Almost four years ago to the day, on September 17, 2012, David Corn broke the story of an undercover video capturing then-GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney disparaging 47 percent of Americans as "entitled" and "dependent." Corn is back at it again in 2016, catching Donald Trump saying virtually the same thing, but upping the number of 'do-nothing' Americans to 50%. This is a huge test for the corporate media: Will they cover Trump's gaffe or just cover for Trump?
Speaking to Sean Hannity in 2015, Donald Trump said this:
The problem we have right now—we have a society that sits back and says we don’t have to do anything. Eventually, the 50 percent cannot carry—and it’s unfair to them—but cannot carry the other 50 percent.
Trump echoed the same sentiment in an interview with MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt:
We have a tremendous amount of people in this country that don’t want to work. They have no inclination to work.
Compare that to what Mitt Romney said in 2012:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.
When Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comments were made public, it was a major blow to his campaign. Coverage was immediate and intense. This is what the political news aggregator Memeorandum looked like on that day:
And that was just the top item. Links to coverage of Romney’s comments sprawled down the page.
Last Friday, following Hillary Clinton’s comments about half of Trump’s supporters being in a “basket of deplorables“—which she later clarified—the media went all in on her comments, which are still being discussed widely.
So this #Trump50percent revelation is a big test for the corporate media: Will they cover for Trump or cover his gaffe?
To help the process along, we’ve created a short video juxtaposing Trump’s comments with Mike Pence’s reaction to Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” remark.