The following is an excerpt from my newly released book, How Trump’s Politics Changed the Mainstream Media and Why He Continues To Drive Them Mad available on Amazon. This section describes Trump’s early relationship with the media shortly after he announced his candidacy in June, 2015. It gives on a fairly good idea of how Trump refused to be bound by the media’s suffocating dictates of political correctness.
Trump Sets His Own Rules
Trump’s unorthodox style and assault on conventional norms of political behavior, was one of the reasons that he was so singularly effective in offending the sensibilities of the media. When Trump burst on the scene in June, 2015, they were wholly unprepared for the show that awaited them from a man, who not only was a successful real estate developer, but also was a skillful entertainer. Trump was neither a politician, attorney nor a Washington insider: he was the consummate outsider, who had his own set of rules, his own way of speaking and his own unique way of dealing with the press.
Trump was not a product of Yale or Harvard and the social circles in which many of the political and media elites travelled, but rather, a product of Queens and the rough and tumble of the New York City commercial real estate business. He was brash, indelicate, and unschooled in the ways of Washington political-speak. As such, many in the chattering classes considered his unwillingness to conform to Beltway traditions a fatal character defect that would inevitably doom his candidacy. No one liked Trump’s plain, forthright and wholly unscripted manner of speaking and delivering his message except those who voted.
Even though their expectations for Trump were low, reporters and commentators believed that he would not breach the etiquette and unwritten rules by which all candidates were bound. In this sense, Trump stunned the media, because he was unlike any other Republican they had ever encountered.
After his announcement, instead of tempering his rhetoric, as many pundits had suggested, instead of staying within the permissible parameters of political discourse, defined and enforced by the Mainstream Media-Democratic Party-Complex, Trump continued to speak his mind and that of many others, when he assailed directly and forcefully the shibboleths of the Left.
When a Republican candidate makes a controversial statement, or more accurately, refuses to abide by or deviates from politically correct speech, reporters and commentators always ask that candidate to retract his statement. The second prong of this well-established tactic is to ask other Republicans candidates if they will disavow or condemn the statement made by the candidate. This song and dance never works out well for Republicans, yet they continued to play the media’s game year in and year out. Trump didn’t play along with this chicanery.