One of the largely ignored stories of Trump’s rise to the GOP nomination for the White House has been the media’s normalization of his outrageous behavior. One of the biggest offenders of this has been CNN, who not only has covered Trump uncritically on an endless loop since he announced his candidacy last June, but has gone out and hired at least two contributors to act as Trump defenders on the network.
We got yet another example of the network lending credibility and gravitas to Trump’s insane antics on Tuesday. In this instance, the former reality TV star and wannabe Mussolini started the day’s news cycle by telling Fox News that Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, was involved in JFK’s assassination. His source? The National Enquirer.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Mr. Trump, there is an influential community of evangelicals there in Indiana, known as a deep conservative state. And Rafael Cruz, who is the father of Ted Cruz, is really reaching out to that crowd and saying, “I implore every member of the body of Christ to vote for my son.”
EARHARDT: Does that resonate with the folks there in Indiana?
DONALD TRUMP: I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to do it. I think it’s a disgrace that he’s allowed to say it. You know, I’m backed by, you look at Jerry Falwell Jr. and you look at so many of the ministers that are backing me. And they’re backing me more so than they’re backing Cruz, and I’m winning the evangelical vote. And it’s disgraceful that his father can go out and do that. And just, and so many people are angry about it. And the evangelicals are angry about it, the way he does that. And, you know, there’s a whole thing. And, you know, his father was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s being, you know, shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right prior to his being shot, and nobody even brings it up. I mean they don’t even talk about that. That was reported, and nobody talks about it. But I think it’s horrible. I think it’s absolutely horrible that a man can go and do that, what he’s saying there.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Right. There was a picture out there that reportedly shows Rafael Cruz standing with Lee Harvey Oswald —
TRUMP: I mean what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before the death, before the shooting? It’s horrible.
On CNN’s New Day, host Alisyn Camerota moderated a panel discussion that included former Jeb Bush staffer Tim Miller and the network’s resident Trumpkin and Andrew Jackson cosplayer Jeffrey Lord. Miller mentioned the JFK conspiracy theory that Trump tossed out, calling it “false tabloid trash” — which it is — only to have Lord laugh it off.
Camerota then filled in the audience of Trump’s remarks and addressed Lord, wanting to know if this is a good look for the campaign on the day of Indiana’s GOP primary, which Trump is expected to easily win. Of course, Lord continued to laugh it off, saying he saw it in the grocery store and he’d check the Warren report. Camerota pointed out that Trump is “now using the National Enquirer as a source for what he says on national TV.” Lord’s response:
“I think this is why people love him. There are some things not worth taking seriously. I think this is one of them.”
Really, Jeffrey? REALLY? He just went on cable news and accused his opponent’s father of being involved in the killing of a president, and you think this isn’t “worth taking seriously”?
[Drags out soap box]
Shame on you for continuing to normalize Trump’s dangerous buffoonery, and shame on CNN for constantly giving you a platform and treating you like a serious political commentator. Man, cable ‘news’ just fucking sucks.
[Kicks soap box in anger and walks away dejected]
Below is video of the CNN segment:
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 3, 2016