Donald Trump “is an utterly shameless self-promoter” and the media should stop enabling him, says Tom Brokaw.
The recent announcement of Trump’s moderating a Republican presidential debate Dec. 27 triggered a media tidal wave, but in terms of news value, it deserved no more than one line, according to Brokaw.
“The fact of the debate is not much news,” says the veteran NBC newsman, making the publicity rounds for his new book, ‘The Times of Our Lives.’ “Just because Trump attaches his name to something doesn’t make it newsworthy.”
To Brokaw, the Iowa debate is “one more chapter in Trump’s extraordinary and tireless efforts to keep Donald Trump in the news. I’m perpetually astonished at how many people play Trump’s game. It’s amusing. He has a lot of enablers, including us [media.]”
How does Brokaw resist Trump’s siren song? “I don’t fall into it. I just say no. I’m spending too much time talking about him right now.”
Regardless, Brokaw, who moderated an Obama-McCain debate a month before the 2008 election, remains bullish on the process. In his view, it provides valuable insights into how candidates think and how they handle tough questions.
With Rick Perry, for example, viewers learned “he was not as much in command of the facts as he appeared to be when he got on stage,” says Brokaw. With Herman Cain: “He had some real issues with personal behavior.”