Bob Corker and “journalism” in the Age of Trump

Corker’s “promotion” falls flat – just as Rocky Top predicted.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Okay, now that it is abundantly clear Bob Corker will not be Secretary-of-anything, it’s time for the state’s news media to come back to reality.

For months, RTP has been telling you that Bob Corker was not under serious consideration for any major post with the Trump organization.  The “Bob Boomlet” was the result of preening political posturing by the junior senator while using a compliant if not moribund state news media to complete the farce.

When Corker first started his public dalliance with Trump, we were somewhat impressed that Bob was able to correctly interpret the results of the presidential primary.  Actually, an orangutan with a banana would be equally capable of figuring out that if someone (i.e., Trump) was able to carry 94 of Tennessee’s 95 counties in a Republican primary, well, then that just might be a guy you want to get to know – especially if you might be facing a primary of your own in the 2018 elections.  And especially if your primary opponent’s base might be the same as Trump’s.

So Bob dutifully trudged up to New York the moment his name was mentioned as a possible running mate for Trump.  Trump – who at that time could count the number of GOP senators who were supporting him on one hand with fingers left over – gladly welcomed Corker in for a meeting.  Trump made it clear to Corker he would not be his veep choice but graciously offered the podium to Bob so he could get some political mileage out of the rejection.  That resulted in an impromptu re-enactment photo of Dr. Evil and Mini Me:








At the same time, the state’s press corps just as dutifully began to produce article after article of glowing, fawning, slobbering puff pieces extolling the (non-existent) rise of Corker’s alleged growing influence.

What makes their brown-nosing even more odious is that the state media produced scads of articles about “Corker the V-P” or “Corker the Secretary of State.” etc. while largely ignoring the seething ethical problems plaguing Corker over his day-trading, shorting the housing market, insider development deals, formal ethics complaints, contingent liabilities, and the like.  These issues remain today and by all accounts are festering, waiting in the wings until Tillerson’s confirmation is completed.  After that task is completed, Corker will still have to face those ethics charges while being demoted from the position he has held over the last several years as the Republican’s leading voice on foreign affairs.  On the power scale of foreign affairs, Corker will go from #1 to about #7  (after the President, Tillerson, Steve Bannon, the National Security advisor, Kelly Ann Conway and the White House gardener).

In fact, we could find only 3 or 4 articles written by Tennessee reporters about Corker’s ethics problems, the most recent published over eight months ago and before the visit to Trump Tower.  Meanwhile, it seemed to the Tennessee press corps the possibility that a U.S. Senator could be corrupt appeared much less interesting than whether Rep. Pants Candy was doing it on the couch with an “anonymous” faux-intern of legal age.

Yep, millions of Americans lost their homes and their equity and billions of taxpayer dollars were delivered to bail out institutions, including some where Corker had a personal financial interest.  Thanks to the priorities of the state news media, Corker may be skating on thin ice, but at least there will be no more “inappropriate hugging” of lobbyists in the state legislature .  Talk about your misplaced priorities.

To all this, the crew here at Rocky Top have a modest request:

Would it be too much to ask for the news media do its damn job and start giving Bob Corker’s ethics problems the same level of scrutiny they give to butt-hurt stories like “how to talk to your children about the Trump election”?  We can only hope — but we won’t hold our breath.

Merry Christmas, y’all.

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