This Stark CNN Chyron Proves We're O-V-E-R Donald Trump
On Wednesday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump repeatedly called President Obama “the founder of ISIS.” This is just the latest of several increasingly outlandish comments from the billionaire-turned-sort-of-populist candidate, including insinuating that gun rights activists go after Hillary Clinton and attacking the family of a slain U.S. Army officer who spoke out against Trump at the Democratic National Convention. All week, the media’s jaw has been dropping collectively lower and lower, but it seems that it might have finally hit the floor and that the switch has finally been made from “can you believe he said that?” to “I can’t even with this right now.”
Perhaps, the best manifestation of this phenomenon is CNN’s subtle but unequivocal are-you-kidding-me approach to covering Trump’s claim, running a chyron below footage of Trump speaking that reads “Trump Calls Obama Founder Of ISIS (He’s Not).” Washington Post's Ishaan Tharoor raised CNN, saying “A better chyron would point to Trump’s actual support of Iraq war (and Obama’s opposition). Or Trump cheerleading the pullout in 2008.” This evolution in attitude is hardly a surprising development: even as Trump has been a kind of golden goose to the news organizations covering the 2016 campaign, there’s only so much drivel you can swallow before you start making a face.
Even the dry Twitter response from the Clinton campaign has a nearly audible eye-roll in it.
It’s unclear where we can go from here. It’s hard to believe that the media will ever be able to give Trump what he so richly deserves, which is to be ignored. But we do seem to be entering a kind of beyond-the-outer-limits territory when it comes to how we react to what Trump dishes out next. I feel like we’re nearing some sort of endpoint here, where something — the Republican party, conservative voters, or maybe the media itself — will have to stop continuing with the charade of seriously considering a Trump presidency as a viable option.
We still have 98 days to go in this election cycle, but part of me believes there’s a good chance the Republican nominee might not make it to the finish, especially without the media's interest.
Image: Bustle/Allison Gore