Donald Trump owes his entire career to "the media," but he seems to like them a whole lot less now that they're actually scrutinizing him. He's responded to the sexual assault and harassment allegations lobbed against him by a growing number of women by accusing the media of colluding with the "Clinton machine" to "elect crooked Hillary Clinton at any cost, at any price, no matter how many lives they destroy." This, said by a man who's turned thousands of supporters against women who've come forward to corroborate things he himself has bragged about doing, but, no matter. 24 days, 13 hours to go.
Not that Trump was ever particularly kind to the press, but in the last few days, his ribbing has turned downright cruel and, considering the protections afforded to the press in the Constitution, dangerous. He claims, now, that the media is outright lying, and that his supporters can't believe anything they read or are told.
"Let’s be clear on one thing," Trump said at a rally in Florida yesterday. "The corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism - they are a political special interest no different from a lobbyist." He has accused the New York Times, the 165-year-old paper of record, of being "third rate," and "failing," and has threatened to sue them (the Times' response: "Lol, k.") He claims Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who holds shares at the Times and has donated to the Clinton Foundation is controlling the paper, which had to be "rescued" by a "foreigner." (Again, the Times, 90 percent of whose shares are held by the Sulzberger family, says this is false).
His supporters now claim "the media, the mainstream media, Washington—they're all up against Trump."
Indeed, when the press arrives at Trump events now, the crowd basically turns into an episode of Jerry Springer:
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) October 13, 2016
This is all quite dangerous. Trump has already called into question future election results, claiming he can only have lost if the process is "rigged." His supporters will only believe their demagogue, and think the world's fate is controlled by a small group of political elitists ( "The Bilderbergers have already decided who's going to win," one supporter told Mother Jones). But they listen to Trump, and they'll keep listening even if Clinton smashes him to the ground on election day.
Woman screams at press after Trump rally: "we're mad at you!" pic.twitter.com/r5ewYTpfwB
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) October 13, 2016
“I never knew it would be this vile, this vicious,” he told the crowd in Florida. “Nevertheless I take all of these slings and arrows gladly for you. I take them for the movement so we can have our country back.”
Meanwhile, those slings and arrows? They include an archived story from the Chicago Tribune, in which Trump claimed, after meeting two 14-year-old girls at the Plaza, "Wow! Just think -- in a couple of years, I'll be dating you." It was dismissed as cute back then, but none of this is cute anymore.