Donald Trump has just threatened to remove the New York Times press credentials. The Times, to no one’s surprise, has not been offering a fair and balanced picture of the Trump campaign. It has been going out of its way to support Hillary Clinton. Among the mainstream media, it is not alone. And its bias has certainly not been limited to Donald Trump. Every Republican candidate has gotten the Times treatment.
So, if the Times loses its press credentials, no one is going to shed many tears.
But, if the Times is bad, what would you say about the National Review. It published gonzo journalist Kevin Williamson—a very fine and talented writer, I will say—who yesterday offered his own view of the progress (or regress) of the Trump campaign.
It isn’t a pretty picture.
He [Trump] already is making excuses for losing in November and boasting that it doesn’t matter that much to him, because, as he put it, “I go back to a very good way of life.” And the people who supported him go back to seeing their liberties curtailed and their constitutional order perverted by an old-fashioned Democratic machine politician who could have been beaten by a dozen actual conservatives from whom Republicans had the opportunity to choose.
On the ground, Williamson does not find any cause for celebration:
The race in Ohio will probably be decided to a large part in Hamilton County — where Trump hadn’t bothered to set up an actual campaign operation as of last week. As of early August, the Trump campaign had one staffer in southwest Ohio. In Florida, where Trump is down at 39 percent, his campaign had one field office as of last week. He’s getting killed in Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado — where Clinton leads him by 14 points, and where Trump’s field operation is in terms of personnel and offices only a fraction of what the Clinton campaign has put on the ground.
Obviously, the media is being grossly biased. We might even say that it's bigoted. Every Republican candidate expects to get an unfair shake from the mainstream media. But, when you start blaming the media, Williamson explains, you will be running against the media. It’s never a winning strategy:
But it isn’t the media that’s stopping Trump from organizing the basics of a presidential campaign. Trump is set to lose Georgia. Trump probably will end up winning Texas and Utah, but it is not inconceivable that he could lose them. And all that brave talk about the New Yorker making the race competitive in northern Democratic strongholds? Clinton is up 21 points in the latest New Jersey poll, 17 points in the latest New York poll, 10 points in the latest from Michigan, and 25 points in the latest from Illinois. The only Democratic states Trump currently is winning are the ones that were really Democratic until about 1994 or so, and he’s not even doing that great there, either, up by only 3 points in Mississippi.
Of course, Trump might pull it out. Miracles do happen. But, the signs are ominous. While some people are getting ready to start playing the blame game, Williamson is not quite there yet. When he gets there, he will not be blaming Trump, who has never been other than what he is, but those who supported and enabled him:
It’s too early to begin the bloody and tearful recriminations — but there will be a time. Not to blame Trump for being Trump, which is exactly what anybody with a lick of sense would expect him to be. But those who enabled him, who plumped him and the largely fictitious establishment-vs.-the-base soap opera for their own personal audience-building and money-making agendas? We are going to need to have a word about them, come November.