Home/Rod Dreher/Is There An Anti-Trump Media Conspiracy?

Is There An Anti-Trump Media Conspiracy?

Mollie Hemingway is no fan of Donald Trump. She says he deserves the public roasting that he’s getting for his lecherous behavior. But she finds it more than a little suspicious that despite Trump’s known reputation as an alpha male sexual aggressor, the news media didn’t manage to turn up any of this stuff until right here in the final weeks of the election. Excerpt:

Enter yet another #NeverTrump guy on Twitter, who goes by the handle @PoliticalMath. He wrote a lengthy series of Tweets that I’ll reproduce here:

To my liberal friends: I know you think this is paranoid & conspiratorial but let me try to paint for you how it feels to be on the right. For a year, we’ve been saying ‘the press has massive dirt on Trump but they won’t release it until after the nomination.’ Every anti-Trump person said this over and over ‘they have so much dirt on him, they’re not telling you what they have’ and we got mocked. ‘Hey if we had a dirty Trump story, we’d publish it before the [nomination].’ ‘We’re doing our job, your voters are just dumb.’

The more realistic of us on the right suspected the press wasn’t ‘holding’ a story so much as not really looking too hard into Trump. So Trump got to be on every cable channel non-stop, oppo was very thin, investigative pieces were weak sauce for months & months. We on the right accused the press of not doing their job & we just got laughed at, people saying we were ‘blaming’ the press for Trump. Which is kind of true, we did blame the press (I tried hard to say that this was the fault of MANY actors). But it’s been months of this.

After a year of saying ‘they have dirt on him.’ After there is no chance he’ll step down. All this comes out. This *could* be a coincidence. It’s totally possible that the press discovered a decade old story JUST IN TIME for the election. In which case, I suppose we are lucky they didn’t discover it 4 weeks too late. Whew. We dodged a bullet on that one, didn’t we?

It’s possible that it’s just an uncanny coincidence. But, as PoliticalMath continues, “this fits EVERY theory about a dishonest, vicious, conniving press. Down to the last prediction & detail. Make your excuses about how the press MIGHT not be culpable but know that this was predicted in detail by media skeptics on the right. And when you predict something to this level of granularity & it comes true, you can’t just call the people who predicted it ‘crazy.’”

To put a fine point upon it, unless you claim to believe that every single person involved in these allegations just happened to be spurred at the same exact moment to go public and only because Cooper just happened to force magic words out of Trump’s mouth, we have three explanations for the current timing of the opposition research dump. None of them looks particularly good for the media.

1) The media had the information, but chose not to write about it until now. 2) The media didn’t bother looking for any of the information until after Trump had clinched the GOP nomination. Or 3) the media didn’t look for the information during the primary and didn’t look for the information during the general, and only used what the Clinton camp gave them over the last few weeks.

Even a combination of those answers doesn’t look too good for them.

Read the whole thing. 

It’s important to emphasize that Mollie says Trump deserves what he’s getting. She’s not claiming that he’s a victim:

Perhaps if the target weren’t someone as reprobate and immoral as Donald Trump one could muster some sympathy. But he chose the wanton, unscrupulous lifestyle and bragged about it.

And she is unsparing towards Trump supporters who are shocked by this:

Again, if you thought anything other than this would happen to Trump, you are an idiot. I’m sorry, but you are.

Nevertheless, Mollie is making what I think is a very good point about the appearance of collusion between the media and the Clinton campaign. There’s no smoking gun here, but it do make a man think, don’t it?

The media’s behavior will all be a part of the post-election “stab in the back” myth (the Drumpßtosslegende) that we all know is coming from Team Trump. The candidate is already laying the groundwork:

Trump’s remarks, which he read from a teleprompter, were laced with the kind of global conspiracies and invective common in the writings of the alternative-right, white-nationalist activists who see him as their champion. Some critics also heard echoes of historical anti-Semitic slurs in Trump’s allegations that Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty” and that media and financial elites were part of a soulless cabal out to destroy “our great civilization.”

“It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities,” Trump said.

Republican politicians in Washington will be especially eager to embrace the media portion of the legend, because a) there’s probably some truth to it, but more importantly b) they will hope it will deflect Trump’s fire against them towards a scapegoat that’s already unpopular with Republican voters. And, c) conservatives, even those who did not vote Trump, will be eager to direct their own despair and rage over the return of the Clintons and the Aleppo-ization of the Republican Party, to some outside force.

These next four years of Clinton government are going to be one gaping wound. The nation won’t soon heal from this. Nobody should look forward to what’s to come, even if your candidate is going to win.

(And by the way, as many on the Right are now asking, what the hell were the GOP primary candidates’ opposition researchers doing re: Trump, if they didn’t gather this and dump it on him back then? Whatever it was, they weren’t doing their jobs.)

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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