At least for the moment, the GOP primary race seems to have boiled down to a two man sprint to Iowa. One of those two people however, is Donald Trump. While he appears to have fallen behind Dr. Ben Carson in Iowa he’s still in a solid to YUGE lead pretty much everywhere else, so it’s difficult to portray him as anything other than a serious contender for the nomination. That seems to have presented a problem to the Huffington Post, which somewhat infamously declared earlier this year that The Donald would only appear on their entertainment pages because he was just “a side-show” and they were not going to “take the bait.”
With a hat tip to Newsbusters for noticing it, that policy seems to have become a bit more, shall we say…lax in recent days. HuffPo readers were treated to not one, but two articles about Trump right on their politics page this week. The first dealt with an idea that Donald promoted, suggesting that America should start charging its allies for our military defense services.
The U.S. government at least should charge for its defense services, as Donald Trump has suggested. This is a second best option. But America shouldn’t be defending its rich friends for free.
Most Republican Party presidential candidates insist that Washington do more on behalf of its allies. The latter already are subsidized, protected, coddled, and reassured, irrespective of need. U.S. officials often are more insistent that America protect other nations than the latter want to be defended. Why are U.S. politicians so determined to put the interests of other nations before those of America?
As Trump observed: “I keep asking, how long will we go on defending South Korea from North Korea without payment?” More recently, he cited Pyongyang’s provocations, adding that when the North acts up “we immediately get our ships going. We get our aircraft. We get nothing for this.” In noting the cost of protecting Europe, he asked why America is “leading this charge.”
That’s a rather policy oriented article, but the second one is definitely dealing with issues surrounding the 2016 campaign.
Donald Trump and Chris Christie are both brash, egomaniacal, bullying Northeasterners running for the nation’s top job. They both seem to derive genuine pleasure from puffing themselves up and putting everyone else down.
So why is Trump soaring in the polls, and Christie gasping for air?
Because Christie is the Steve Guttenberg of arrogance and bullying — he’s okay, he gets work; Donald is Daniel Day-Lewis. There aren’t any better.
I provide excerpts and note the subject material because there might have been room for the editors to argue that mentioning trump in reference to some other, non-election related (but still political) topic wouldn’t really qualify as “covering his campaign.” But in these cases that’s simply not what we’re seeing. True, the first article is talking about our position as a provider of defense services to other nations, but the author specifically refers to comments that Trump made on the campaign trail and cross-references that to the positions taken by “most Republican Party presidential candidates.” That’s campaign coverage no matter how you slice it.
The second article is even more blatant. It’s nothing short of an analysis of the personalities of two candidates and their individual campaign styles. Last I checked, neither Trump nor Chris Christie were running for a position as judges on Dancing With the Stars, so HuffPo is clearly talking about their presidential bids.
So is the embargo off? Is Trump now suited to be a topic of political campaign coverage on the hallowed ground of the Huffington Post? And if so, do they plan on issuing any sort of formal retraction for their previous position or a regret that they hadn’t chomped down on the “bait” long before now? As of this writing I still see nothing on their politics page about a reversal.