A guy I know and respect IRL posited: “The media shouldn’t be covering Trump pep rallies. It would drive him crazier not to be covered.” I understand this position.
Omorosa Manigault Newman, the former reality show villain turned White House adviser turned regime foe suggested as much: “There’s one way to shut Donald Trump down and that is to just don’t give him the oxygen,” she said on The Daily Show recently. “And the oxygen comes from the clicks, the likes, the shock, the discussions. If you ignore him, then you starve him of the thing he loves the most ― and that is controversy and attention.”
Yet I’m resistant to the idea.
1. He’ll still be covered by FOX, CBN, right-wing bloggers. Do we want to cede the analysis and the reporting of news to them?
2. He’ll tweet about it. I remember some folks early on suggested not covering those. But unfortunately, he makes pronouncements on the platform. He fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter.
3. Failure to cover him will feed into his narrative that the news is biased. Some have suggested that point anyway after the “editorial collusion by dozens of newspapers,” in response to the regime’s “fake news” claims.
4. He announces things at his rallies that the public should be aware of. At the rally in Great Falls, MT on July 5, 2018, he announced, “I’ve directed the Pentagon to begin a process of creating a sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces called the space force.”
It’s also where QAnon, which is either a “a deranged conspiracy cult” or a faux movement, leapt from the Internet to the crowd at the Tampa MAGA tour on July 31.
There are, I imagine from reading enough right-wing literature, some people who DO believe the regime actually “installed Robert Mueller as part of an ongoing plan to capture the Muslim terrorist Barack Obama. At the climax of the consensus narrative, Trump supporters will have to unite for a mighty Good vs Evil fight in which Hillary will team up with George Soros in an attempt to overthrow the government, only to be cast down by Trump, who will then usher in a new age of Christian righteousness.”
(My head hurts.)
I’m pained by the cost of these rallies. While the core event expenses presumably comes from the campaign of the presumed 2020 Republican candidate for President, the taxpayers are on the hook for the Secret Service, which is already overextended, plus state and local law enforcement.
So I say cover the guy, and then read The Fact Checker’s ongoing database of the false or misleading claims he’s made since assuming office. It’s about 50 truth-bending comments per week, a goodly number of them at his rallies.