In a startling and perhaps unintentional bit of candor, Slate political correspondent Jamelle Bouie admitted in an article on Wednesday that American journalists were trying desperately to find some issue or event that would finally turn Trump’s base of support against him.
Bouie made the admission in the process of identifying the issue that might do the trick: the Trump administration’s economic agenda. He predicted that Trump’s tariffs against China could raise prices stateside, trigger layoffs, and eventually turn Trump’s supporters against him.
“For the better part of two years now, reporters have been trying to find the issue or offense that could fracture Donald Trump’s base of support,” Bouie writes. “They have traveled to ‘Trump country’ for regular updates from working-class whites and other key Trump constituents, only to find that those voters have been unmoved by each controversy. But if there’s anything that could break the president’s hold on his base, it might be an economic agenda that harms their pocketbooks and hurts their livelihoods.”
We’re not particularly interested in Bouie’s latest theory, which is certain to be as wrongheaded and fictional as the previous 8,129 theories the left has had about what might finally break apart the MAGA alliance. We’re more interested in that one sentence, where he admits that it is part of the media’s marching orders now to find that issue. Because while that mission has been obvious since the early days of the campaign, this is the first time we recall ever seeing someone within the ranks actually come right out and admit it. The unprecedented nature of this admission should not be overlooked.
Frankly, it explains so much of what the media has been doing since the day Trump rode that escalator into history in July 2015. It explains why every few days we have a new Trump Emergency blaring from the front pages of the New York Times. Yes, the media is trying to sell sensationalism and yes, they’re trying to drum up enthusiasm among Trump’s core base of enemies, but that’s not really what’s driving the bus. The motivating factor – the real goal of all this – is to “get through” to that solid 30-35% of folks who have been by Trump’s side from the very beginning. And every time the latest OMGSCANDAL doesn’t do the trick, they get more and more desperate and outlandish.
Of course, the real motivating factor behind all of this is fear. The media is terribly afraid (and rightly so) that it is losing influence over the American population. This in turn frightens the hell out of the Democrats and the Washington Establishment in general, which has depended on the media’s support for decades of nonsensical policy.
But what they don’t understand – somehow – is that every time they call Trump a Nazi or declare his latest move to be the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the planet, they’re only digging their hole deeper. They aren’t fracturing his base; they’re strengthening it. They’re adding to it. Because if this media wasn’t printing obviously fake news at the time Trump started calling it out, they are definitely printing it now. Their credibility is shot beyond repair, and they have only their own arrogance to blame for it.