Cutting him off…. The media understand that the only way to rid the cancer of Donald Trump from the body politic is to deny him the coverage that he so craves.
That’s a good theory.
But let's say the former president dresses in full storm trooper gear with swastika armbands and shows up in the Thanksgiving Day Parade walking two giant German Shepherd dogs down 6th Avenue.
Wouldn't that merit coverage?
Trump, of course, didn’t take it that far.
But he did choose to dine with Kanye West, America’s No. 1 antisemite, and Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist and Holocaust denier who was at the Charlottesville neo-Nazi riot. It remains unclear whether Fuentes was leading the “Jews will not replace us” chant.
Trump claimed he didn’t know Fuentes but was impressed with him after he flattered the ex-president during dinner. “He gets me,” said Trump.
And that’s all that matters to Trump. They like him.
This is a guy who has a slim chance of becoming president of the US.
That will put Trump in the position to be sweet-talked and played once again by Russian despot Vladimir Putin.
But this time around, Putin is waging war in Ukraine, threatening to put Europe into the deep freezer and warning about a potential nuclear conflagration.
Another Trump White House would mean the end of US support for Ukraine, crumbling of the NATO alliance and a humiliating American exit from the world stage.
Trump entered the White House in 2016, hellbent on overturning the legacy of Barack Obama. His return to power would undo Joe Biden’s record of accomplishment. Why else would he want another go at it? It's his last chance to revenge the loss to "Sleepy Joe."
The US may not survive another round of Trump. The threat posed by Trump is too dangerous to ignore.
Trouble at Tesla… Elon Musk is focusing his attention these days on destroying the credibility of Twitter by opening the platform to conspiracy theorists, flat-Earthers and assorted right-wing nutjobs.
As Musk fritters with Twitter, Tesla, his “real company” is shedding some serious market share in the US.
Tesla’s leading share of the US electric vehicle market has dropped from 71 percent to 65 percent during the past year, according to a report from S&P Global Mobility. It had a 79 percent stake of the EV market two years ago.
S&P noted that Tesla’s position is under siege as new, more affordable options arrive that offer equal or better technology. “Given that consumer choice and consumer interest is growing, Tesla’s ability to retain a dominant market share will be challenged going forward,” says S&P.
The company’s loss of share is mostly in the under $50K market in which Tesla does not compete, though Musk has promised to develop a cheaper car.
That lower end market has been snapped up by Chevrolet’s Bolt, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E and models from Kia, Hyundai, and Volkswagen.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s big-ticket models are under assault by the Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer, and Chevrolet Silverado EV.
S&P notes that Tesla’s market share could sink below the 25 percent mark by 2025.
Besides Tesla, Musk has SpaceX to worry about.
It has just doubled the price for the Starlink terminals used in Ukraine for satellite communications transmission.
SpaceX also has dreams of colonizing Mars.
Though he may enjoy the media spotlight, Elon is wasting his energy on Twitter.
Iger Rides to the Rescue?… The media hailed the comeback of Bob Iger to helm Walt Disney Co. as the Second Coming.
The 71-year-old came out of semi-retirement to return all that was good at the Magic Kingdom, ousting Bob Chapek, who was Iger’s hand-picked successor.
Bob I is a polished character who has intimate ties with Disney’s talent, while Bob II is a gruff guy uneasy in the schmooze department.
Among the reasons Chapek was bounced: he failed to pick up the phone to call Iger for his sage advice after Disney’s run-in with Florida governor Ron DeSantis over the Sunshine State’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. Bad PR helped do the poor guy in.
Florida lawmakers are working on a plan to restore Disney's special tax district that was yanked from Disney by DeSantis as punishment for its "woke" policies. Randy Fine, who drafted the bill, said Chapek's removal from office improved the chances that "something will get sorted out" over the district.
Little-mentioned by the media (until The Economist’s “Schumpeter: column of Nov. 23) was Disney’s 40-year succession problem.
Wrote Schumpeter: “Iger postponed his retirement four times, elevating and nixing potential successors. His predecessor, Michael Eisner, expensively jettisoned possible replacements twice during his 21-year reign, before finally settling on Mr. Iger.”
What’s so tough about grooming a successor? In his memoir, "The Ride of a Lifetime,” Iger nailed it, saying that all CEOs consider themselves irreplaceable.
Grooming a successor is psychologically tough, bringing leaders face-to-face with their own mortality.
It’s much easier to kick the successor ball down the road, as Disney has done for the past four decades.
Disney’s board gave Iger a two-year deadline to find a new CEO. We’ll see about that.