Thursday, June 06, 2019


President Trump's poll numbers continue to be underwater...

In the past few days, we've heard two conservative theories for why that's the case. One was from the president himself:

The other was from Republican National Committee chair Ronna Romney McDaniel:

In a clip of McDaniel’s recent appearance Fox Business that was shared to the official GOP Twitter account on Wednesday morning, McDaniel said “ninety-three percent of the coverage” of Trump's three-day visit to the U.K. this week “has been negative.”

“And I just have a reminder for the media: He is your president too,” she continued. “This is our president. This is our country.

“We are celebrating the anniversary, 75 years of D-Day,” McDaniel said. “This is the time where we should be celebrating our president, the great achievements of America, and I don’t think the American people like this constant negativity.”

“There are times when we should be lifting up our president, especially when he’s overseas,” she added.
It's outrageous to suggest that D-Day news coverage should be all about a president who was born a few years after it took place, who never served in the military, and who is currently "honoring" servicemembers by having them prepare to paint fencing on the border with Mexico. But what about the arguments apart from that? Should Trump get better coverage on the economy? Should he be covered in Europe primarily as a distinguished statesman and the embodiment of American greatness?

Trump and McDaniel can criticize the non-conservative media all they want, but note that the conservative media doesn't even try to cover Trump that way. Consider the Laura Ingraham interview of Trump that reportedly delayed the start of D-Day commemoration ceremonies:
Speaking to Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, Trump called the former special counsel a “fool” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “disaster.”

“Let me tell you, he made such a fool out of himself,” Trump said of Mueller, speaking at a cemetery where more than 9,300 American soldiers who died in World War II are buried....

“Nancy Pelosi, I call her ‘Nervous Nancy,’ Nancy Pelosi doesn’t talk about it,” the president said. “Nancy Pelosi is a disaster, OK? She’s a disaster. And let her do what she wants. You know what? I think they’re in big trouble.”
It's Trump being Trump, but he doesn't deserve all the blame. Why, on this day, is Ingraham asking Trump about the investigation?

Trump says he should get great economic coverage. McDaniel says the media should focus on Trump as the majestic embodiment of America. So why doesn't the 24/7 pro-Trump propaganda channel cover Trump that way? Why isn't this interview all about Trump's achievement as president, and about the solemnity of the occasion?

Fox sent a team to cover Trump and the ceremonies, then put this on the air, against a background of D-Day grave markers:

I can't embed the clip, but you can watch it here. A description:
Fox News’ Laura Ingraham took several swipes at Democrats’ use of children as “pathetic political props” and also engaged in culture-war mocking of liberal restaurant policies, all while broadcasting her show on location from a Normandy cemetery for nearly 10,000 fallen D-day soldiers.

Ingraham did several segments tied to the 75th anniversary of D-Day, but then near the end of her show, with rows and rows of military gravestones in the background, Ingraham and her cultural correspondent Raymond Arroyo took aim at Democrats and chuckled at the precocious questions some kids have been asking that party’s 2020 candidates....

Laughing in response to a clip about an exchange between former Vice President Joe Biden and an 11-year-old asking about Trumps’s impeachment, Ingraham said “kids say the darnedest things” before delivering her verdict on such forced ideological signaling.

“I have an idea, let kids be kids for a while before they get to swim in the toxic soup of what we do?” she added, giggling throughout, with thousands of silent war dead arrayed behind her.

Then, Arroyo launched into a segment deriding some restaurants that are moving toward more gender equity in their serving policies. “Rising for a lady is apparently out. Now there is a new trend that emerged last summer and picking up steam. Restaurants are saying goodbye to soft sexism,” Arroyo explained, prompting a guffawed “What?!” from Ingraham. “In Chicago’s Tied House, it omitted the idea of ladies first, eliminated language like ladies and gentlemen and they no longer serve in order of gender performance.”

“What is that?” Ingraham added, clearly pouring derision on the phrase “gender performance.”
The #1 pro-Trump propaganda outlet thinks that the way to sell the GOP for 2020 is to stir up culture-war and anti-Russiagate outrage. This is not how Ronald Reagan, or even first-term George W. Bush, would have been covered on the right during an overseas trip. The "cultural correspondent" wouldn't have been sent over to help gin up anger over real or imagined outrages. The Republican president at Buckingham Palace and Normandy would have been seen as enough to inspire the audience.

Fox doesn't think Trump's accomplishments and stature are a winning message. So why should a real news outlet treat him deferentially?

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