There’s no doubt that the media has had a complicated relationship with reality television star Donald Trump. At first, his divisive rhetoric seemed like more of a fringe event that would serve as fodder to satisfy an American public that had grown weary of professional politicians. After awhile, however, Trump’s outrageous statements began to catch fire with his followers.
It wasn’t long before some of Trump’s most egregious claims were being trotted out as the truth by many supporters who just didn’t know any better. The blame quickly fell on the media, which many people accused of using Trump as a tool to bolster ratings, in effect giving him billions of dollars in free publicity. Although reporters and anchors such as Matt Lauer have come under fire for their inability to question Trump about the foundation of his beliefs, some reporters have stated that the reality star lies so often that it’s impossible to call him out on his claims.
MSNBC host Craig Melvin is just one member of the press who’s recently been alluding to Trump’s propensity to twist narratives. Melvin immediately took a Trump surrogate to task on two issues—one was the wild assertion that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was responsible for the rise of ISIS. Melvin immediately refuted the man’s statement, illuminating the fact that the terrorist organization’s roots were known to be established during George W. Bush’s presidency.
Another absurd Trump surrogate claim was that Trump had never suggested that military rapes occurred because men and women were serving together. Melvin immediately referenced a 2013 tweet in which Donald Trump claimed that unreported sexual assaults in the military were related to men and women being “put together.” With members of the media, such as Craig Melvin and Soledad O’Brien, beginning to take a more solid stand on calling out blatant lies of Trump supporters, it seems as though Trump’s free media blitz may finally backfire on him.