Monday, August 10, 2015

Why Fox News Cannot Touch Trump's Popularity - And Why They Should Try a Different Strategy

Fox News and its ilk are trying desperately to derail the runaway train that is Donald Trump running as a purported born-again Republican.  Post-debate, the Fox News folks were saying just about anyone not named Trump won.  End result -- Trump wins in the polls like 40-12 or 50-13. 

Then Fox News is just OUTRAGED that Trump went after Megyn Kelly and suggested that she might be on her period while questioning him.  Again - no discernible decline for Trump.

Fox News for 20 years has fought against intelligent dialogue.  It has fought for candidates like GW Bush and Sarah Palin, each of whom did not have enough brain power to light a 30 watt bulb.  "It doesn't matter, you vote for a fighter, someone who cares about you and who will try to get things done.....not some egghead.  Eggheads cannot be trusted, they are too liberal."

So Trump is a fake Republican and a flip-flopper????  Hahahahahahahahaha.  Who did Fox News support so hard in 2012 that Karl Rove on election night refused to believe he had lost??  Willard "Mitt" Romney.  Mitt once campaigned for Senator on the basis that he was to the left of Ted Kennedy on abortion rights!  To the left of Ted Kennedy.  He was running, literally, against Ted Kennedy, and telling people that they should vote for Mitt if they were truly liberal!  By 2012, Mitt needed to get nominated, so he called himself "severely conservative" and decided that he hated everyone, and the 47% were killing America (never mind that the 47% included retirees on Social Security and the disabled, including disabled veterans).  Fox News supported him.

So I guess that Fox News doesn't have much basis for going after flip floppers.

Trump is rude?  Dick Cheney, in the Senate chamber, once told a U.S. Senator to "go fuck himself."   The media was outraged.  Not Fox News - "politics is a tough game, not for the faint of heart."

Trump is rude to women?  What have we heard on Fox News for the past 5 years as state legislatures try to take rights away from women?  "It is all make believe.  We LOVE women.  Why would we ever try to hurt them?"   Recall Rush Limbaugh's abuse of Sandra Fluke?  Calling her a prostitute and saying that if she got contraceptives paid for that he demanded that she tape her sex and let him watch?  Here are the top two GOP Presidential candidates' responses --
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said "it’s not the language I would have used."[43][44] Fellow Republican primary candidate Rick Santorum dismissed the comments stating that "an entertainer can be absurd."

A woman went to Capitol Hill to argue that birth control is medicine and was called a whore?   The response of the Fox News-led establishment?  Meh.

So, Trump suggesting that an ugly woman is a dog or that a fat woman is fat is clearly way, way more defensible than actions that Fox News has swept under the rug in the past.  Do they really expect their viewers to suddenly become 'overly sensitive pansy liberals" and demand that Trump go away?  Come on.

Look, Fox News, Trump has beaten you at your own game.  You know all of those years that Fox News has spent scaring the shit out of people and telling them to be outraged when they are asked politely not to spout hate?  It worked.  There are millions of Republican voters out there who do not give a fuck whether you call someone fat, ugly, on the rag, or use a racial slur.  They don't care.  And they believe that the greatest strength anyone can show is to stick it to all of the politically correct libs out there and speak like we used to speak in the 1970s.  I.e., what the viewers call "telling the truth." 

Therefore, every step Fox News takes in this direction against Trump is counterproductive.  They have told viewers for years that the media is biased and that if the media tells you a candidate is dumb or rude or hates women or is called a flip flopper that this means the exact opposite -- you should vote for them. 

What Fox News needs to do is simply not follow Trump.  Pick three guys to feature and just hammer the crap out of featuring them.  In the early 1990s, sports radio got tired of fellating Michael Jordan, and they decided that the true star of the Bulls was Scottie Pippen  I heard hundreds of times, "Pippen is really the key.  Pippen is really the better player."  This was, of course, ridiculous, and not borne out by any review of statistics, but certain people clung to it just because they wanted to do so.  It became a ceaseless drumbeat.  Only Pippen's eventual failures post-Jordan ruined the meme.

Fox News should just pump the hell out of Christie, Cruz and Bush.  Just follow every tiny little thing they do.  Talk constantly about how awesome they are and do 1-3 hour specials on "this is Ted Cruz" or "this is Jeb Bush".   Do nothing on Trump.  People will eventually say, "Geez, saw a great story on Cruz yesterday.  Might have to vote for him."  Make Christie into the great bombastic leader of the party and replay things he has said and do a one hour item on "Speaking truth to power -- the Chris Christie Story." 

Now, one might suggest that this isn't proper behavior for a news organization -- ignoring a guy who is doubling his next closest opponent in the polls.  Fox News is not now, nor has it ever been, an independent news organization.  Why pretend?  Just promote the hell out of some of the other guys.  When Trump does something outrageous, just ignore him.  When one of the other guys does something outrageous, praise the hell out of him.  "See, THAT is what we need!" 

Provide Trump with debate questions about Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka -- no one can possibly make anything good out of those.  Then ask him some questions about the other candidates -- "Of these 16 others, who are the three you most admire?"  Stuff like that.  No one can win a debate if you give them just deathly questions where you are just seeking useless info or info no one cares about.

Now, during debates, you are going to have to identify at least two other people to treat exactly like Trump.  So, Walker is a good choice.  And Fiorina or Kasich.  Just ask them the exact same topics you ask Trump.  Then when he complains the next day you can say, "Hey, we asked Walker the same things and he is supposed to be our darling..."

So there you go Fox News.  (Stewie Griffin voice) "You're wel-come."

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