Donald Trump’s theatrical and bizarre presidential campaign continued to spiral into uncharted oddball territory over the weekend, with the Republican candidate, trailing in nationwide polls, claiming that only a rigged election could stop his journey to the White House, and blaming the “disgusting and corrupt media” for his woes.
Weird continued to get weirder as Trump was whining one moment at a rally about the prospect of losing the election, gloating another time about how unbeatable he was.
Over the weekend, he was campaigning in a state where he doesn’t stand a chance of winning, forsaking territory where he has a good chance of winning, and generally driving Republican operatives nuts with his strategy (or lack of it) and (many) outbursts.
The maverick billionaire saved his best theatrics of the weekend for a rally in Connecticut where he railed against the press, saying his main opponent in the election is not “crooked Hillary” but the “crooked media.” He singled out the New York Times for “dishonest” reporting (after the newspaper carried a story on how disorganised his campaign is) and petulantly threatened to withdraw its credentials to his campaign.
Some on the crowd loved the theatrics – reporters covering his rallies are sometimes confronted aggressively by his supporters, and there have been chants of “lock them up” at some rallies. But the media, except for the right-wing press, appear to have concluded that Trump is an unstable, volatile character whose candidacy is a farce. As far as the foreign media is concerned, beyond the entertainment and theatrics the Trump candidacy is providing is the worrying prospect of the election putting the world’s largest economy and its biggest nuclear arsenal in his hands if he wins.
In fact, sections of the American media have dropped all pretense of objectivity after concluding that it is impossible to be impartial or neutral with a candidate who, by any standards, simply lies on major issues – and then claims he was either misquoted or he was being sarcastic (after repeating the lie several times, as he did in the case of claiming President Obama and Hillary Clinton founded IS). The Huffington Post, for instance, now carries a disclaimer, an “Editor’s note,” with all Trump stories: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims – 1.6 billion members of an entire religion – from entering the US.
“These are merely statements of facts,” the journal said of its practice, after briefly relegating its Trump coverage to the entertainment section.