Escaping Trump’s Trap

Cartoon by Stefanie Diers.

Since last June, the national news media has been hijacked by a manipulative wannabe. In full consciousness, Donald Trump has used outlandish and offensive behavior to steal the spotlight from other candidates, which today amounts to stealing their votes.

In attempts to recapture relevance, other candidates themselves have lashed out through personal attacks and immature behavior in multiple nationally-televised debates. These acts are appalling in their own right and have contributed to the mockery that has become this election, but Trump’s frequent display of childish bigotry has belittled our media and embarrassed our country.

We at The New Paltz Oracle encourage our readers to look very closely at Donald Trump’s track record. There is no need to condemn him for his actions, because they speak for themselves.

Since his first discriminatory comment against Mexican immigrants, we have seen nothing that indicates he has any place running for the highest office in the nation.

Additionally, Trump’s comments toward women and reproductive rights are just as much of a demonstration that he is not who America needs in its Oval Office. To claim that women seeking abortions should be subject to “some kind of punishment” if the procedure is banned in the United States creates an uncomfortable sentiment around a health issue from which many women have died – with and without regulations.

However, despite this and the expressed opinions of many experts that the media are feeding Trump’s support, news organizations continue to walk right into his trap. On March 15, The New York Times reported in its blog ‘The Upshot’ that while Trump has bought $10 million worth of advertising space/time, he has “earned” $1.9 billion in free coverage. This comes from commentary, footage of campaign events and news output that all revolves around Trump. To put it in comparison, the candidate with the next most “earned” coverage was Hillary Clinton; she’s “earned” $746 million of free publicity.

This is outrageous and clearly helps Trump gain supporters and inadvertently spreads his messages of hate. And on top of that, Trump has repeatedly attacked journalists for simply doing their jobs. Journalists have no reason to be under attack, physically or legally, for asking the important questions.

On many occasions, specific journalists have become the unsuspecting subjects of national news stories due to unfortunate interactions with Trump and his campaign. Throughout Trump’s campaign, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly has been subject to many hateful remarks that have labeled her a personal enemy of the presidential hopeful.

In another instance, New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski became the center of media coverage after Trump mocked the reporter’s physical disability at a South Carolina rally. Just last month, reporter Michelle Fields was physically assaulted by Trump’s campaign manager while covering a press conference at Trump National Golf Club in Florida, again turning the story’s focus on another journalist just trying to report.

Trump has developed a nasty track record of hatred toward the media, and has in turn shown that he can not maturely respond to criticism or critical questions concerning his behavior.

With the April 19 primary rapidly approaching, New York Republicans become the next line of defense. The beauty of democracy is that the people can recognize a threat like Trump and prevent it from infecting our nation. Voters will have plenty of time over the next two weeks to fully analyze the candidates before them, for better or worse, and we only hope they choose based off of who has the best vision for this country.

Editorials represent the views of the majority of the editorial board. Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz.