Spoiled Little Boy-cott

This is a contest. About destroying Brand Trump, but first this brief declaration:

Journalists generally aren’t supposed to publicly stake out political positions, declare party affiliations or take sides in an election, lest they be taken less seriously as disinterested observers of events.

For several reasons, the practice is illogical. For one thing, either you are professionally capable of separating your own views from your reporting of facts or you are not. The only thing achieved by hiding your personal politics is opacity. Secondly, since we all have personal politics, being transparent about them gives the audience a chance to evaluate the intellectual honesty in any given piece of reportage.

Thirdly, and most significantly, the cult of neutrality suppresses good journalism, such as vetting campaign claims for plausibility and campaign statements for factuality. Only by the most tortured linguistic contortions does a news story ever call out liars on their lies.



I might add, fourthly, since surveys confirm what we all feel in our bones -- that most journalists reside left of center -- no amount of bending over backwards stops right-of-center politicians (and readers) from shouting “bias!” Indeed, they easily use it as an inoculation against their own outrageous positions.

So with that as a preamble, let me declare this: I am politically left of center. I’m not a Democrat (don’t get me started) but am increasingly repulsed and enraged at how reactionary, anti-intellectual, dishonest and hateful the GOP has become. Climate denial, anti-vaccine ideology, disregard for the Bill of Rights, xenophobic demagoguery, anti-tax and anti-regulation rhetoric, gun nuttery --  all of it playing to the fears and prejudices of a sadly ill-informed and vulnerable electorate, yet all easily debunked by science, economics, census data, crime data and centuries of history. Some of the culprits are pinheads. Some are tinfoil hats. Some are religious nuts. Some are merely cynics. They all make me sad for our nation.

But it’s a game of whack-a-mole. Gingrich. Inhofe. Santorum, Palin. Bachmann. Huckabee. Jindal. Walker. Cheney. Cruz. Not to mention their confederates: Limbaugh, Hannity, Drudge, O’Reilly, Coulter, Jones and the rest of the vast conservative propaganda industry. Whenever you pound one down, three others pop up in your face. And now: Trump.

He is a liar. Bigot. Bully. Fearmonger. Ignoramus. Misogynist. Philistine. He is emotionally stunted at about the age of 8. He is Constitutionally illiterate and tragic-comically vain. Plus he calls people names.

How lovely would it be to see this preening, fascist hairball utterly ruined? 

Oh, not in the presidential campaign. I doubt he will win a single caucus or primary; he is a political asteroid that will burn up before collision. But what next? Nothing would be more poetic than the destruction of his business empire. And here’s the beauty part: it will all be of his own doing.

Trump’s seminal insight, or maybe accidental discovery, was that money does not necessarily buy sophistication. There is a very large universe of high rollers who seem to believe, as Trump himself apparently does, that that gilded faucets and plush wall-to-wall-carpet and teenage arm candy reflect success and power. His product has never been actual accomplishment or even elegance. It is simply packaged vulgarity for those who use the word “swanky” without irony. They are arrivistes. New money. Whales. Or those who aspire to be.

Now, some or all of these people may be politically sympathetic to Trump. But nobody, nobody aspires to be a globally despised ass clown. Now, Trump’s rhetoric has already resulted in some principled severing of ties. NBC Universal dropped Trump‘s Miss USA pageant, and based on his anti-Muslim tirades, Dubai’s Landmark Group dropped Trump products from its chain of Lifestyle stores. 

But a few ad hoc defections will not do. This has to be a grassroots operation, a groundswell of contempt for the very name upon which he built his business and political fortunes. The problem is, how to reach the Trump Demographic? How to make the plumbing-supply millionaire and ambitious young stockbroker feel shame for patronizing the hotels, golf courses and casinos that license his name? 

We need a slogan. We need a hashtag, to crystallize the poison that being his customer endorses.

Comment here and tweet your entries. We need to build a wall of shame, and let the creep try to get over it.

24 comments about "Spoiled Little Boy-cott".
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  1. John Berard from Credible Context, December 14, 2015 at 8:50 a.m.

    It has been a point of some solace that if you do not like what Trump is saying, he is not talking to you.  And, really, how many people could like what he is saying?  His persistence in the political process suggest the number of people who do is higher than it ought to be.

  2. David Mountain from Marketing and Advertising Direction, December 14, 2015 at 8:51 a.m.

    That more or less does it for me.

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, December 14, 2015 at 9:13 a.m.

    The media has put him on a pedistal and looking for eyeballs to watch. Whatever happened to that fairness doctrine that all political candidates must be given the same amount of air time ? ANd no one in the media, have I heard, have asked specifice questions and getting specific answers from any of them including interviews with his supporters. How about a question about give a specific policy and how it works within the laws, government and world economics ? The details of governmental mechanics must be included whether you like the way it works or not. You can add in how to change it with accurate details if you would like. Don't forget to include the consequences. There are always consequences. When the answers come back that because of their leadership/management "things" will get done/change on their say so, then you know their goal is to change the position of president. Ooops, is this too gratuitous or personal to be relevant enough to be published on MediaPost ?

  4. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston replied, December 14, 2015 at 9:46 a.m.

    Bona fide news programming is exempt from the Equal Time rule. And the Fairness Doctrine was completely abandoned in 1987.

    The U.S. Constitution makes no provisions for journalists to decide who is or is not worthy of public office. What can't everyone just calm down and let the voters pick who they want?

  5. Preston Bealle from Madison Ventures, December 14, 2015 at 11:59 a.m.

    It's amazing how many people who hate Trump can't stop writing about him, just as you see here. It's all over Facebook, all day. If you just leave it alone, he'll go away, it will just take some time. Meanwhile, you're making him the subject yet again.

  6. David Mountain from Marketing and Advertising Direction, December 14, 2015 at 11:59 a.m.

    Because Trump represents a new low in the demeaning of the process, and people react badly to such things. It's also a closed primary, so a vast number of interested parties have no ability to try to diminish the likelihood of Trump reaching the general election, short of campaigning for someone they don't intend to support later.

    In re Trump feeding the media and late-night comedians... fun's fun, but anyone who wins a major party nomination has a monumental chance of assuming the office. It's irresponsible as citizens to just sit back and hope that the process will wash him out.

  7. Michael Pursel from Pursel Advertising, December 14, 2015 at 12:01 p.m.

    Yes, let's have more liberal progressive governance.  It's been great for our deficient.  Our military strategies have been spot on in the past 10 years in the Middle East, and if we’re lucky enough to ban guns, then they will go the way of heroine and meth, which, by the way, are also illegal and have not been seen in our country since being outlawed.  No Trump lover here, but I agree with Douglass, let’s let the voters decide.  Have fun Bobby.  Do you feel better now?

  8. Jeff Sawyer from GH, December 14, 2015 at 12:04 p.m.

    I found a 1935 movie that somehow presaged both the man's hair, and, if you zoom in, his slogan: 

  9. Karl Greenberg from MediaPost replied, December 14, 2015 at 12:12 p.m.

    cuz if we don't legalize heroin the only ones using it will be criminals. 

  10. dorothy higgins from Mediabrands WW, December 14, 2015 at 12:20 p.m.

    To borrow from Winston Churchill, those who support Trump are as "missionaries assisting the cannibals."  

  11. Tom Scharre from The Hunch Fund, December 14, 2015 at 12:22 p.m.

    Gee, Bob, what's wrong with "plumbing-supply millionaires?" Your elitist contempt neatly explains Trump's popularity. Whether you like it or not, there are beaucoup people who do not dance to the tune you're whistling.

  12. Bob Garfield from MediaPost, December 14, 2015 at 1:05 p.m.

    Yeah, God save us from the elites...those really smart educated people with experience and credentials. We don't want them in charge.  Like, at the hospital... all those arrogant doctors who won't let me perform surgery because they are "experts." You know how to stop cancer? Call it names! Bomb it! What we need is someone to tell it like it is, even if it isn't!!!!

  13. Patty Nolan from Nolan Creative Services, December 14, 2015 at 1:27 p.m.


  14. William Graff from beIN Media Group, December 14, 2015 at 1:29 p.m.

    "Trump L'oeil" Probably too esoteric and non-specific as the slogan Bob is calling for, but it's a start.

  15. Patrick Scullin from Ames Scullin O'Haire, inc., December 14, 2015 at 2:12 p.m.




  16. Carolyn Goodman from Goodman Marketing Partners, December 14, 2015 at 3:14 p.m.

    How do you successfully market a message to undereducated, lower income, disinfranchised, men (which is what the research tells us represents the Trump supporter)? You speak forcefully and unabashedly in finite terms, because this population doesn't understand how government truly works, and they believe that one guy can run roughshod over the entire political system and "change the world."


  17. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited replied, December 14, 2015 at 4:01 p.m.

    Thank you for the date update, Douglas. I do know the constitution does not provide that kind of provision. The point is about the obligation of that journalism to ask concrete questions of all candidates. And there certainly needs to some re-evaluation of news and I am sure I am not the only one who believes the conversation, as we now say, must go further.

  18. Bob Garfield from MediaPost, December 14, 2015 at 4:52 p.m.

    Just to be clear, the task here is to raise awareness not among voters but among shoppers. Something along the lines of #TrumpHatesYou  or #Trumpelstitskin or #Counterfeit. Just spitballin' here.

  19. larry towers from nyu, December 14, 2015 at 5:08 p.m.

    Reality check here. Trump only exists to make the rest of the GOP field appear to be more sane, thus more palatable by the time the election rolls around. He will become a non factor at the most opportune moment, just in time to deflate the fervor of his would be opposition and leave his supporters on the rebound and desperate to support someone else close enough. 

    The best thing to do is not to takedown trump, but to remind everyone that in fact he isn't very different from  the rest of the GOP so that the fervor against him translates to anything like him.


  20. George Parker from Parker Consultants, December 14, 2015 at 5:12 p.m.

    Never forget, back in Britain... Trump means Fart. Nothing else needs to be said.
    Cheers/George "AdScam" Parker

  21. Preston Bealle from Madison Ventures replied, December 14, 2015 at 5:40 p.m.

    It's very common to see people reference the OTHER voters are uneducated, low information people who don't understand what's going on. I've yet to meet anyone who includes themselves in those categories, wonder where they all are?

  22. Dean Fox from ScreenTwo LLC replied, December 14, 2015 at 5:58 p.m.

    According to the Stanford University Hoover Institution study from September, Trump supporters are for the most part older and under-educated. Only 2% of supporters are under 30 and around 33% are over 65. Only 19% have a college degree and about 50% have a high-school diploma.

    A Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) survey from mid-November showed a majority, 55%, of Trump supporters to be white and working class. Among that group, the most likely voters were men between the ages of 50-64 with a high-school education.

  23. Chuck Lantz from, network, December 14, 2015 at 7:33 p.m.

    Trump followers = Trumpkofs     (A bit of elementary German)

  24. Bob Garfield from MediaPost, December 17, 2015 at 12:05 p.m.

    You should be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Or a columnist.

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