Donald Trump delivered a campaign-style speech in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday night to do what he does best: rally his base. Late into the night and into the early morning following the rally, CNN Tonight with Don Lemon featured conversations encouraging the invoking of the 25th Amendment and suggesting the president might have early onset dementia.
Don Lemon asked Scott Jennings, political strategist for George W. Bush, a slew of questions regarding the political incentives to hold these campaign style rallies and why this strategy seems to work for the president.
Jennings admitted he disagrees with the president on several fronts, especially when Trump threatened a government shutdown if the border wall was not funded properly. Time and time again, he told Lemon that he could not speak directly for the president, but as a political strategist, he understands why targeting and pandering toward his base in a rally format is important for Trump.
Realizing Jennings would not budge on his opinion and measured analysis, Lemon quickly redirected the conversation by asking CNN commentator Bakari Sellers to flirt with the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment.
Bakari replied immediately, “We’re going to have discussions about the 25th Amendment, no doubt … he is unfit, unhinged, and we’ve known this for 18 months … and we haven’t seen … Republicans show any leadership or fortitude. … (Trump) is morally vapid. So what do we do now?”
Lemon then claimed Trump is “clearly trying to ignite a civil war in this country. If he was on my team, in this newsroom, and said those things, he would be escorted out by security. My colleague Ana Navarro (another CNN commentator) said on Twitter, ‘Only possible defensible explanation for Trump's disgusting, un-presidential, narcissistic behavior, would be early onset dementia. Maybe.’ She’s not the only one saying this. Some people have been saying this for months. We don’t know that but has he shown he is fit for office?”
Yes. Primetime mainstream leftists are actively tossing around "early onset dementia" to explain policies and rhetoric coming from President Trump. Navarro’s statement is absurd, but Lemon legitimizing it through claiming some kind of consensus with Navarro is just as egregious. Continually asserting an unsubstantiated statement doesn’t make it true, nor is the media justified in promoting it.
Distrust of the mainstream media is at an all time high. According to the American Press Institute, only 17% of Americans believe the media is very accurate. It is hard to blame consumers of the MSM for this exceptional distrust when the discourse is focused on promoting political opinions of hard leftists over conservatives 5 to 1, just like the panels frequently held on CNN Tonight.
The news only gets worse for “fake news.” An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted in late June found that only 37% of Americans have a good amount or great deal of trust in Trump, while even less, just 30%, have a good amount or great deal of trust in the MSM. This shouldn’t be labeled a "victory" for Trump because the poll clearly demonstrates trust in both is at an all-time low. In pursuit of demagogic pandering, the media has miserably failed in completing its two objectives: to educate the public through the dissemination of information, and to forward a coherent and accurate message. CNN's ratings have been plummeting recently because CNN reflexively declares just about everything Trump says as inherently undemocratic, indecent, and divisive. Trump, meanwhile, needs to get back to his agenda, work on building public trust, and raise his approval rating.
I understand the perverse, parasitic symbiosis Trump and the left-leaning MSM have in railing against one another. For the past 18 months, we’ve seen the continual escalation and polarization of dialogue in the MSM in accordance with President Trump unapologetically being Candidate Trump. It is incredibly important for the media to properly vet the speeches given by the president for fallacies and for political pundits to critique the president’s message and agenda. While all of these pundits are entitled to their own opinions, they too, deserve proper vetting from the American public.
At first, the media believed Trump’s candidacy was a joke; then the media claimed he would never get the nomination; then they asserted he would lose massively in the general; then they pleaded for his impeachment. Now, the media has no clothes. They have reached the pinnacle of idiocy and the only card they have left to play in this cycle of escalation is calling for the president they despise to be removed from office via the 25th Amendment.
Bradley Devlin is a student at the University of California Berkeley studying Political Economy and serves as the secretary of the Berkeley College Republicans.