In case you missed it, on Monday Politico ran a story by Alex Isenstadt outlining the apparent allergic reaction various GOP stalwarts are having to the upcoming RNC, which is set for July 18-21 in Cleveland:
With the convention less than a month away, POLITICO contacted more than 50 prominent governors, senators and House members to gauge their interest in speaking. Only a few said they were open to it, and everyone else said they weren't planning on it, didn't want to or weren't going to Cleveland at all -- or simply didn't respond.
The story carried the grim headline "Hardly anybody wants to speak at Trump's convention," and though Isenstadt noted that "a Trump spokesperson declined to comment on this year's convention plans," it's not surprising that a counternarrative quickly emerged elsewhere. Cue a Tuesday evening Bloomberg story by Jennifer Jacobs and Kevin Cirilli, which had a pointedly positive lead:
ESPN has nothing on this summer's Republican national convention.
Donald Trump's campaign aides are lining up a slate of iconic sports figures to appear at the convention in Cleveland next month -- including former undisputed world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, legendary Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, former Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight, and NASCAR chief Brian France, people familiar with the planning told Bloomberg Politics.... Trump has said on the campaign trail that he wants the event to be a gathering of "winners" -- and not politicians, like at past conventions.
But wait! There's just one problem. The news of the Tyson booking predictably prompted plenty of negative reactions in social media.
Both of these things just happened:— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) June 29, 2016
1) Trump describes TPP as "rape"
2) Bloomberg reveals Trump wants rapist Mike Tyson to speak at RNC
(See "Trump: Special interests pushing trade deal want to 'rape our country'" for background on the candidate's latest comments regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership.)
Looking forward to listening to Mike Tyson at the RNC. We all know how effective the Clint Eastwood speech was in 2012.— Chris (@forewit) June 29, 2016
Irony of trump recruiting MUSLIM Mike Tyson to speak at the RNC— Brandon (@JealousCloud) June 29, 2016
So now, of course, there's a counternarrative to the counternarrative. Though the Bloomberg report cited convention "organizers" as its sources (as in "Talks are in the works with a broad slate of other celebrities and top athletes, so the list of those appearing at the convention will grow, organizers said"), the new narrative is that "the media makes everything up!"
Iron Mike Tyson was not asked to speak at the Convention though I'm sure he would do a good job if he was. The media makes everything up!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2016
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.