There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the news media after President Trump’s press conference on Thursday–pretty much par for the course whenever the Donald deigns to take questions from the White House press corps (or “corpse,” as Barack Obama might say). It follows a familiar pattern: reporter asks a question that is primarily fabricated to cause the most embarrassment, Trump roasts said reporter with a mischievous gleam in his eye, reporter later whines about how horribly the president treats the press. Repeat as needed, your individual results may vary.
Occasionally, however, one reporter rises above the rest to produce a complaint so dense, so lacking in self-awareness, that one has to wonder how a person so utterly unable to see what’s going on around him ever became a reporter in the first place.
Exhibit A, one Chuck Todd of NBC News:
This not a laughing matter. I'm sorry, delegitimizing the press is unAmerican
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 16, 2017
How should I dissect this morsel of journalistic foppery?
- “This isn’t a laughing matter.” Well, Chuck, it kind of is–if the guffaws heard ’round the country are any indication. Trump is plainly having a ball provoking you. What’s more, you take the bait every single time. To those of us who live outside of the Beltway Bubble, this is pure comedy gold.
- “Delegitimizing the press is in-American.” Um, no–it’s not. Satirizing the high and mighty (and believe me, Chuck, you media types absolutely see yourselves as the high and mighty) is every American’s God-given right. If you’re unsure of this, you can look it up. It’s the same right that guarantees the freedom of your business to do what it does.
What makes Chuck clueless, however, is that he misses the most obvious point of all: What makes Trump’s media bashing so funny? We all know that for humor to work, there must be at least an element of truth in it–and in the case of the Media vs. Donald Trump, there is a truckload of proof that Trump is absolutely correct. For all the criticism the media heap on him for having a loose relationship with the truth, how many times have they shown their own reckless disregard for the same? It seems like every day the media get busted for running with a badly-sourced story that is quickly debunked as fake–but that doesn’t seem to matter to them, so long as the story advances their narrative that Donald Trump is a singular threat to democracy.
Which brings us to Katy Tur. There must be something in the water cooler over at NBC. How else to explain an inanity such as this?
Granted, Katy once dated Keith Olbermann, so some lapses in judgement are to be expected–but the sheer ego on display here is absolutely stunning. Firefighters risk their lives when they run into burning buildings, Katy. What do you risk? A sarcastic aside from the Donald? It’s not like he’s going to put a hit out on you for making him mad (unlike, say, Vladimir Putin–reporters who cross him have a habit of ending up dead).
In both of these tweets, though, you can see the arrogance that feeds the Washington press corps’ animus toward Donald Trump. Even after slobbering over Barack Obama for eight years, throwing away any pretense of objectivity and credibility, they still believe that they should enjoy unquestioned deference from a White House they are actively seeking to destroy. But unlike George W. Bush, who remained a gentleman (and thus allowed the media to attack him relentlessly), Trump goes on offense against the media–and they don’t know how to handle it.
Here’s a suggestion. Instead of saying that’s un-American, how about trying out some objective journalism for change? Maybe you’ll restore some of the trust you’ve lost with the American public. More importantly, maybe the American public will finally get the coverage of the Trump Administration that it needs.