Last night Donald Trump gave an excellent interview to Don Lemon on CNN. Here’s the video (HatTip TrumpVideos):
Unfortunately, there should also be a strong warning to Team Trump regarding an increasingly heavy and frequent demand coming from the media machine.
The media want to see Mr. Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, brought out onto the campaign trail. There is a historical reference here that bears repeating and warning. The media don’t do this unless they fully intend to utilize the spouse of their target in a concerted effort to marginalize the candidate.
Who is Ben Carson’s wife? Who is Marco Rubio’s wife? Where is the story on Carly Fiorina’s husband or Jeb Bush’s wife?
Why are none of the other candidates being asked the same or similar questions? The answer lies within two words “Sarah Palin”.
The Park Row and Madison Avenue conscripts have failed to gain any traction with direct attacks against Donald Trump. Wall Street, via the RNC/GOPe Rovian “Operation Hummingbird” can only do so much from the perimeter; they need an inside attack to exponentially assist their cause. This is simply how they roll.
Dragging Melania Trump into an highly scripted, highly optical and highly planned series of ambush interviews is another way to attack a political opponent. For recent points of reference, ask the Palins.
They Attack By Using Compassion – Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, down to the color of the carpet, the size and dimensions of the chair, the filters on the camera, everything is professionally used to paint a narrative. The interviewee doesn’t stand a chance amid the clatter and chatter of the conscripts as they sell the reasoning….
Let’s get some background shots, wow, Frank make sure you get the 600 sq. foot walk-in master closet, (Frank knows the Emelda Marcos approach). Is that real mink? That’s beautiful, must have cost a fortune… etc.
Generally a professional narrative builder will be assigned the task of producing just the right mix of questions and answers to form the construct of a highly-charged, yet incredibly nuanced, angle to put the candidate into a situation where they are forced to go off point and begin responding to the answers given by the spouse, or other.
So, did you ever feel uncomfortable marrying a man who was twice married before”?
Seems innocuous until you understand the objective is to splinter the candidate from various smaller segments of the electorate. Death by a thousand paper cuts.
“How did you feel in family events with children that are not yours”? “Did the kids accept you as their step-mom”?
Interviewee begins to feel awkward, the aim of the questioning is to make feelings surface which will change the responses. Disconnect the brain from the mouth and get the person being questioned into auto-response with emotional sensibilities.
“In the life of Billionaires there are many who use the term “Trophy Wife”, did you ever stop to consider (Katie Couric version: “did you ever worry”) that you were merely a representative image of your husbands success”?
Strike at the optics, create the impression in the viewer something about the target, the candidate, they might not have thought of before.
“I mean, as a high profile fashion model you probably saw many affluent, and powerful, men of substantial wealth and influence; what was it about Donald Trump that gave you a sense of willingness to get to know him”?
Interviewee begins to feel defensive, a loss of self esteem assists the questioner into generating the next requested emotion, anger.
“So you never had a moment when you felt invisible, or your sense of self was diminished because of the power and influence of your spouse”? “After all he is a very powerful man, and could probably have any woman he wanted. This never concerned you, especially given Donald’s background”?
Leave lots of dangling participles to aid the viewer in drawing their own conclusion and providing the interviewer plausible deniability to what the real intent and motivation of the interview actually is.
“Then again, you are very beautiful yourself; you could probably have any man you wanted, what was it about this man, Donald Trump”?
A compliment, intended with an ulterior motive, helps the interviewee begins to drop their guard. Then comes the divisive questions intended to put a chasm between the candidate and spouse.
“How do you feel when you see all of these crowds of adoring fans fawning over your husband”?
“Your husband has said some rather controversial things about President Obama. Some people see him as a racist or a bigot. How do you defend your husband against these accusations”? (Katie Couric version: How do you protect your children against those racist accusations?)
And it goes down hill from there. Katie Couric is the subject matter expert at this interview approach – However, she has trained legions on how to do it.
They know just the right combination of snide complimentary charm, mixed with underhanded intents. They know exactly what soundbites the “editors” of the piece need to have in order to create the optic and narrative.
Nothing good ever comes from this.
Regardless of how prideful, skilled or adept the person being interviewed sees themselves. No-one is beyond being manipulated in a one-on-one interview to deliver the exact outcome of the agenda-driven production staff.
The actual target, in this case Donald Trump, is then led into the next phase where he is forced to respond to questions about his wife’s answers. While he’s doing this the campaign message is lost – satellite trucks then diverted to the homes of his kids and his in-laws. Drew Griffin reports live from Slovenia at 8pm with a report about Melania’s childhood boyfriend; college roommates located… etc.
Just about the time the candidate begins to highlight how unfair this seems, the chattering class gather quickly on the media script: “well he put his wife out there, on the trail”?
What’s Ben Carson’s wife’s name?