Burriss: Who will reap Trump's whirlwind?
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 2:48 pm
By LARRY BURRISS
There's a saying you've probably heard, "He who lives by the sword dies by the sword." So what happens when a media creation turns out not to be as docile as the creators had perhaps wanted? Frankenstein's creature immediately comes to mind.
Donald Trump, who is currently at or near the top of the polls in a crowded Republican field, is, in fact, a media creation. Sure, he's rich, but so are many other people. He's built a lot of buildings, but so have a lot of other people. What has he actually done that a lot of other people haven't done? The answer is, not much. But he is rich, famous, bombastic, and infinitely quotable.
So more than a decade ago the media, in a manner of speaking, created the Donald Trump we saw in the gossip magazines, on the evening news and on the talk shows. And he became famous for being famous.
Then, for whatever reason, he began to run for president. At first he was merely a distraction. Now, he appears to be a serious contender, and making statements that seem to appeal to a lot of people.
And here's where it gets interesting. The "Huffington Post" has said Trump is merely a "sideshow," and the site will move coverage of Trump from its political sections to entertainment.
But Trump, the media creation, is apparently tapping into something that is appealing to quite a few people. And he cannot be ignored just because many people find his message insulting, obnoxious or hateful. Name any candidate you want, and I'm sure there is a whole segment of society that will find their messages insulting, obnoxious or hateful.
The media, of course, are quite free to treat any of the candidates any way they want. But it was the media, with the help of multiple audiences that created Donald Trump. And now the electorate, for better or worse, is about to reap the whirlwind they helped create.