While the mainstream media has spent an inordinate amount of coverage on Donald Trump, specifically on his ever-surging poll numbers and daily self-made controversies, they still treat him like a celebrity and sideshow.
Two months after he outraged much of the nation and a large portion of the civilized world by calling for a ban on all Muslims, all without receiving any political backlash due to a crowded and dysfunctional Republican field, the GOP frontrunner continued his tendency to say dangerously inappropriate and wildly offensive things without fear of reprisal. Speaking at a South Carolina event on Wednesday, Trump wholeheartedly endorsed the widespread use of torture by the United States.
Previously, Trump has spoken positively of waterboarding, including in a recent op-ed, claiming that it should be used by interrogators to extract information and calling for the United States to return using the tactic. He’s also stated in the past that he’d do a whole hell of a lot worse. However, he hadn’t gone as far as he did on Wednesday, when he not only endorsed the use of other forms of torture, but said that it absolutely works.
“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work. Torture works. Okay, folks? Torture, you know, half these guys say, ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works. Okay?”
“Some people say it’s not actually torture. Let’s assume it is. But they asked me the question, ‘What are you going to do on waterboarding?’ Absolutely fine, but we should go much stronger than waterboarding. That’s the way I feel.”
Now, was this reported? Yeah, it was. Major news outlets and newspapers ran pieces on this on Wednesday from their political reporters. I mean, shit, every major publication has at least one embedded reporter following the celebrity billionaire everywhere he goes. Yet, by early Wednesday afternoon, outside of some blurbs, nothing came of this story.
Nope. Everyone was more concerned about the latest South Carolina poll numbers, Nikki Haley’s endorsement of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz’s slap fight with The Donald and Jeb’s continued sadness. But, when the most-covered (by far) Presidential candidate proposes that this country completely dismiss the Geneva Conventions and get into the torture business, which would lead to the complete isolation of the United States and place us in the crosshairs of the entire international community, the basic reaction is, “Eh, whatcha gonna do? It’s Trump?”
The thing is, Trump is going to appear at town halls on MSNBC and CNN on back-to-back nights. While he may get asked a bit about this, there will be no real pushback from the moderators (especially MSNBC’s). If he is pressed on it at all, he’ll just bullshit his way through, and it will be dropped like he said nothing. The networks and cable news stations won’t even discuss it in much detail, except perhaps in a ‘what does this mean to GOP voters’ kinda way.
People, we’re fucked. We seriously are. This is what is going on in front of us and, according to our venerable fourth estate, it isn’t even worth talking about in any type of serious or substantive manner. Nope. Just point the camera at Trump some more and hope you get another ratings boost.