Published on 9 Feb 2016

‘I can’t thank you enough, Mr Trump’

It was hearing an American TV anchor in a massive studio complex in New Hampshire wrap up an interview with Donald Trump with the words “I can’t thank you enough, Mr Trump” that made me wonder what role deference has played in easing Donald Trump’s journey to the heights of the zeitgeist.

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At what point did it become more important to get Donald Trump on your show, and be thankful for it, than demanding he deliver any answers, or any substance?  How was it that he was able in Iowa to withdraw from a debate that threatened actual interrogation of his attitudes and policies and somehow transform that into an act of standing up for your rights?

If Donald Trump wins the New Hampshire primary, layers of smugness will settle around him like a protective carapace.  He will have transformed himself into the winner he always promised, and all questioning of him henceforth will be rendered ever more unnecessary and futile.

There was a moment missed, somewhere between laughing at him, and finally being forced to take him seriously.  Perhaps it was the baying of his supporters at the media, encouraged by the real estate mogul, that cowed the organisations upon which America depends for its information.

He phones in his interviews and trades on the whiff of ratings, celebrity and wealth.  Like a Berlusconi, or a Thaksin Shinawatra, he promises his followers a fast track to the better life their country, by his narrative, has denied them.

There is no undoing the reality of their anger, their sense of disconnection, of betrayal.  White working- class Americans have not done well, even as others around them have seen their lives gradually improve.  The establishment, it seems, understood that enough to fan the fury, blaming Washington DC, or the liberal conspiracy, or the mainstream media.  Now they too are learning to imagine how they might work with President Trump.

The outcome of all of this is that the candidate New Hampshire may catapult into the lead at this early stage is untested.  For all the minutes he’s spent on air, all the hours he’s spent at the podium selling his pitch for President, it’s very rare a question lands, and is addressed.

He delivers diktats – build a wall, lock out Muslims – creates a reaction, and then burnishes that into another headline, another appearance, another vote-grabbing almost-policy.

And if America’s media still can’t thank him enough just for turning up, that seems unlikely to change.

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5 reader comments

  1. Alan says:

    Such comments upon a US Presidential candidate are extremely rare within the corporate media. One wonders why the author discerns such a difference between this and other candidates?

  2. A says:

    Trump’s participation in TV debates attracted 24 million viewing homes on the first TV debates (vs 3 milions last time) and even pushed UK media coverage for US primary contests to unprecedented high levels. Not even Ronnie Reagan could ever achieve such high ratings. And high ratings are rewarded with higher advertising time for broadcaster.
    No wonder programmers admire him. He’s money in their till !!

    Could C4 persuade Donald J Trump to give you an interview?

    [BTW, the bookies odds put Hillary on 10/11 to make the White House and DJT well behind at 7/2].

  3. rob says:

    Watching Kylie Morris on channel 4 news from Las Vegas about Trump . She was talking absolute rubbish . “people are lining up to vote to keep him out of office ” How does that work then . Kylie Morris is not a journolist in any sense and would be far better working on comic books . Shes another liberal hack employed by channel 4 .

  4. paul says:

    the ever so smug kylie morris and her anti donald trump left wing bias is just laughable,anybody would think she is bernie saunders campaign manager,she blamed donald trumps supporters for the violence in chigago,when it was them who was being attacked by saunders left wing violent occupy rentamob,its obvious kylie morris is a democratic supporter and she seems to have a memory blackout when it comes to who is really behind all this violence at donald trumps rallys.

  5. Mario says:

    Big Respect Kylie as they say in south London.

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