To no one’s surprise here in Greater Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett newspaper, has joined forces with the rest of the nation’s establishment press in downplaying public displays of support for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, while airing the grievances of the tiny numbers of protesters at his rallies (unless that tiny band engages in violence, in which case their actions are described as if “both sides” participated equally).
Trump visited Cincinnati on Thursday and spoke at U.S. Bank Arena, which seats 17,556. He either got reasonably close to filling it (Springfield, OH News-Sun), or did so (Toledo Blade, TV station WLWT). The Enquirer, unlike in 2008 with a large rally for then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama, would only concede that “thousands” were there. That’s not the “best” part. The paper’s story on the event told readers that opponents were “out in force, too” — “about 75″ of them.
News-Sun/Dayton Daily News video from before the event began shows that the the crowd largely filled the arena’s floor, and the panning shots left no doubt that Trump’s audience exceeded the five-digit 10,000 threshold — again, before the event began. Parking and getting into U.S. Bank Arena are not instant tasks, and it wouldn’t be unusual to learn that several thousand more attendees might have entered during the various speeches delivered before Trump spoke.
Here are excerpts from the report compiled by four Enquirer reporters. In at least one instance, the coverage mimicked the media-meme language used against Trump earlier this week:
Trump in Cincy: ‘Lies, corruption & false accusations’
Allegations that Donald Trump inappropriately touched women are “lies, corruption and false accusations of the Crooked Hillary (Clinton) campaign and the mainstream media,” Trump told thousands in Downtown Cincinnati Thursday, his second stop of the evening in Ohio.
Trump entered the swing state and left behind his angry and dark defense from earlier Thursday. Instead, he promised to focus on “real issues,” accusing Clinton and political journalists of neglecting substantive discussions. Notwithstanding his controversial campaign, this Trump would not get dragged down into controversy, he implied.
… “They want to distract us from Wikileaks,” Trump said, referencing hacks of emails from Clinton’s campaign, including some that apparently speak negatively about Catholicism or raise questions about the campaign’s relationship with the Justice Department. (Apparently? They do those things, folks. It’s not arguable. — Ed.) “They want to keep us from talking about the real issues,” Trump said, rattling off conservatives’ top concerns, including the treatment of veterans, gun rights, Obamacare and the appointment of Supreme Court justices.
“Every day between now and the election, we’re going to be talking about our plans to make America great again,” the Republican nominee said. “In 26 days, we are going to defeat the establishment, and we are going to save the United States of America.”
… Trump’s visit to Ohio is the latest in a flurry that coincides with the start of early voting Wednesday. Hillary Clinton held one of the biggest rallies of her campaign Monday in Columbus; President Barack Obama was in Columbus Thursday and is to appear in Cleveland Friday; and former President Bill Clinton is holding rallies Friday in Delaware and Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.
… The politicians’ opponents are out in force, too. About 75 protesters gathered outside the U.S. Bank Arena before Trump’s Cincinnati rally. The group brought together a dozen demonstrators from Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, pro-immigration activists and Muslims.
… “I want to make it clear there is a broad coalition that opposes his kind of hate,” (Thurman) Wenzl said.
Wow. “About 75″ opponents. What’s more, the vague description of “a dozen” from four different groups — last time I checked, 12 times 4 was 48 — would seem to indicate that the Enquirer reporters deliberately inflated that total. If this really represents “full force,” then it would be correct to contend that the protesters really do represent a tiny fringe of the public.
If this “broad” coalition featuring people representing the abortion chambers of Planned Parenthood and the violent, racist Black Lives Matter group, is really against “hate,” my best advice would be that they begin addressing it, as Michael Jackson once suggested, with the “Man (or Woman) in the Mirror.”
Before moving on to comparative previous coverage, can anyone tell me how someone fighting against what he believes, and believes he can prove, is a slew of false accusations can be mounting a “dark” defense? The only thing “dark” here is the strangely (no, not really) employment of an evil-implying adjective the press has taken to using frequently in the past week or so.
On November 3, 2008, Enquirer reporters Malia Rulon and Sharon Coolidge had no trouble reporting the crowd estimate by provided by a Democratic Party candidate’s campaign:
Regardless of how the paper and its reporters feel about the candidates, they certainly owe their readers a correct recitation of basic facts and a basic sense of perspective. But apparently that’s too much to expect at the Enquirer and far too many other news outlets — because, unlike eight years ago, it’s now a Republican candidate who is drawing large rally crowds.
Cross-post pending at NewsBusters.org.