Image 01 Image 03

Book Review: Trump the Press

Book Review: Trump the Press

Don Surber explains how a clown-car full of pundits jumped the shark and missed the boat in 2016

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.

Don Surber Trump the Press Front and Back Cover

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.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


That same clown-car full of pundits (with GOPe corrupt clowns as passengers) that missed the boat on Trump, have spend 7 1/2 years missing the boat on Obama.

Maybe one day they’ll see the similarities between Turkey’s Erdogan’s goals and tactics and Obama/Jarretts’.

The clown-car should travel back to the beginning, and understand the current crop of cop-killers and race-baters and the “#” of the day – and their generals (Sharpton, et al) – to be the ‘civilian security force’ Obama spoke of back in 2008 by, among other things, nationalizing local police:

“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

Now think back to this corrupt moron:

Boehner: I ‘Absolutely’ Trust Obama

    Ragspierre in reply to | July 17, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Potential GOP presidential contender and real estate magnate Donald Trump once had harsh words for outgoing President George W. Bush, labeling him “evil,” while saying that President-elect Barack Obama will lead the nation by “consensus” and has done “an amazing job.”

    “Bush has been so bad, maybe the worst president in the history of this country. He has been so incompetent, so bad, so evil that I don’t think any Republican could have won,” Trump told in an exclusive Nov. 11, 2008, interview.

    “You know, you can be enemies with people, whether it’s Iran, Iraq, or anyplace else and you can still have dialogue. These people wouldn’t even talk with him. It’s terrible,” he said.

    Regarding Obama, Trump said, “I think [he’s] going to lead through consensus. It’s not going to be just a bull run like Bush did. He just did whatever the hell he wanted. He’d go into a country, attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and just do it because he wanted to do it.”

    The earlier comments could hurt Trump, who backed Sen. John McCain for president in 2008 and is considering running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, if he seen as too critical of another GOP president. Though Bush left office with low poll numbers, Trump’s earlier comments could come back to haunt him if he makes a serious bid for the GOP nomination.

    President-elect Barack Obama will lead the nation by “consensus” and has done “an amazing job.”


    Ragspierre in reply to | July 17, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    HOST: Let me ask you first about Barack Obama, is it true you would have thrown your support behind him. I was hearing possibly if he had would have picked Hillary Clinton you would have been right there with him.

    TRUMP: I’m a big fan of Hillary. She’s a terrific woman. She’s a friend of mine. I think she was treated very poorly and I think it’s hurt Barack Obama quite badly. She’s a terrific woman.”

    Yep. The guy’s a GENIUS.

      He’s so dumb, he blew out every opponent and media organization to become the GOP nominee. Even dumber, he built half of modern New York, amassing billions in the process. A moron, truly.

      For some reason, Trump’s quote about Clinton disturbs you way more than the verbal Mein Kampf-type warning given by Obama.

      “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

      Your priorities are very odd.

        Ragspierre in reply to | July 17, 2016 at 6:00 pm

        Regarding Obama, Trump said, “I think [he’s] going to lead through consensus. It’s not going to be just a bull run like Bush did. He just did whatever the hell he wanted. He’d go into a country, attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and just do it because he wanted to do it.”

        Oh, no, you stupid, no-reading, no-thinking idiot.

        I listened and read Obama. Just as I’ve listened and read T-rump.

        T-rump didn’t “build modern New York”. And he still can’t even tell the truth about the number of floors in “T-rump Tower”.

        He’s a stinking, lying, pathological Collectivist thug.

          rabidfox in reply to Ragspierre. | July 17, 2016 at 6:23 pm

          “He’s a stinking, lying, pathological Collectivist thug.” Or maybe a man whose seen what Obama and Clinton are selling and doesn’t like it in the least. Not everyone follows politics as religiously as most of the posters here – and it sounds like Trump has a life beyond the internet.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 17, 2016 at 7:28 pm

          You don’t have to be a political junkie.

          T-rump has promised to fully fund existing entitlements.

          Is that a lie, just based on plain arithmetic?

          Just a simple yes or no, please.

          “Oh, no, you stupid, no-reading, no-thinking idiot.”

          All right, that’s it: we’re calling your parents.

          And if you’re not a frustrated 15 year old, you must be the shut-in “Bubble Boy” from a Seinfeld episode:

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to | July 17, 2016 at 8:02 pm

        Built half of NY? – Not even good hyperbole. His father built a lot of middle income housing. But the Donald isn’t even in the top tier of NY developers. After his casinos went bankrupt, he was frozen out of the serious credit markets and has built nothing. He can license his brand to other low-rent developers who sell to or ripoff the undiscerning. At this point his name on a building is a negative. He is a grifter and he has conned the GOP.

        Getting the nomination is a long way from winning anything of import. The last 3 nominees were 2 losers and well – Bush. Both and the bookies handling real money will give you 2/1 on Trump. That makes him a serious underdog. Those odds are current and take into account the email scandals. So Trump will probably be back to selling steaks by December – Wait, he doesn’t sell steaks either.

        BTW, the bookies got it right on the nomination. They made Trump the favorite by the time of the NH primary.

          “Both and the bookies handling real money will give you 2/1 on Trump. That makes him a serious underdog.”

          LOL, and you think Trump is a con artist? Silver has gotten nothing right, nada, zip, zero. My dog has a better track record than 538.

          You have been wrong every single time for a year, but now, somehow, you’re “predictive” powers are in synch with the universe?

          You people can’t see the train running you down, because you are apparently dumber than a box of hammers.

          OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to OnlyRightDissentAllowed. | July 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm

          Trump admits he is a con artist. He calls it by other names, but he is proud of it. Read his books.

          538 & the bookies got it wrong. OK, no sense arguing over that. I’ll guess you go right to the slot machines in Vegas because you believe in luck.

          “Read his books.”

          I doubt you’ve read anything but short passages taken out of context, pushed by your few nevertrump friends.

          Since I was not going to purchase all his books I went to the library and read several of them. Which is why I know he has spoken out against illegal immigration and poor trade deals for a long time.

          Never been to Vegas and never gamble. Bot I can recognize sure losers like 538 by their record.

          Ok. You’re right. He got the billions from saving pennies.

Ah, the #NeverTrump crowd(Aka Krauthammer, G. Will, other assorted such good ol boys, good solid “conservative” elites and other such socially acceptable personages) is unhappy with this book and promise never to buy it. Still, holding their collective breathe (Heh!) till after the RNC is adjourned, is not a winning move.

Oops, forgot, their winning move is to promote one of their own kind, Hillary. 😉

    Ragspierre in reply to Doug Wright. | July 17, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    During the 2007 Democratic presidential primary, Donald Trump spoke favorably of Hillary Clinton, telling Wolf Blitzer that he thought she would win the nomination “rather easily.”

    “I know her very well,” Trump said. “She’s very talented. And she has a husband that I also like very much. I think she’s going to get the nomination rather easily.”

    Trump also spoke favorably of Clinton’s 2007 health care proposal that year which had at the center an “individual mandate” similar to the one President Obama would later include in his plan.

    Trump’s name is listed also on the Clinton Foundation’s website as having donated between $100,000 and $250,000 and in the past has donated to Clinton’s Senate campaigns.

    For some of us, character always counted. Not so much Der Donald.

    For some of us, it still does. It’s one of those “principles” things…

      For business purposes, he bought Hillary Clinton off like a cheap whore, like everyone else has.

      What’s the puzzle?

        Ragspierre in reply to | July 17, 2016 at 6:03 pm

        OH! My favorite T-rump sucker rationalization…!!!

        “Yes, he’s a stinking, lying political crony…

        but he HAD to be a stinking, lying political crony!”

        Which is, of course, itself a lie. But that’s what T-rump suckers do, just like Collectivist. You lie to yourself first.

      Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | July 17, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      “For some of us, character always counted.”

      You confuse being a character with having character.

        Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | July 17, 2016 at 9:19 pm

        Note at all. You and your little yellow god have none of the latter.

          Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | July 17, 2016 at 9:32 pm

          Sorry, but you have no character, though you are one.

          After all you supported Romney, a complete and total supporter of abortion and a signer of the planned parenthood pledge. Romney, that supports legalizing illegals. Romney that committed the sin of suggesting we needed high tariffs on China.

          And worse of all for you, Romney that had high praise for Donald Trump.

          Lot of character there, of some kind.

      Yep, and your only principle is that you do not tolerate anyone who has an opinion different than yours. That must make you a really Good Ol Boy amongst the peckerwoods of Cruz Holler.

      Grow a pair and grow up, Herr Rags.

      As a point of reference, you’ve made 13-comments, prior to this comment, on just this one article, it’s almost as though you’re the “owner operator” of this here blog or perhaps just a wannbe!

Your favorable post will now find another life on Don Surber’s blog particularly since this is Legal Insurrrection after all.

I have been reading Surber since he began blogging from the Charleston Daily Mail, and for years I could find nothing to dislike. His staunch conservatism matched mine. Then the strange manifestation of Donald Trump all the time began and now he recognizes attacks on Trump but not Trump attacks on conservative concepts – the T-rump can do no wrong.

He joined big hitters like Conservative Treehouse and Gateway Pundit and many of the so-called conservative talk show hosts in this dishonest endeavor to promote a candidate without a smidgen of conservatism in his brain or in his brash personality.

I try hard not to be too hard on Mr. Surber because he got royally screwed by his newspaper publisher for calling Ferguson’s Michael Brown an a “animal” which he was indeed, even though Michael had become “road kill” by that time.

    The reality is, Trump can beat Clinton. Ted Cruz could not.

    Trump or Hillary Clinton? Easy choice.

      snopercod in reply to | July 17, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      I voted for Cruz, but agree that he couldn’t have beaten Hillary. Too many LIVs…

      Ragspierre in reply to | July 17, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Your broke-dick opinion is not “reality”.

      And now we’ll never know reality, will we?

        Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | July 17, 2016 at 8:11 pm

        We know reality.

        Cruz lost in a landslide, couldn’t even break 50% in Texas.

        Trump won with the largest number of primary votes in R history.

        You have two choices in the election that count, Trump or Hillary.

        There is no other reality, just your useless wishes. And dog poop counts more than that.

          MSO in reply to Barry. | July 17, 2016 at 9:13 pm

          “More than 2.8 million Republican ballots were cast in Texas, approximately double the 2012 Republican primary total of 1.4 million. In the Democratic primary, more than 1.4 million were cast, besting the 2012 totals but falling far short of the nearly 2.9 million Democratic ballots cast in the 2008 primary, when the contest between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton drew strong interest.”

          So lets’s see, Demo vote down by 1.4 million, Repub vote up by 1.4 million and over half of all Repubs want nothing to do with ‘The Donald’.

          The outcome from open primaries may not reflect the wishes of the party.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | July 17, 2016 at 9:43 pm

          “…and over half of all Repubs want nothing to do with ‘The Donald’.”

          You are so clever.

          And over 2/3 of all Repubs want nothing to do with ‘Ted Cruz’.

          Or, any of the other candidates.

          Renaissance Don, as they call him in NY values, is the leader of the pack that is pulling the culture down away from bedrock conservative values.

          A while back I stopped talking about the election – you don’t “win” when a loser is posited as a winner – and I started remarking about how this culture has go to hell. Trump is the poster boy for the demise.

I love it how Trump has ignored buying advertising from the lamestream media and used Twitter instead to get his message out. “Never support those who would destroy you.” –Ayn Rand

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to snopercod. | July 17, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Is he going to use twitter in place of a ground game, too? Obama beat McCain and Romney by getting people to the polls.

      Like the vaunted Cruz ground game?

      Which, of course, was true, Cruz had a heckuva ground game, maybe the best ever. It was not even close to the groundswell of support Trump found.

      Some things change.

        OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to Barry. | July 17, 2016 at 9:35 pm

        The general election is a different game in so many ways. But no sense arguing over something that will actually end in a fact. The is not like being faith based on climate change.

        The opposite of the ground game is voter suppress. It is possible that voter suppression will tilt the scales in battle ground states like Ohio. But probably not.

    Why would Trump need to buy advertisement if he got it all for free? The media selected him to run against Hillary.

When you are a business man you never take a shot at a politician and always claim they are great until they are convicted. Until this last year he was a businessman. Going back in google to dig up quotes is not going to work against him.

    Ragspierre in reply to dunce1239. | July 17, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Consummate bullshit.

    See brothers, Koch; see also Cuban, Mark.

    Being in business doesn’t make you a crony whore. Being a crony whore can make your business.

    See Trump, Donald.

      Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | July 17, 2016 at 8:26 pm

      If you think the Koch bros empire does not actively seek and receive gov subsidies, you are a bigger fool than even I thought, and that is pretty damn big.

      Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 17, 2016 at 9:14 pm

      As is typical of you, Butt-hurt Barri, you lie like a fat sow in her filth.

      Lie, obfuscate, deflect and deny. Nobody mentioned “subsidies”, you lying SOS.

        Barry in reply to Ragspierre. | July 17, 2016 at 9:48 pm

        “Being in business doesn’t make you a crony whore.”

        You are so incredibly stupid it defies imagination.

        Crony capitalism:

        You’re also a liar.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | July 17, 2016 at 9:51 pm

          The Kochs also fight for and get tax breaks.

          They have fought to keep those with solar cells on their homes from being able to sell the excess power production back to the power company.

          The Kochs are the very definition of crony capitalists.

          Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | July 18, 2016 at 8:59 am

          But again you simply lie, and you are certifiably insane.

          The point was that the Koch brothers and other VERY successful business people are NOT lying liars who lie to stay in business. They are often VERY political, and not in the way T-rump has been.

          I don’t believe it is “crony capitalism” to fight taxation.

          And your bullshit about the Koch brothers and solar energy came right out of the pages of Rolling Stone.

          Great example of a T-rump cultist.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | July 18, 2016 at 8:09 pm

          The Kochs are crony capitalists. You were holding them out as an example of not being so.

          And, no, they are not just for reduced taxes, but tax breaks for themselves.

          I’ve never read “Rolling Stone”

          As is your usual, when confronted by your own dimwit mistake you try to change “the point”.

          Stupidity and deflection are your MO.

          Barry, you seriously don’t know what “crony capitalism” means? Before I illuminate this for you, let me note that there is no way for the Koch brothers or anyone else to get tax breaks only for themselves. The uber wealthy all enjoy the same tax loopholes (including your Oompa Loompa godlet); there are no special tax laws for the Kochs, the Trumps, and the Buffetts. What does happen is that special tax breaks are carved out by corrupt politicians in response to their corrupt cronies in the business world; this is why it seemed so outrageous that Warren Buffett supposedly paid less taxes than his secretary. It’s also why there are tax “harbors” for certain companies or interests.

          Crony capitalism, though, goes much deeper than that. For example, all of the millions that Nancy Pelosi’s family has made due to laws she pushed through and got signed into law or all of the millions and billions of taxpayer money funneled into the “pet” projects of corrupt politicians (we call this “pork” or “bridges to nowhere” schemes). Or there are laws that benefit one specific company or segment of the private sector (the attempted ban on incandescent light bulbs so GE could capitalize on the newly-created market for “energy efficient” light bulbs or the RFS that benefits GOP cronies who earn billions from King Corn.). Other examples of crony capitalism involve the corrupt use of government for government officials’ cronies’ benefit; this is where Trump’s getting some local or state government official to try to use eminent domain to take away an old woman’s house so that Trump could build a parking lot. That is crony capitalism.

          In short, crony capitalism is when politicians use public coffers and government influence, including legislation, to benefit and/or to “repay” their friends, family, business associates, big donors, and etc. And yes, that very much includes your orange savior. And yes, I think it can also be applied quite accurately to the Koch brothers . . . just not at the federal level in the age of Obama; his government helps Obama cronies, and that does not include the Kochs.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | July 19, 2016 at 1:17 am

          “And yes, I think it can also be applied quite accurately to the Koch brothers . ”

          I have no idea what your argument is, since I said the Koch’s are cony capitalists. And you are in agreement.

          And you are then, disagreeing with “the better man”, who held out the Koch’s as not being such.

          And, just because tax breaks the Koch’s lobby for also gets used by others doesn’t meant they don’t do it in their self interest.

          I know what crony capitalism is. Your lecture doesn’t change anything, especially since your comment supports precisely what I said.

      (At what point is Prof. Jacobson going to ban this cretin?)

The Press Trumped the Trump.

The Donald finally handed over the vet donation money after the media cornered him. (And Trump probably charged a handling fee.)

Now the press needs to corner Trump every day about his hidden tax returns and the Trump U fraud. Trump is all about telling like it is, so he better start coughing up what it is he is hiding.

Obama told the nation that his is the most transparent admin ever. Your guy is on the same path as Obama – lying to America.

The press needs to throw the book at Trump.

    Love how you so called “conservatives” are now allied with the left wing press.

    You are the same as the left.

      Ragspierre in reply to Barry. | July 17, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Any time anyone tells the truth, they are my ally.

      Der Donald lies every day, some days multiple times, and you support his lies every time you post about him.

    OnlyRightDissentAllowed in reply to jennifer a johnson. | July 17, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    It’s happening. Trump’s Deals Rely on Creativity With the Truth Trump admits in his books to using “innocent exaggeration”.

    From the article:

    “Mr. Trump brought against Barbara Corcoran, the real estate broker best known for her appearances on “Shark Tank.” In the mid-1990s, Mr. Trump owed millions of dollars to Ms. Corcoran for helping him secure financing for a development. Mr. Trump sued Ms. Corcoran, accusing her and her associates of sharing damaging information with the magazine and thus violating a confidentiality agreement.”

    “At trial, Mr. Trump was unable to produce a single document showing harm to his business. But his certitude never wavered, even after Ms. Corcoran’s lawyer, Mr. Seltzer, confronted him with article after article in which Mr. Trump himself had discussed with reporters much of the same “confidential” information he accused Ms. Corcoran’s team of divulging.”

    The case was dismissed.

Comments here remind me why I no longer enjoy visiting this site, and why I seldom come here anymore.

Some persons here seem to be suffering from arrested development. For a law-oriented site to have commenters that seem to be spoiled children bawling in their high chairs- well, it’s cognitively dissonant, that’s for sure.

Thanks for the article, it was great! Don Surber’s site is as you say, “wonderfully entertaining.” I also recommend it highly!

You have to admit the paragraph about Trump rescuing New York is patiently ridiculous.

I checked Surber’s site after book came out (and a few times before). I found it trite and uninspiring. If he was good at some point, that point is long gone.

Point of order, Mr Chairman!

Don Surber explains how a clown-car full of pundits jumped the shark and missed the boat in 2016

What the punditocracy did wasn’t “jumping the shark”. It was “screwing the pooch”; as in, undermining their own positions with catastrophic or ridiculous blunders.

As for “missing the boat”; they sure did.

Here is Prince Charmin in one of his throne rooms announcing “big things” for little minds.

Now, how does a serious social conservative like Mike Pence win free form California?

Thanks Leslie. Great review. I will order this book from the library.

Unfortunately, the answer to your question, “But what is in the book for those on the fence or for the #NeverTrump voters?” is, nothing.

The Leader of that Pack, Bill Crystal is now calling on Donald to apologize during his RNC speech for all the mean things he has said.

“Trump needs to admit regrets and that he made fun of people in “a nasty way.”


Fazed, not phased.