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Thursday, August 13, 2015

THE PRESS' WAR WITH DONALD TRUMP

BRYCE ON POLITICS

- How will he spar with the press in the next debate?

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At the August 6th GOP presidential debate in Cleveland, and the ensuing fallout, it became clear the press had declared war on Donald Trump. They simply do not want him in the electoral mix as his roots are planted in business as opposed to politics. Calling it a "debate" is being much too generous. Rather, it was a modified version of a press conference where candidates field questions from the media. In a debate, a moderator coldly presents a topic and a speaker poses their argument, followed by a counter argument by an opposing person. This is not what happened during the debate where Fox moderators offered sensational questions and were not interested in discussing legitimate topics, such as how to stimulate the economy and GDP, what our policy should be in the Middle East, how we should attain energy independence, a discussion on diminished morality, race relations, our space program, etc. In contrast, the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon debate was perhaps the closest we'll ever witness of a true debate, which was a civil exchange between two totally different candidates.

The 24 million viewers who tuned into the Cleveland debate was the largest audience ever for a primary debate. It was also the largest in the history of Fox News and the largest in all of cable news; all thanks to Donald Trump. Had he not been there, Fox would not have achieved such lofty ratings. Yet, I felt the debate was conducted unprofessionally, particularly when you compare it to the Kennedy/Nixon debate. The introduction of the candidates was clumsy and embarrassing, and the questions asked by the moderators lacked tact and significance. It sounded more like the women arguing on "The View," as opposed to a presidential debate. Frankly, the earlier debate of seven candidates was much more dignified and to the point.

The press is exasperated by Trump. They complain he lacks specifics in solving problems. When they ask him, "How will you do this or that?"

His answer, "negotiate," infuriates them.

They are also appalled he donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign back in January. "Sheer hypocrisy," they claim. No, that is how business is performed in today's world, right or wrong. As a businessman, I understand him perfectly, but the press obviously does not. In business, it is common not to tip your hand before you play your cards. However, the press not only wants to see his cards, they also want to argue how he should play them. If he doesn't play the cards their way, they get very upset. It is no small wonder he doesn't accept political correctness.

His unscripted candor is typical of board room discussions. Whereas such talk is remarkably refreshing to the people who have lost faith in government and political machines, it is unnerving to the press.

The next GOP debate will be on September 16th at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. It will be interesting to see if there will be any change in the give and take between Trump and the press. As Trump knows, the best form of defense is a strong offense. Now it is time for him to take on the irresponsible press. The people love every shot he takes at them.

If another superfluous question is asked, such as that posed by Fox's Megyn Kelly, do not be surprised if Trump answers something to the effect, "Really, that is the best question you've got? Aren't you aware this country has more serious problems we should be discussing?" The press will be climbing the walls. If they persevere, do not be surprised if Trump simply ignores them and discusses whatever he wants to.

If we have learned anything thus far in the Trump campaign, the more the press attacks him, the higher his numbers rise in the polls. When they tout he is nothing but a "flash in the pan," the public rallies to his cause. This is indicative the public no longer trusts the media. One thing is for certain, as Trump continues to move ahead, the rhetoric from the press will become more visceral, much to Trump's benefit. The press just doesn't get it.

Stay tuned.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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