1. It’s Thursday, September 1, 2016. The election is 68 days away. The year is two-thirds over.
2. It’s the beginning of what the National Weather Service calls “meterological fall.” Phooey.
3. When this week started, I mentioned how it’s normally a quiet one news-wise, with so many people on vacation ahead of Labor Day.
I also said there was a chance that quiet would be shattered by a presidential candidate incapable of controlling his craving for headlines.
Alas, that brings us to the last 36 hours.
The scramble to find out if Trump was really going to Mexico ahead of a speech on immigration in Arizona. The announcement that he was really going to do this. The trip to Mexico City. The meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto. The news conference that made it seem like Trump acted like a president – except that he said Mexico paying for his wall didn’t come up and Nieto said it did. The Arizona speech where Trump acted like Trump, yelling, talking tough.
Sound and fury signifying nothing.
4. But, when afflicted by insomnia around 3 a.m., I checked The New York Times app for the iPad, the first page was covered in Trump in Mexico stories. And then there was another one on the second page.
As if nothing else happened yesterday or early today. As if something was actually accomplished. As if one of the problems of the nation or the world was resolved.
I’m hoping to write about the election over the weekend as we kick off the two-month run from Labor Day to Election Day.
But one of the problems here is that, no matter how hard we try by going away from vacation or getting the kids back to school, we still can’t away from Trump.
He’s on TV or in the news. Every. Single. Goddamn. Day.
It’s tiring. It’s depressing. Is there anyone who doesn’t want this election to be over?
And will it be over when it’s supposed to be? Even if Hillary Clinton wins in a landslide, will Trump pull some stunt on Jan. 20 to upstage the inauguration? Would you put it past him?
5. The problem is also the acquiescence of journalists. In this case, the Times – which is my go-to source for news.
You can’t tell me it was such a slow news day that the Trump debacle warranted six or seven prominently placed stories on the app. (To be fair, it’s merely the top story on the Web site, with a big photo and a few sidebars.)
The Times itself had a great examination of how the supposedly anti-authority WikiLeaks seems to benefit Russia with each disclosure of documents, most of them pilfered from governments or political parties.
I don’t see why Trump’s debacle supersedes the announcement by Georgetown University that it will give preferential consideration to the descendants of 272 people it sold into slavery in the 19th century.
There’s the conviction of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and the challenges facing her successor, Michel Temer. There’s a terrific story by my friend and former colleague, Katie Benner, about a suspected fraud case that’s roiling Silicon Valley.
The point is that, even in this quiet week before Labor Day, there is real news in the world. Trump’s stunt Wednesday was worth covering. You can argue it’s the lead story.
It didn’t deserve to bigfoot everything else going on. It’s how Trump has campaigned from the very start.