February 9, 2016

Quick Takes (v5): Brokaw and Trump

Quick Takes
I don't think Tom Brokaw likes Donald Trump.

For the second time in about ten days, Brokaw has offered commentary on Trump and what he's doing to this election cycle, and perhaps, to all elections in the future.

On Meet the Press at the end of January, Brokaw allowed as how the thrice-married Trump, a man who has had affairs all over the world, was doing just fine with evangelicals in Iowa (although he under-performed the polling and only finished second).

Tonight, on NBC's Nightly News, Brokaw lamented the loss of civility personified by Trump. The name calling, Brokaw pointed out. The finger-wagging; the shushing; the sneering, the whole mess that is Trump on the campaign trail, he left out.

The latest example of this?  Trump's repeating of an audience member's comment (a woman's comment, by the way) that Ted Cruz is a "pussy."  Which, of course, drew a huge roar from the crowd. We would expect nothing less.
It is hard to imagine any other candidate lasting a week using his language and style. But it is working for him, helped by the echo chamber of social media and cable television. 
Brokaw is right on one point - no one else could get away with this. But he's wrong on one very significant point: it's not just social media and cable TV that are keeping Trump alive. It's the mainstream media, like his very own NBC, which keeps Trump alive, in the news, all the time -- and for free.

While other significantly more civil candidates struggle to get air time, and have to pay millions to get ads on television, Trump is there, every night, for free. It's so ridiculous, he even points it out to them, and they do it anyway.

Brokaw notes that
By tonight we'll know if the Trump 'take-no-prisoners' style adds up to a big victory.
The answer, we have learned, is yes.

Trump was projected the winner with barely over 10% of the vote counted; as I write this, now less than a quarter of the votes have been tallied, and Trump, at 34%, is leading John Kasich (15%), with Jeb! and Ted Cruz tied at 12%.