one of the 8 bazillion Beltway blowhards and MSM knuckleheads on the scene to admit that they themselves – Fox, CNN and MSNBC in particular – are making Trump ever-increasingly infamous by giving him billions of dollars of free advertising for his ridiculous, self-important, stream-of-consciousness ramblings.
“Why is this happening?” Chris Matthews and other, even more repulsive (if you can imagine that) motormouths keep asking on air.
Why? How about: Because your network live broadcasts Trump every time he sputters another self-serving, self-referential remark or slander against anyone else he thinks is a loser.
It’s a plain fact that the cable news networks – consumed by the financial quest for ratings – have made Donald Trump the single most important person in American politics. They’re doing it themselves. Now they’ve started cutting away from serious news stories to put Trump’s rallies on the air – rallies that are large, precisely because the MSM have made him a super star.
It’s the infamy, stupid: Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post’s fount of Sillyville conventional wisdom, addressed this issue the other day in a column plaintively headlined, “Can we please stop blaming the media for Donald Trump?”
“I have two words for that theory: Absolutely ridiculous,” Cillizza said of the argument that wall-to-wall coverage of Trump has boosted his popularity:
Here’s why: To believe that Donald Trump is a media creation born of a desire for ratings, you have to believe one other thing: That conservatives, who comprise much of Trump’s support base at the moment, take their marching orders from the media. Which, of course, they don’t.
Wrong, wrong wrong.
It’s not about marching orders – it’s about exposure, publicity and infamy. (The kind of unfiltered overplay the media gave Sarah Palin in 2008 that propelled her to stardom.) Trump supporters don’t take marching orders from anyone. But if the news media gave any one of the other candidates the countless dollars of TV coverage they give to Trump, that candidate would soar in the polls.
Likewise, if every story about Hillary Clinton is about her email “scandal” – a word that used to mean something, but which now is tossed around without a shred of evidence of wrongdoing – how could she NOT drop in the polls?
What we’re witnessing is the making of national politics into reality TV — Presidential Idol, perpetrated by the American news media. And it’s a huge reason why Donald Trump is, for the moment, the most important figure in American politics.
The return of iCarly: Carly Fiorina makes her return to California tonight, the state whose voters left her buried under a big ole’ landslide the last time we caught sight of her smirking face, and the venue for the years of fiasco and failure as a corporate executive and political candidate that left her exposed as a total fraud.
We’re intrigued that some nationals are touting the big event as The Donald vs. iCarly Show. Based upon what some of her backers are saying, that’s apparently the way the Great Woman views it too:
“This is going to be a defining moment in Carly’s career,” said Boris Feldman, a Silicon Valley lawyer and one of her supporters.
“What’s selling tickets to this is the Trump-Carly card,” he said. “Trump has a thing about anybody questioning him, but especially a woman.”
For months, Fiorina has gallivanted around the country, spinning tales of purported vast accomplishments, as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, a 2010 U.S. Senate candidate, and an alleged authority on issues of concern to Golden Staters.
Californians of course, know better, as shown clearly by the new L.A. Times poll, which reported that, “Just four years after she spent tens of millions to impress them, fewer than half of California Republicans [emphasis ours] surveyed would consider voting for her, and 23% said they would never consider it.”
And, as the indefatigable Carla Marinucci demonstrated this week, with her scoop in scoring a 218-page opposition research report on Fiorina’s flops (we’re pretty sure it was just the Cliff’s Notes version), a high percentage of Carly’s claims are utterly phony.
So to get through tonight’s eight-hour-or-so debate, we offer our readers the Calbuzz Carly Drinking Game — take a shot of your favorite beverage whenever she makes one of the following claims:
As anyone who was around for Fiorina’s destructive, paranoid and egomanical administration of Hewlett-Packard recalls, she was dramatically fired in 2005 after the company had lost half its value, due in large part to her boneheaded acquisition of Compaq. Today, she likes to pretend getting canned was some matter of internal board politics, but the only issue in the “boardroom brawl” she keeps referencing was her incompetence.
As a Yale School of Management egghead memorably put it to the NYT, Fiorina’s H-P performance is the corporate equivalent of “the captain who caused the shipwreck of Carnival’s Costa Concordia in 2012 – ‘he will never be trusted with a public leadership role. Captains of industry must also be accountable.’”
“I know a little bit about Carly Fiorina, having watched her almost destroy the company my grandfather founded,” Arianna Packard, the granddaughter of the Hewlett-Packard co-founder David Packard, wrote in a letter in 2010, when Mrs. Fiorina was a candidate in California for the United States Senate.
Not only do Carly’s hardline anti-gay and anti-abortion rights stances conflict with the dominant views of Silicon Valley, but more importantly, her positions on key tech issues are also severely impinging her ability to raise any money there, as Politico reported in a terrific yarn:
She opposes pending legislation to ward off frivolous lawsuits by “patent trolls” — a top priority for companies like Apple, Facebook and Google…While the leading Internet companies have expressed support for the Federal Communications Commission’s new net neutrality rules.. Fiorina has rejected the regulations as “crony capitalism.”
Her confusing stance on surveillance reform isn’t meeting with much enthusiasm in the Valley, either. On one hand, Fiorina has questioned the National Security Agency’s power to collect telephone records en masse — a view broadly shared by the tech industry. But when asked at the presidential debate if she agrees with companies like Apple and Google about the need for encryption, she urged tech companies to “tear down cyber walls” and cooperate more with the government.
For an industry still shaken by revelations of NSA spying, her record of close ties with the CIA may give some in the Valley additional pause. From 2007 to 2009, she was a member of an advisory board to then-CIA Director Michael Hayden, a role that gave her access to counter-terrorism and cybersecurity briefings…
Carly never came close to Babs, running against one of the nation’s premiere liberals in an off-year election when Republicans racked up huge gains across the nation. She stumbled at the start with revelations that she’d barely bothered to vote in previous elections, and things only got worse the more her nasty personal style was exposed to the public.
After she tried to explain away her failure to vote because she felt “disconnected” from the political system, Michael Hiltzik took her down:
During her reign at Hewlett-Packard, according to public records, her corporation spent $4.7 million to lobby Congress and donated more than $390,000 to political candidates through its political action committee. Fiorina and her husband, Frank, a former AT&T executive, have made more than $100,000 in political donations personally since 2000.
That suggests not that Fiorina ‘felt disconnected’ from what was going on in Washington, but rather that she understood all too well that in politics, money talks. Why bother to vote when you can get what you need with greenbacks?
In other words, she believes in the political system, just not the one that non-millionaires have to use.
Once she gets into actual policy discussions, Fiorina gets truly deranged. Her mega-pander to the sizable anti-science faction of the GOP is to claim that California wouldn’t have a drought if only those treacherous liberals had built more reservoirs and dams and conveyances in years of normal rain.
As Andrew Fahlund, deputy director of the California Water Foundation, explained, however, “thinking that building more reservoirs will get you out of a drought is like assuming that opening more checking accounts when you’ve lost your income will help you pay your bills.” He estimated to ThinkProgress that Fiorina’s build-our-way-out plan would have resulted in a “net increase of one percent to the state’s water supplies.”
Governor Gandalf was less measured in his response to her claim.
“I’ve never heard of such utter ignorance…Building a dam won’t do a damn thing about fires or climate change or the absence of moisture in ground and vegetation of California. I think these people, if they want to run for president, had better do eighth grade science before they make any more utterances.”
The bottom line: There are more, too, too many more, lies that iCarly routinely utters, from her fatuous gibberish on climate change to her reckless demagoguery on vaccines and, perhaps worst of all, her cynical effort to position herself as a friend to women.
On second thought, forget the whole drinking game thing. Just assume Carly’s lying if her lips are moving and start swilling the moment she’s introduced. If you’re lucky, you’ll fall out early and miss the whole awful night.