Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Press Conference That Was Must-See TV

Intending to tune in briefly to the President's press conference today, I listened to the very end. It was riveting.

Policy issues---I agree with the President more often than not, btw---took a back seat. He laid into the "dishonest" media and particularly CNN, ("I mean I watch CNN, and it's so much anger, hatred"). The tone ("Tone. I see tone. You know the word tone. The tone is such hatred") of reporters' questions confirmed his assessment.

He further inoculated himself against press conference post-mortems by predicting, therefore de-fanging, the criticism:
Tomorrow, they will say, Donald Trump rants and raves at the press. I'm not ranting and raving. [blogger's note: FWIW, he didn't look angry.]
Hard-core supporters cheered. Hard-core opponents had their beliefs confirmed.

Barack Obama may have had some difficult questions to answer during his eight years in office, but reporters' tone was always respectful and often obsequious.

If the oppositional press has any hope of getting Trump voters to listen, it must show the President the respect due his office and criticize him with facts that can be independently verified. If the press just wants to preach to its bicoastal choir, it can just keep doing what it's doing.

For the record I am a paid subscriber to Time, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Economist, all of which have strongly anti-Trump editorial positions. I don't mind those, but what I do mind is how those positions bleed into their news sections and headlines. As I've written before, I hope that Donald Trump will revive them and make them great again.

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