There’s been much talk about how the press fell all over itself to laud Trump for reading off a teleprompter words — written by someone else, and delivered in a sane fashion — sounding and looking more like a normal president.
Ridiculous coverage, many agree. (It certainly ought not to have required the subsequent additional increments of lies, reckless behavior, and borderline madness for all informed observers to know that.)
The question arises: just how is that media behavior to be explained?
One explanation is that the media stupidly believed what they were saying. My guess is that this is only slightly true. I’m leaning toward another explanation.
I believe it represents the media’s desire to demonstrate — to their audience — that in their escalating conflict with Trump and his henchmen, they are NOT just being enemies of the president, they are NOT engaged in a political war against him, they are NOT trying just to bring him down because of their own political agenda.
So they used the opportunity that a semi-normal performance gave them to demonstrate supposed “good faith” to a public of which a large fraction supports this president.
That’s still ridiculous, and borderline corrupt.
(There also may be an element of the media being intimidated by our bully-in-chief into trying to appease him with some favorable coverage to counter the steady stream of unfavorable truths being exposed in the press.)
The only good way for journalists to be credible is to do a creditable job of being journalists. Given that this is a president of whom any responsible journalistic coverage will be highly critical — in as much as this president’s conduct is so consistently dishonest and destructive and irresponsible– the media should simply do its job and let the chips fall where they may.
We are all paying a huge price for the existence of a substantial block of voters who believe the most blatant lies over even the most demonstrably true reports. And the media should simply accept that they, too, must pay a price: that being responsible journalists will alienate some of the people their bean-counters want to keep on board for the ratings (and thus dollars) they represent.
So a responsible media coverage of a speech like Trump’s a week ago tonight would skip the undeserved fawning, and simply describe what it is, which is nothing very meaningful and, to the extent that it was meaningful, nothing very good.