The media are in full throttle reporting the fallout from Michelle Wolf’s acerbic and occasionally vulgar comedic monologue at Saturday’s White House correspondents’ dinner. They are paying particular attention to Wolf’s comments on White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders—while largely ignoring Wolf’s sharp rebuke of the media, when she said:
“You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you use to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him. I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric. But he has helped you. He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off of him. And if you’re going to profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money, because he doesn’t have any.”
Wolf highlighted what the media studiously ignore: the way the media are benefiting from Trump because he fuels the controversy on which they feed. To keep the benefits coming, the media–especially their talking heads TV component–are engaging in self-censorship regarding Trump’s caustic, hateful, racist, sexist rhetoric.
The media, in their willful blindness, are once more giving Trump a get-out-of-jail pass by failing to energetically highlight Trump’s own words that make him, and his Republican lackeys, to be far worse than Wolf by a country mile. I’m talking about Trump’s words that:
- Bragged about sexually assaulting women
- Called a Miss Universe “Miss Piggy”
- Approved Howard Stern’s calling Ivanka “a piece of ass”
- Demeaned the military service of John McCain
- Mocked a handicapped person
- Called African countries and Haiti “shitholes”
- Said good words about neo-fascists marching in a Nazi-like parade in Charlottesville
- Made numerous disparaging remarks about Rosie O’Donnell’s physical appearance
- Labeled Megan Kelly a bimbo after she called out Trump for his Rosie remarks
- Accused Obama of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to hide his real birthplace
- Lied about undocumented immigrants being mostly rapists and criminals
I thought that every TV commentator talking about Wolf’s speech would raise as many of Trump’s vile and despicable remarks as time allowed–better yet, have them displayed on the screen–to show that whatever Wolf’s words, they paled into insignificance compared to Trump’s. Instead, Trump’s words have been virtually ignored.
Quick: when was the last time you heard Anderson Cooper, Chuck Todd, or Lester Holt mention any of Trump’s words listed above?
Why do the media engage in this self-censorship?