Is Candidate Trump a Liberal Media Conspiracy?

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If you missed it, Sen. Ted Cruz was on fire Sunday morning in a somewhat-tense interview with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd. Cruz, who seems to understand that the fate of his candidacy – insofar as he still has a shot at the nomination – may rest on the outcome in Indiana on Tuesday. So he’s turning up the volume on all of his attacks, including the one aimed squarely at the mainstream media.

As Todd tried vainly to get Cruz to say whether or not he would support Donald Trump as the nominee, the Texas senator said that “many in the media would love” for him to give up and concede the race to the New York billionaire.

“It’s about the numbers,” Todd said, not unreasonably. “He may win. Republican voters are the ones rejecting you! This is not a media conspiracy, Senator!”

That’s true, and you would have to be blinded by Cruz fanaticism to avoid rolling your eyes at his repeated attempts to dodge the question. Cruz has attracted millions of supporters by showing them something they don’t see in other politicians, but there are times when he is very much the epitome of what’s wrong with the whole system. Americans are sick to death of politicians who listen to one question and then answer another. And it’s certainly not outside the bounds of responsible journalism to ask a candidate (who has been mathematically eliminated, mind you) if they would support the man who is overwhelmingly likely to be the Republican nominee.

Okay, so that’s that. But Cruz actually responded with an interesting point.

“With all due respect the media has given $2 billion of free advertising to Donald,” Cruz said. “Let me ask you a question, for example, how much money did the networks make on every one of the Republican debates?”

Todd had no answer for that, but it didn’t matter because it’s common knowledge that the cable networks made a fortune – many of them breaking all-time viewership records.

“Even though the media stands to make millions of dollars off a debate, you hear radio silence from the media about no debates,” Cruz said, pointing to Trump’s refusal to debate him one on one. “They are giving up millions of dollars and the reason is, your network’s executives are partisan Democrats.”

Todd objected to that obvious fact, but Cruz persisted: “Listen, the simple reality is, the media almost entirely are liberal partisan Democrats. That is the reality of it. The media created this Trump phenomenon and then they don’t hold him accountable. Now, I’m sure the media plans to do so if he’s the nominee in general election. Suddenly you’ll hear every day about Donald Trump’s tax returns. When was the last time you talked about his tax returns? You know, we ought to have a debate. There are real differences. Donald won’t debate and the media won’t hold him accountable. I think the people of Indiana deserve a debate. I think we deserve a debate here in Indiana.”

Cruz never did come around to answering the question of whether or not he would support Trump as the nominee, but his answer is certainly worth chewing on. Possibly even true. In fact, anyone who doesn’t think that the media is going to try and blow Trump out of the water this fall is fooling themselves.

But…that doesn’t mean they will succeed. Some of the best plans in history have backfired. Even if there is some truth to Cruz’s conspiracy theory – even if the media has done everything possible to make Trump the Republican nominee – it doesn’t mean they control the outcome. This is one brush fire they may wish they’d never fanned.