It’s easy enough to get angry with Donald Trump. He has scapegoated hardworking immigrants for the inequities of American capitalism—inequities that have left billionaires like him in control of most of the country’s wealth and its political power. But some of that anger should clearly be directed toward the mass media, which has turned this Republican bully into a national folk hero by celebrating his shoot-from-the-lip style all the way from reality-show star to candidate for the Presidency of the United States.
Trump is a product of the mass media-generated “just spell my name right” celebrity culture, and the perpetrators of this dangerous phenomenon are those that have profited from his public temper tantrums.
Take the expert witness of Les Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS, who at least had the honesty to admit the connection between profit and irresponsibility in this age of nonstop trivialization of the news. “Man, this is pretty amazing,” the CBS honcho told a media conference last February, speaking of the Trump-dominated Republican primary debates. “Who would have thought this circus would come to town? It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS. [Laughs.] The money is rolling in.… This is fun.”