The video: During an interview on Fox News Sunday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized possible presidential candidate Donald Trump for continuing to question where Barack Obama was born. (See video below.) Bloomberg called the noisy billionaire a friend and "New York icon," but said that Trump's birtherism preoccupation was not only wrongheaded, but bad political strategy: "The Republicans are making a terrible mistake in making this a big issue," Bloomberg said. "We have immigration, we have the deficit, we have the economy. Those are the things that the public cares about." Meanwhile, Robert De Niro, in a Saturday interview with NBC's Brian Williams, dismissed Trump as a "car salesman" engaged in a "big hustle." Trump hit back Monday on Fox and Friends, saying the legendary actor is "not the brightest bulb on the planet."
The reaction: The mayor's directive that candidates focus on real issues is all well and good, says Matt Schneider at Mediaite. But "given that Bloomberg himself was once rumored to be an independent force in the 2012 election, might his critique of Trump’s strategy be partially attributable to missing some of the spotlight?" Either way, says Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post, the media is complicit in Trump's mission to drag down the national discourse. Newspapers and television outlets continue to "offer half-hearted justifications for showering him with coverage," simply because he's a good story. Watch Bloomberg trash Trump:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- Don't listen to Paul Ryan: The GOP is still the party of makers and takers
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
- ISIS and the echoes of the West's religious terror
- 10 things you need to know today: August 22, 2014
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
Subscribe to the Week