Here we are, four years later, and big-box media has learned precisely nothing. Saying something and then having some fellow establishment “journalism” outlets report on it does not magically make their canards substantial. Yet the out-of-touch scions of the Fourth Estate are trying to extinguish the candidacy of Donald Trump once again long before Election Day, even though he is an incumbent president with a massive financial war chest who still enjoys strong popularity ratings within his party ranks.
“A stretch of lackluster polling for President Trump has some Republican operatives nervous about the president’s reelection prospects in November – with some even floating the possibility for the first time that Trump could drop out if his poll numbers don’t rebound,” reads the lead sentence to a brittle slice of fake news crumb cake authored by Fox Business Network Senior Correspondent Charlie Gasparino.
“It’s too early, but if the polls continue to worsen, you can see a scenario where he drops out,” a “GOP operative who asked to remain anonymous told Fox News,” the article reads. “I’ve heard the talk but I doubt it’s true,” yet another anonymous source states. “My bet is, he drops if he believes there’s no way to win.”
Unnamed sources. Rumor and innuendo with no basis in reality. This is the same shoddy “reporting” that led Americans to unleash an avalanche of unprecedented scorn on the so-called “mainstream” media during the 2016 election. That these people are doing it again, oblivious to that stout public backlash, showcases the utter contempt corporate news organizations have for their viewers and readers. Being valued as trusted sources of information is not the objective. Their job is to fabricate and distort, and, frankly, they don’t care whether you like it or not. That Fox News, a supposedly “conservative” network, would allow such shoddy “news” to see the light of day reveals that this attitude is universal in media ivory towers today.
Hack Reporting Redux
Let us go back to the not so halcyon summer of ’16. In August of that year, three prominent news sites ran eerily similar pieces ruminating on a possible Trump withdrawal from his White House race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, utilizing the same anonymous GOP insider sources as fodder for their fables. Steven Shepard, Politico’s “senior campaign and elections editor and chief polling analyst,” saw fit to publish idle “chatter” about something that never came close to happening. “Amid widespread chatter that Donald Trump could drop out of the presidential race before Election Day, Republican insiders in key battleground states have a message for The Donald: Get out,” Shepard wrote.
“I’d rather take our chances with nearly anyone else than continue with this certain loser who will likely cost the Senate and much more,” Shepard quoted an anonymous “New Hampshire Republican” who responded to a Politico survey about a topic the publication quite simply invented as a possible actual occurrence.
Paul Waldman, writing for The Washington Post, spun a similar tale:
“Now it’s August, Trump is officially the Republican nominee for president (certified at a uniquely unhelpful convention), and somehow the idea that someone, anyone other than Trump might represent the GOP in November refuses to die. And after an unusually bad week even for him, people are asking: Is it possible that Trump could actually pull out of the race? And what would happen if he did?”
“The idea seems ludicrous, it’s true,” Waldman wrote, pausing before going on to indulge himself further. “Of course, it also seems ludicrous that a presidential candidate would get into a week-long fracas with the family of a soldier who died in Iraq. So let’s take it seriously, at least for a moment.”
ABC News “Chief Washington Correspondent” Jonathan Karl floated on his own champagne bubbles on the very same day that Waldman’s piece appeared in The Post. His lead read:
“Republican officials are exploring how to handle a scenario that would be unthinkable in a normal election year: What would happen if the party’s presidential nominee dropped out?
ABC News has learned that senior party officials are so frustrated — and confused — by Donald Trump’s erratic behavior that they are exploring how to replace him on the ballot if he drops out.
So how would it work?”
One paragraph later, in a sentence written in parentheses, Karl admitted that “Trump has not given any indications that he no longer wants to be his party’s nominee.” After stating that, Karl immediately went back to his utterly unfounded speculation over a storyline that was not going to materialize.
So Wrong They’re Right?
In his Fox News article, Gasparino lists polls that show gaffe-prone Democratic presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden holding a commanding lead over Trump as justification for his suggestion that the president may drop out this year. Staying true to the fake news template from 2016 of conceding that something isn’t real and then running with it anyway, Gasparino writes, “Polls in the past, however, have been way off the mark. In 2016, Trump trailed Hillary Clinton in almost all the polls leading up to the general election before pulling off his surprise win.”
Yes, the polls got it all spectacularly wrong four years ago, but the proven-to-be-unreliable numbers we see now are so glaring we must be alarmed by them nonetheless. “Longtime Republican strategist Colin Reed told Fox News, ‘You can dismiss one poll, but this is pretty consistent across the board,'” Gasparino writes.
This loaded form of daydream journalism is not even close to being believable, yet here it is being rolled out again. Leading media personages are quite willing to set their reputations on fire because what the public feels about them does not pay their comfortable salaries. These establishment apparatchiks are tasked with advancing an agenda, and they are doing so under the guise of impartial reporting.
Amazingly, even as they realize that their con was fully exposed in 2016, big-box media figures continue to play this tawdry shell game. It’s not a mistake. It’s not a miscalculation. It is their job in the corporation.
Read more from Joe Schaeffer.