“Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t.”–Polonius. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2.

In an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump once again complained about the Saturday Night Live sketches mocking him:

“It’s a failing show, it’s not funny. Alec Baldwin’s a disaster, he’s terrible on the show and, by the way, I don’t mind some humor but it’s terrible.”

People have again expressed amazement at how thin-skinned the guy is.  And he is, but there’s actually a bit more going on here besides that.

SNL isn’t exactly the only shop in the Trump-mocking business. Making fun of the President isn’t a niche or novel concept, and Trump is currently very unpopular. Lots of comics and satirists are mocking him. MAD magazine mocks the hell out of him, and I’ve yet to hear him complain about it.

If Trump were just hellbent on responding to everyone who mocks him, he’d never do anything else. No, he singles out SNL.

Why?

I have a theory: NBC, which broadcasts SNL,  is also the network that aired Trump’s show The Apprentice. I suspect Trump has some feud with the upper management at NBC, and so is fighting a proxy war against them by attacking one of their shows.

Another frequent target of Trump’s wrath is CNN, which he repeatedly attacks as “dishonest” or lately, “fake news”. But CNN isn’t the only news organization to report negative stories about him–CBS does that too, as does ABC.  And PBS does too. (Yes, I know he plans to shut that down, but that’s a standard Republican wish-list item. I don’t recall him tweeting about it.)

It makes more sense once you know that the President of CNN is one Jeff Zucker, who had been President of NBC until a few years ago.  In fact, Zucker originally signed Trump for The Apprentice. I don’t know all the details, but it seems likely that Trump had some sort of falling out with him.  I hear Trump can be temperamental, believe it or not.

My point is, Trump isn’t just randomly lashing out at any group that insults him.  Rather, he is deliberately lashing out at specific organizations tied to people whom he most likely personally dislikes.

Read Richard Branson’s account of meeting Trump–it indicates that Trump has personal animosity towards specific individuals. Most of the people Trump personally knows, whether as friends or enemies, are wealthy men like himself. So I’m guessing that when he starts attacking something, it’s usually because it’s owned or managed by some personal foe of his.

There’s been a lot of talk this week about how horribly wrong the conservative press got their election predictions, picking Romney  to win in a landslide despite no polls supporting this idea.  They have been roundly criticized for attacking Nate Silver, who had the idea to go look at the polls and predict how people would vote based on them.  (Personally, I think my method is even better: I predicted who would win just by looking at the candidates.  But that’s an aside.)

The conservative press–Fox News, Limbaugh, and that crowd–are, of course, a bunch of liars.  I have no doubt about it, and I didn’t even before this election.  It’s so obvious as to be hardly worth dwelling on. So I won’t.  No, what I want to talk about is the non-Fox mainstream news media’s coverage of the election, especially election night itself.  It was not quite as bad as Fox, but it wasn’t good. It covered everything as a neck-and-neck horse race, and really only reported states as they came in.  (I will admit up front that I did not watch all of it; I went to bed at 10:00 pm Eastern Time, with total confidence of Obama’s victory.)

 
On my PBS station, I get something called “BBC World News America“.  As you may have guessed, it’s BBC news for Americans.  The difference between this and the regular American news is very striking.  On election night, the BBC did a good job pointing out that if you counted in the electoral votes of the solidly Democratic and Republican states, the President had a sizeable advantage.  Romney was, in short, playing with a handicap.  He was trailing before the competition actually started.

On all the other networks, all they really talk about is the “swing states”. Obviously, these are the most important, but to watch the coverage you would think that the whole affair rested entirely on who won these states.  They didn’t seem to focus so much on the fact that Obama had more margin for error.  It was just a “ooooo, who will win the next state?” sort of show, like a “reality” show of sorts.

Then there were people like David Gregory, who seemed to think he was covering a football game.  He kept talking about Obama’s “defense” and Romney’s “offense”.  That means nothing.  It’s not really that kind of competition.  People vote for and against candidates for lots of reasons.  I mean, the weather can determine the outcome of elections.

All in all, the television political press is pretty lousy, in my opinion.  Fox News is just a Republican P.R. office and the rest of them just like a close race so they can have something exciting to talk about.