When the circus comes to town, the media beat the drums


It used to be that newspapers made a pretense of being fair and equitable in the coverage of candidates for the same office — except, of course, for fringe candidates.

In this age in which ratings and polls are paramount that apparently is no longer the case.

Both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio were stumping for the Republican presidential nomination in Las Vegas Thursday, but the morning paper gave the bulk of ink and display to Trump, leaving Rubio as a mere afterthought.

Trump — a television personality who bankrupted at least four businesses and has yet to articulate a clear or consistent stance on much of anything — warranted a photo and headline above the banner on the front page referring to story and photo on the cover of the B section that took up half the page, as well as being being the topic of two columns. U.S. Sen. Rubio was relegated to 2B with a smaller photo and a shorter story.

The Sun insert in morning Review-Journal carried nothing, of course, but online there is a dominant photo and headline on Trump’s appearance on the Strip along with a refer line to story on Rubio in Summerlin.

Much of the R-J news story was devoted to Trump bragging about his own popularity and snide comments about other candidates and the media. It prominently mentioned the crowd estimate of 1,600 and ending with a toss way line noting Rubio also was in town Thursday.

The only quote from the candidate in the Rubio piece was: “Never in my lifetime has the political class been more out of touch with reality than it is right now. … If we keep electing the same kind of people, nothing is going to change.” The story estimated the crowd was 500, but a Rubio email piece today places the crow at 1,200. Frankly, I doubt the community center room has that capacity.

The latest polls show Rubio in fourth place with less than 10 percent and Trump in the lead with more than 20 percent.

Though Rubio trails Trump in the polls perhaps the more telling number was the campaign contribution report that came out Thursday but was not mentioned in the paper. Rubio gathered in only $6 million, half of what Ted Cruz collected. Trump brags about self-funding.

But perhaps it is a little early to be effectively declaring the winner in print.

A 2011 New York Times series recounted what has happened to early front-runners in past elections. Here are a few examples:




Here is how the R-J displayed the Rubio story:







27 comments on “When the circus comes to town, the media beat the drums

  1. nyp says:

    It is a double Student Second Amendment Day!
    Two shot at Texas Southern University.

    A clear sign that we need more, more, more guns on campuses!

  2. John Gordon Edwards says:

    It’s time for the new owners of the RJ to focus on something other than superficial blood-and-guts accident and crime stories. How about giving readers complete and balanced coverage of issues and candidates for President. After all, I am told that Rubio is a former Las Vegas resident. Rubio has faults but he is a real candidate and at least as worthy of news coverage as Trump.

  3. The RJ is but a mere shadow of what it used to be…it’s a cross between blood and guts, and TMZ. Pitiful…

  4. Barbara says:

    I don’t read the RJ, so I can’t comment on its news coverage. The GOP has no one to blame but itself for the prominence of the insurgent candidates. If the Republicans had kept their word to the American people their would be no basis for Trump’s candidacy. Rubio betrayed the American people with his support of the Gang of 8 amnesty bill. He is an establishment candidate and cannot be trusted. I’m not interested in anything he says.

    Trump has put forth policies on taxes, trade, and immigration. I don’t agree with him on trade, but there is much to like in his tax plan and immigration stance. I can’t imagine him as President. He appears to be much like Obama (narcissistic). I don’t think he will be the nominee, but hopefully neither will Rubio.

    Similarly, the struggle to elect a new Speaker is reflective of the grassroots holding conservatives in the House accountable. Finally, we have a group of 40 Congressman who are listening to the people who placed them in office. Hopefully they will continue to place the needs of the nation ahead of the campaign cash flowing from K Street. It’s very sad when Republicans hold both the House and the Senate, and yet no one can point to one piece of legislation that has passed this Congress that would not have passed had the Democrats retained power.

  5. Nyp says:

    Shouldn’t you want to do something about all that corrupting “cash coming from K Street”?

  6. As soon as you do something about all that Union corrupting cash flowing to the Democrats…

  7. nyp says:

    the source you cite is highly misleading, in that it compares compulsory disclosed contributions but doesn’t account for the avalance of undisclosed dark money from K Street and Wall Street. It also ignores SuperPacs.
    Nevertheless, I would be happy to outlaw campaign payments by Unions. Simply outlaw private campaign financing and set up a public financing system. I could live with that.

  8. Patrick says:

    Interesting that Thomas chose to use tables reflecting potential democratic nominees for present rather than republican; I wonder if the reason is that republican leaders of the race for president at this point were far more predictive of the eventual nominee?

  9. Barbara says:

    Cash from K Street or Unions is not the problem. How about eliminating government involvement in private industry which is what the cash hopes to influence? No government involvement – no need to bribe office holders as they would have no power to intervene in private industry.

  10. nyp says:

    You have two problems with that:
    1) you can’t “eliminate government involvement in private industry” until private industry no longer buys and sells legislators and dominates campaign spending. Won’t happen
    2) Most K Street and Wall Street (and Union) corruption of the legislative proces has nothing to do with your conception of “government involvement in private industry.” You think it is all about “Solindra” or the Ex-Im Bank That is a tiny part of the problem. Let’s say someone wishes to build an oil refinery across the street from your home. Although you think that your neighborhood is a grossly inappropriate place in which to place an oil refinery, the oil company makes massive contributions to the legislators who control the zoning and permitting decisions. Is that “government interference with private industry”?
    Another example: some companies oppose the new TransPacific free trade agreement because it makes their products vulnerable to Asian competition. They spend millions lobbying against it and set up SuperPacs to defeat legislators who support is. What does that have to do with “government involvement in private industry”?

  11. nyp says:

    BTW, the New York Times today has a brilliant piece of journalism about the 158 families that have invested more than half the money spent on the first phase of the Presidential campaign.

    I’m sure they all have your best interests at heart.


  12. Nyp says:

    All the speech money can buy

  13. Barbara says:

    Corruption in government will never be totally stamped out, but reducing the involvement at the Federal level of government in private industry would go a long way to curbing it. It is the purpose of the 10th amendment. Government that is closest to the people can be controlled better than a powerful central government. In your example of the oil company, aren’t city council persons or county commissioners that live in the area more apt to be accountable than some beauracrat that lives in D.C? I don’t oppose all government involvement just the lawless central government we have in DC that does not follow the Constitution.

  14. nyp says:

    You seriously think state and local government officials are less corruptable, more accountable than federal officials? Seriously?

    And the 10th Amendment has nothing whatosever to do with “reducing the involvement at the Federal level of government in private industry.” That is absurd.

    Then again, I recall that you — along with Mr. Mitchell — believe that Medicare, Social Security, the interstate highway system and student loans are all unconstitutional.

  15. Steve says:

    All politics is local.

    Tip O’Neill understood it. Tobacco manufacturers are still learning it. Gun grabbers have not a clue.

  16. Barbara says:

    I never said state and local officials were less corruptable. I said it is easier to hold them accountable for their actions. Senators have very little accountability since the passage of the 17th amendment. So, what is the purpose of the 10th Amendment – in your opinion.

  17. nyp says:

    1) It is remarkable that you think that legislators who are not selected by the voters are less accountable than those who are.
    2) The 10th Amendment, in the words of the Supreme Court, is a “truism” and “essentially a tautology.” Like several other provisions of the U.S. Constitution, is is poorly drafted. It basicaly means that Congress cannot do the things that Congress cannot do.

  18. Rincon says:

    If you lived in Illinois, the only state where your license plates are made for you by a former governor, you wouldn’t be so confident about your state officials Barbara.

    The first way to get government out of private enterprise would be to get rid of all tax deductions, but private enterprise would never let that happen. They’ve paid way too much for all of those juicy deductions found in our 55,000 page tax code, most of which were drafted by lobbyists. For the most part, the middle class can’t afford the prices charged by politicians. Ask Mitt Romney about his 15% tax rate.

    Although it’s easy to speculate how wonderful everything would be without government involvement, please remember that most of our federal departments were created after it became painfully obvious that private enterprise couldn’t be trusted. Do we really want to go back to the days of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” or to having drugs unregulated as they were in the days that patent medicines were sold that contained radium? Do we want to go back to the days before the EPA when rivers caught fire or would we want our oil sold to us by the monopoly called Standard Oil?

  19. Barbara says:

    Spoken like a true Socialist – private enterprise cannot be trusted, so the Government must control everything to save us from ourselves. Yes if unprotected, Granny would be thrown off the cliff and kids would
    starving in the streets.

    You prove my point that representatives that are closer to the people are held more accountable than those in Washington which is why Illinois has so many politicians now serving time in prison. The Clinton Crime Foundation should be there with them.

  20. nyp says:

    So the fact that so many state politicians are convicted crooks is proof that state and local politics is more accountable. And interesting mental process at work.

  21. Steve says:

    Imagine how much more effective they would have been if they made it to the federal level, nyp.

    Local actions prevented that!

  22. Rincon says:

    The European Union has the kind of arrangement you want; independent states held together by a weak federal type authority. Doesn’t seem to work so well for them.

    Call be a socialist if you like, but yes, private enterprise cannot be trusted on its own. Standard Oil drove thousands of honest, hard working producers and merchants out of business while systematically gouging its customers. Meat packers routinely processed and sold heavily contaminated meat. Quacks peddled millions of bottles of medicine containing radium, the miracle element and of course, thousands of other quack patent medicines were sold to the pigeons we call the public. Enron totally screwed its customers, employees and the state of California. Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff also come to mind along with tens of thousands of other con artists calling themselves entrepreneurs. John Rockefeller, Jay Gould, Andrew Mellon, Andrew Carnegie,, J. P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, etc. weren’t called robber barons for nothing. They famously amassed outrageous fortunes while paying their employees barely enough to stay alive and working them (and their children) for ridiculously long hours in unsafe conditions. Millions lost their life savings when banks failed – frequently. And of course, today we have Volkswagen cars pumping out up to 40 times the pollutants claimed by the company, while the outgoing president of the company will likely get a $67 million dollar golden parachute for leading his company into the greatest scandal of its existence. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/volkswagen-ceo-martin-winterkorn-severance-package_56041845e4b0fde8b0d1814e

    I could go on for days, but you get the point.

  23. Spot on Barbara…it’s much more doable to unseat Michael Roberson…than it would be Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, or Barack Hussein Obama…(progressive caterwauling to the contrary).

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