LET TRUMP BE TRUMP

1. It’s Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

2. Is this guy who’s taking over the Trump campaign, Stephen Bannon, quitting his job as Breitbart’s executive chairman?

Why bother? Just formally annex Breitbart, um, News to the campaign. Or vice versa.

3. Apparently, this shake-up is happening because Trump’s poll numbers remain low. 

And, of course, Trump sees it this way: He’s not putting enough Trumpness into the race, going easy on anyone who says “No” to his predestined march to the White House.

It’s time for Trump to take off the gloves and be a man. Stop playing patty-cake with Mexicans, Muslims and Hillary Clinton.

That’s what Putin would say. That’s what Roger Ailes says. That’s what Rudy Giuliani says. And Trump probably can’t get three better examples of real men.

Let it ride, Trumpy. Let it ride.

4. One of the casualties of Trump’s dominance in the news is the fact that real stories getting short shrift.

One of them is the flooding in Louisiana, following 20 inches of rain in two days.

The numbers are staggering: 40,000 homes destroyed. 30,000 people rescued. At least 11 people have died so far.

To describe the flooding as some of the worst in the state’s history underscores how bad this is. This is the state that suffered through Katrina more than a decade ago.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Web site has links to charities that are taking donations to help the people of this region. 

Louisiana’s floods. California’s wildfires. Venezuela’s economic collapse.  

All important stories that are ongoing. All lost in the Trumpian fog.

Yes, news organizations bear a lot of the blame. They could try to focus on these stories.

It just doesn’t seem to last. Trumpmania’s sustenance is the daily train wreck – today, it’s the campaign shakeup, last week had President Obama founding ISIS. Newsrooms find it hard to turn away.

5. The cancellation of Larry Wilmore’s “Nightly Show” isn’t a shock, but it’s a disappointment.

The biggest problem from the outset has been the format. Despite Wilmore, who’s a genuinely funny guy, the show always feels like Bill Maher’s “Real Time” on HBO or even one of those stupid point-counterpoint panels that make up way too much of cable news.

You never see “Nightly Show” bits trending on social media the way other late-night comics do. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and James Corden are masters of this. Even working from the less popular TBS, Samantha Bee and Conan O’Brien occasionally score online. Trevor Noah’s getting better.

But Wilmore and the “Nightly Show” were just too in the weeds to get the kind of traction that makes people watch clips over and over again.

Certainly, you can give it credit for being high-minded. But high-minded might not be what people are looking for at 11:30 p.m.

It hoped that there’s something out there for Wilmore’s outsized talent. And the complaint that there isn’t enough diversity on late-night television is valid.

So maybe, Comedy Central, it’s time to think about something involving women.

6. I’m not planning to write the rest of the week, although there’s an outside chance of a 20 Questions Friday. Enjoy the remainder of the Rio Olympics, and go USA!

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