Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trump's Bully Pulpit

Anderson Cooper, who was pushed around by a Cairo crowd earlier this year, takes a verbal mauling while trying to interrupt Donald Trump's tirade about the Obama birth certificate with a few facts.

This was not what Teddy Roosevelt had in mind when he called the Presidency a bully pulpit. Luckily for the CNN anchor, it was a phone interview so the shoving was verbal as the non-candidate kept pelting him with shaky assertions even as Cooper struggled to get a few words in to question the sources on which they were based.

As bad as the mud wrestling was, CNN will air the rest of the interview tonight. Why so much Trump trumpery? Cable news, of course, is about ratings, not journalism, and as the network honcho explained his importance in the 1970s movie "Network" to the insane anchorman, "Because you're on TV, dummy."

Ironically, Trump's media ride comes as HBO is showing a muddled movie dramatizing the origin of reality TV, the 1973 PBS series about the Loud family, under the title "Cinema Verite" (pretentious, moi?).

One theme of that effort is how journalists, even "documentary" filmmakers, and their subjects "manipulate each other and thus warp the story they're co-creating."

As a fake reality star, Trump is now taking it all to the logical extreme, stepping off the set of his own show to run rampant all over the small screen, cutting out interviewers, the middle men, by taking over both parts of the dialogue.

If he gets there, he can stock the White House Briefing Room with cardboard reporters and ask himself only the questions he wants to answer. He is giving us a preview of that now.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry but Cooper made Trump look like a fool. anderson backed up what he said with facts.

Fuzzy Slippers said...

Trump's not going anywhere, but I have to ask how well you think your final paragraph describes the current president? Or do you think that the WH taping and releasing its own interviews and feeding talking points to MSNBC qualifies as journalism these days?