It turns out that while the mainstream media loves to criticize the insane statements made by presidential candidate Donald Trump, they are not willing to see him overly criticized or derided if it means they may lose the favorable ear of the candidate. The American Broadcast Company (ABC) has recently announced that they are terminating their partnership with a local New Hampshire newspaper because its publisher had the unmitigated gall to criticize Donald Trump. Furthermore, America’s own idiot billionaire celebrity is proudly taking the credit.

This story involves the New Hampshire Union Leader, one of the last bastions of small-town, independent journalism. While the paper, founded in 1863, has been targeted by the same mergers and acquisitions that have killed the corporate news media in the United States and turned it into little more than a mouthpiece for the powers that be, the Union Leader has managed to stay independent since 1948. Ironically, its editorial style is largely conservative which may have been the reason for ABC’s actions. The paper was scheduled to participate in an upcoming GOP primary debate scheduled for February 6th. It was a “co-branding relationship,” but there would not have been an actual Union Leader reporter on stage to ask any questions. Nonetheless, the relationship between the network (part of the Walt Disney Company, one of the largest media conglomerates on the planet) and the Union Leader could have been a nice feather in the latter’s cap.

The partnership between the corporate broadcast giant and the small-town newspaper has been under a strain since similar editorial was published during last month’s Democratic debates. In that editorial, Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid accused to DNC of “caving” into the demands of union workers to drop a local television station from those debates.

The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back was an recent editorial, in which McQuaid stated that Trump “is an insult to the intelligence of Republican voters.” He wrote:

“Trump can certainly be an entertaining character. He toys with TV journalists and dismisses critics with name-calling that drives the Politically Correct crowd insane. But his public descent into bathroom humor and verbal bullying has been painful, and educational, to watch…[he] has shown himself to be a crude blowhard with no clear political philosophy and no deeper understanding of the important and serious role of President of the United States than one of the goons he lets rough up protesters in his crowds.”

That sounds like a fair assessment; most of the GOP establishment as well as Democrats and Progressives would certainly agree. McQuaid also said:

“Much of the news media are lavishly covering Trump, not just because he’s good for ratings, but because he’s good for Hillary Clinton. They very much want Trump to be the Republican nominee so that Ms. Hillary can move back into the White House.”

McQuaid ended his thoughtful and reasoned editorial by comparing Trump to the character of “Biff,” the knuckle-dragging, lower-order primate from the popular film series “Back to the Future.”

Trump’s response:

“[McQuaid] is a real lowlife…he’s a very dishonest man.”

Really, Donald? Well, the truth hurts – especially when it comes from one of your own party. Ever the delusional Trump goes so far as to accuse McQuaid of conspiring with New Jersey governor Chris Christie, whom the Union Leader publisher endorsed in November.

Whatever the motivation – whether it’s because the corporatocracy really is pulling for Hillary or are pinning their hopes on Trump – ABC stood up for their Billionaire Golden Boy who pulls in the ratings and generates ad revenue for them. The network has removed the Union Leader from its participation in the primary debate, as minor as that participation might have been.

Of course, “The Donald” is taking all the credit. In a message on Twitter this past Sunday, Trump boasted: “I am pleased to announce that I had the Union Leader removed from the upcoming debate.”

ABC representatives had no comment.

Joseph McQuaid has let his feelings be known:

“We are amused by ABC News apparently just discovering that we endorse candidates and write editorials. We have been doing both for many years and it has never been a problem with ABC or other debate sponsors.”

McQuaid considers ABC’s actions to be “spineless,” adding that “Between bowing to the DNC and Trump, ABC is more concerned about appeasing the parties and candidates than informing voters.”

We at The Ring of Fire may not agree with McQuaid’s politics or his political endorsements, but we have to acknowledge that on that score, he is spot-on. Don’t rely on the mainstream corporate media to provide any meaningful coverage on the candidates or the issues any longer. You’d be better off getting your information from the National Enquirer (readily available at your local grocery store checkout line), along with stories of President Obama’s ongoing negotiations with ambassadors from the Planet Xenu.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.