As the President makes Birther jokes to Oprah ("I was there") and at fundraisers, the next stage of the media cycle begins: payback for Trump.
Like the slaughterhouse that uses every part of the pig but the squeal, journalists build up a big name, feast on it and then chop up the leftovers for a stew of deconstruction.
Now the Trump pot is heating up with editorial outrage at his antics, reports of falling TV ratings, doubts about his GOP credentials and the whole range of follow-ups that squeeze every last drop out of a hot "newsmaker." Next stop: Charlie Sheenville.
On MSNBC, Lawrence O'Donnell accuses his bosses of having "created a monster" by letting Trump go wild in politics without reining him in--as CBS did with its embarrassing star. But then again, Sheen was attacking the network, not just the President of the United States.
A New York Times editorial observes that the birth-certificate issue "was picked up by a cartoon candidate, Donald Trump, who rode birtherism directly to the prime-time promontories of cable TV. The Republican establishment began to wince as it became increasingly tied to Mr. Trump’s flirtations with racial provocation, and Karl Rove told him to knock it off. Naturally, he did not."
The diehards won't stop, but the media are all fired up for a Trump luau that will feed the public for a few more days until the next big porker lumbers into its abattoir.