Proposing a ban on all Muslims, failing to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, insulting a gold star family, kicking a baby out of a news conference: once upon a simpler time, just one of these odious incidents would have spelled the end of a political career. For Donald Trump, however, the scandals seem to roll off of him like water off a duck’s back. But the media continue to ask, with each subsequent outrage, "Has he gone too far?" Bob considers whether when it comes to Trump, that's simply the wrong question.
"Frail as a Breeze, Pt. 2" by Eric Friedlander
BOB GARFIELD: From WNYC in New York, this is On the Media. Brooke Gladstone is away this week. I’m Bob Garfield.
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: Donald Trump is going after the parents of a fallen American soldier who made headlines for their critique of Trump at the Democratic National Convention. In Khizr Khan’s speech, he said Trump has sacrificed nothing and no one.
BOB GARFIELD: This week, a question hung in the air, one we've heard so many times before: Is this it? Could this be the end? Has Donald Trump finally crossed the line that will unravel his bid for the presidency?
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How would you answer that father? What sacrifice have you made for your country?
DONALD TRUMP: I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I've done - I've had, I’ve had tremendous success. I think I've done a lot.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Those are sacrifices?
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, sure, I think they're sacrifices.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Trump has not stopped hitting back since, even though he’s drawn intense fire from virtually all – from virtually all corners, including some prominent Republicans…
MALE CORRESPONDENT: …going to dig deeper into the question of how far in his case is too far?
BOB GARFIELD: Seems like a salient question, except that we keep asking it and it keeps getting us nowhere. For the past year - or much longer, if you want to begin with the birther nonsense - far too far has yet to be far enough.
Donald Trump on the defense after slamming John McCain’s war record - has Trump finally gone too far?
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: He’s at it again, calling for a complete ban on Muslims entering the US. Has he gone just one step too far now?
MALE CORRESPONDENT: Has he now gone too far with these comments about Megyn?
MALE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you do see all these top Republicans that are coming out in a way they haven’t come out before…
BOB GARFIELD: As it turned out, sneering menstruation references, bans on an entire religion and denigration of a war hero were not last straws for the sturdy camel's back of the Trump campaign, nor these Trumpruptions.
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: Has Donald Trump finally gone too far?
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: Battling it out with Pope Francis over the border, Christianity and the message he just posted about ISIS and the Vatican.
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: The Republican presidential frontrunner accused of mocking a reporter with a physical disability, did he finally go too far?
FEMALE CORRESPONDENT: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich found Trump’s comments about the Mexican heritage of the judge presiding over the Trump University case too much to bear.
BOB GARFIELD: The shame just slides off, as the press repeatedly expresses astonishment at Trump’s Teflon exterior. But that’s the wrong DuPont product. Trump isn’t the Teflon candidate, he’s the Kevlar candidate, impenetrably armored with the frustration and rage and applause of his supporters, which big media may not get but Trump certainly does.
DONALD TRUMP: And everybody said that’s the end of Trump, it’s over for Trump. You know how many times I’ve been given the end, like – I’ve been given the last rites, how many times, like 10?