When the 2016 election cycle started, I had no dog in the GOP primary fight—I had already decided on #NeverHillary.
However, as the primary season unfolded, I was very surprised that business tycoon and showman Donald Trump was decimating the field of very experienced politicos and conservative icons.
I eventually became a supporter of Donald Trump after regularly reading the posts of Don Surber, who has been covering the truly inept reporting we have been treated to during the 2016 election cycle on his wonderfully entertaining blog.
Surber, a recovering journalist with over 30 years of experience, was recently inspired to consolidate his many posts on the woefully inaccurate punditry concerning Trump’s campaign for his new book: Trump the Press.
Trump the Press is a savvy, witty read that had me engaged from the first sentence. I read my copy in one sitting, on the flight back from the East Coast last night. My only complaint is that Surber’s book ended with the Trump primary win.
I cannot wait for the obvious sequel: Surber’s take on the American press and its biased analysis of Trump’s general election campaign, as well as the predictably flawed assessments that establishment-connected conservative pundits will be offering through the 2016 election season.
While reading this book as I sipped a glass of white wine on the plane, I felt like I was at a bar with a good friend who had a wicked sense of humor and keen powers of observation. The most clever chapters were the “media memes” that Surber reviewed, which were the obvious talking points being spread by the elite Washington, D.C. conservative power-brokers or the liberal press during various phases of the primary. These chapters include:
- Trump Won’t Run
- Trump Can’t Win (the primary, though just as applicable to November)
- Send in the Clowns (detailing how often Trump was described as one)
- Ceilings, Nothing More than Ceilings (Trump’s ceiling of voters kept getting higher).
But, perhaps, the best meme chapter was “Peak Trump”, which is the funniest, most accurate review of the American media’s penchant for “wish reporting” I have personally ever read. The reporters and pundits of every political stripe kept insisting that Trump tide was at its height…and the flood of voters rose each time they did.
It is easy to recommend this book to those who like Trump or to those who are at least not phased by the idea of voting for a man with limited political experience and a big personality. But what is in the book for those on the fence or for the #NeverTrump voters?
I will point to that chapter that I consider the most valuable: “Who is Donald Trump?” This section offers a hint of the man behind the media myths. For example, Surber quotes New York Post‘s restaurant critic and real-estate columnist Steve Cuozzo:
…Whatever you think about his political views or crazy campaign, Trump doesn’t get enough credit for being a transformative planner who is in love with the city.
No matter how many times they watch “Taxi Driver,” younger New Yorkers and older ones who arrived recently have no idea of what the city was actually like in the mid-1970s through the mid-’90s. Notwithstanding Studio 54 and a short-lived Wall Street boom, the metropolis was reeling. Rampant street crime, AIDS, corporate flight and physical decay brought confidence to an all-time low.
…Trump — almost by force of will — rode to the rescue. Expressing rare faith in the future, he was instrumental in kick-starting the regeneration of neighborhoods and landmarks almost given up for dead.
Many long-time associates and friends of Trump are also quoted, showing the depth of respect and loyalty that Trump inspires as both a boss and a friend. The insights offered about Trump may be helpful to those still deciding about their vote this November.
Finally, as we head into convention week, I will note that one political pundit Surber quoted did manage to get something right: Polls taken this election cycle are as solid as sand castles built on a seashore…in hurricane season.DONATE
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