Thursday, January 12, 2017


Of course Trump is going to win his battle with the press if the press won't take its own side in the battle. Here's New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman:
At His First News Conference As President-elect, Trump Owns the Press

... observed as spectacle, Trump came away with a resounding victory. That’s because Trump won even before he stepped before the microphone, by making the media the story. Last night, BuzzFeed published a salacious 35-page oppo-research dossier on Trump that alleged Russia possessed sexual and financial dirt on Trump that could be used to blackmail him.... BuzzFeed’s article boomeranged back on the website as journalists were quick to denounce its decision to publish unconfirmed claims and errors....

Trump exploited this wedge....

The cumulative result is that Trump turned what should have been a serious examination of his incoming administration into a debate over journalistic practices.... BuzzFeed deserves some of the blame for this.
Sherman describe a journalistic circular firing squad and does some shooting himself ("BuzzFeed deserves some of the blame for this").

In The New York Times, Glenn Thrush writes about the press conference under the breathless headline "Trump, a New Style of Fighter, Takes the Ring." Thrush describes the press conference as "buoyantly belligerent" and said that attacks on the media were "underscoring [Trump's] toughness."

Folks, if you're continue to praise the mighty Trump and attack your own colleagues, expect to continue losing.

I understand the arguments against publishing the dossier. But if you're going to criticize BuzzFeed, remind your readers -- and yourselves -- that Trump is at war with you, and with all norms of responsible presidential conduct. Object to the publication of the dossier if you must, but couple that objection with a reassertion of the fact that the press has an obligation to hold Trump accountable, and to be very aggressive in that effort. Don't act like apple-polishing grade schoolers trying to rat out a misbehaving classmate to the teacher.

When Trump attacked Jim Acosta of CNN (which, of course, didn't publish the specific allegations in the dossier), it might have been a good idea for Acosta to walk out and for colleagues to join him in solidarity. Maybe the press should refuse to attend any future press conferences unless Trump vows to refrain from playground-bully abuse -- not that he'd keep that promise, but just getting him to make a small, phony concession would be a start. And if he refused and that meant no further press conferences, the hell with it. It seems obvious that Trump intends to use them as ego trips for Trump and opportunities for him to abuse his enemies in the media. Don't play along. Deny him that.

Show some respect for yourselves, journalists. You don't have to help Trump beat you up by beating yourselves up.


Professor Chaos said...

The media keeps enabling this guy, he keeps attacking them, they roll over. Repeat ad nauseam.

Unknown said...

Trump was very cunning and by conflating BuzzFeed and CNN, he's keeping the media on the defensive.

mlbxxxxxx said...

The media didn't really start to turn on the GWB administration until he started throwing them in jail. That got their attention. It may take that with Trump -- and surely it's just a matter of time before he throws some reporter in jail. This admin is likely to be leakier than a Russian hotel room (heh) and they are going to be chasing reporters to get the names of the leakers.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot to get our media focused on the right things. The experience of the Bush years is why I oppose a shield law for reporters. I think they need to be under threat. Helps them identify who the villains are.

CH said...

I noted that Upchuck Todd was among the Buzzfeed bashers, pontificating about standards of journalism. As if he'd have the slightest.

Anonymous said...

They're not journalists, they are media personalities, and I really rather enjoy the sight of their discomfort. They brought it on themselves.

And the rest of us. If "journalists" were informed scribes informing an informed populace I would - perhaps - be more sympathetic, but these bozos walked in to it with both eyes wide open. Allowed themselves to be herded into a pen down in the center of the room to be mocked and ridiculed by a mob of ignorant daughter-fuckers whom they knew had no intention of answering their "questions".

Not an unfamiliar sight, of late.
Ten Bears

Anonymous said...

WAAAAY too many stories about the press conference were based on the premise that Trump had done a wonderful job picking fights with the media. It was like Homer Simpson laughing uproariously at the Def Comedy Jam. It's true, it's true, we're so lame!

CH said...

Would that H.L. Mencken were alive to attend the next Dump presser. Then again, HLM might be so overcome with laughter at the whole Dump gestalt that he'd be unable to utter a question.

kestrel28 said...

Trump is the embodiment of Chucky. In all honesty, he is the living breathing proof that Chucky is alive.