THE BLOG
07/22/2016 11:18 am ET | Updated Jul 22, 2016

An Open Letter To Media, On Trump

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Dear Members of the Media,

You keep saying this isn't a normal political cycle, and you're right. But, you keep covering it like it is one.

From focusing on process stories, like how the Trump campaign flubs roll-outs, to slicing and dicing the electorate up, to report on the horserace, you deprive the American people of a real examination of what's happening. So, let's leave aside the usual politics, and examine what happened in Cleveland, this last week:

  • Speakers charged Hillary Clinton with murder.

  • A Governor held a kangaroo court, where he delivered a prosecution, and asked the mob to render a verdict.
  • Delegates repeatedly chanted to place Donald Trump's political opponent in jail.
  • One Trump adviser called for her to be shot.
  • Another Republican official called for her to be hanged.
  • The head of Donald Trump's transition team revealed that Trump would ask for a law to be passed to purge the government of any non-loyalists, similar to one of the first bills passed by Germany, after Hitler was elevated to power.
  • Donald Trump declared that America will not jump to the defense of our NATO allies, if invaded by the authoritarian Russian regime.
  • Trump declared that "he alone" will fix America's problems. Not with a duly elected legislature -- alone.
  • It is all there for you to see, plain as day, what pattern is emerging. What happened in Cleveland mirrors the rise of a populist authoritarian regime, in every way, shape and form.

    And many of you are talking about whether Paul Manafort (who has first-hand experience helping out authoritarian regimes) saw a plagiarized speech, or how maybe in some way Ted Cruz united Republicans.

    I don't know any former journalists who worked in Germany, or Italy, or any of the Central or South American countries where power was usurped by strongmen.

    But I don't think it is a stretch to say that a good deal of them, upon losing the power to write and report, thought, "Why didn't I raise more alarms when I had the chance?"

    My dad died of cancer. One thing I learned about the horrible disease is that it needs a great deal of help to grow and spread. It is powered, in part, by the sustenance that we put in our body, that gives life and energy to our other cells.

    There is a growing cancer in our politics -- something we thought could never happen here, in America. It has now congealed into a tumor, by the name of Donald Trump.

    It is certainly fed by events of the day around the world which, indeed, are scary. Those events are not in your control.

    But it also feeds off being treated like it is normal, by the media. Like it is no big deal, no existential threat to how our nation has operated, as a Constitutional Republic, for over 200 years. Reporting on it like normal allows it to spread, feed, and grow as much as anything.

    And so, you have a choice. Will you be that energy for the cancer? Will you cover this like it is just another election, or will you drop pretense, and treat it like the serious fork in the road that it is?

    I pray, for us, that you start treating it like the latter.

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