Housebreaking the News Media

Well, everyone is talking about Donald Trump’s remarkable press conference on Thursday: brilliant, unhinged, historic, chaotic – sure, okay. But whether or not he, or the press, or neither of them, or both were fully aware of what was happening, to me it was clear as daylight: Donald Trump was training the mainstream media. And he was damn good at it, too, because it was working right in front of our eyes.

We all know the media is biased against conservatives. They are, in fact not in the news business, but the news suppression business. They are not reporters; they’re stenographers for the Democratic Party. You know it. I know it. Progressives know it. Trump knows it, and they know it too.

Everyone knows it, but not one Republican politician ever impaled on this bias has simply come out and said it.

TRUMP: The failing New York Times wrote a big, long front-page story yesterday. And it was very much discredited, as you know. It was — it’s a joke.

Did you hear that? In front of the New York Times and everyone on the planet, the President of the United States said that the supposed gold standard for truth and fairness wrote a story that was discredited. It wasn’t just discredited; it was a joke. And it wasn’t just a joke; it was a joke on the part of the failing New York Times.

Why is this important? Because the New York Times is failing, financially, and the reason they are failing is because that newspaper no longer reports the news; they write op/ed pieces and call it news. By saying the failing New York Times, Trump is essentially saying that the market knows they are liars and people no longer want to buy what they are selling.

TRUMP: I mean, you have a lower approval rate than Congress.

Talk about twisting the knife. Reporters are thought of as less trustworthy than politicians. 

QUESTION: Just because of the attack of fake news and attacking our network, I just want to ask you, sir...

TRUMP: I’m changing it from fake news, though.

QUESTION: Doesn’t that under...

TRUMP: Very fake news.

QUESTION: ... I know, but aren’t you...

(LAUGHTER)

Laughter. You’re not liars, he says to their relief. And then with perfect comedic timing, he says they are not liars but rather damned liars.

“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand,” wrote Mark Twain. Just so, and the more pompous and self-important the subject, the greater the assault.

That was followed immediately followed by this:

TRUMP: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Real news, Mr. President, real news.

Donald Trump has just caused Jim Acosta, from CNN for God’s sake, to assert that the question he is trying to ask is in fact real news. This coming question is legitimate. For a change. You see?

In military history, surprise is an advantage, superior firepower is an advantage, better morale is an advantage, but the one thing that is essential is having the initiative. Who has the initiative here? Who is controlling this conversation? Who is getting laughs at the expense of their supposed integrity – from them!

TRUMP: Where are you from?

QUESTION: BBC.

TRUMP: Here’s another beauty.

Dismissed. The British Broadcasting Corporation sneered at as if he was being asked yet another question by the Boca Raton Herald—Advertiser.

TRUMP: Well, you look at your show that goes on at 10 o’clock in the evening. You just take a look at that show. That is a constant hit. The panel is almost always exclusive anti-Trump. The good news is he doesn’t have good ratings. But the panel is almost exclusive anti-Trump. And the hatred and venom coming from his mouth; the hatred coming from other people on your network. Now, I will say this. I watch it. I see it. I’m amazed by it. And I just think you’d be a lot better off, I honestly do. The public gets it, you know. Look, when I go to rallies, they turn around, they start screaming at CNN. They want to throw their placards at CNN. You know.

Embedded in this critique of his unfair coverage, Donald Trump utters the one line that is the entire reason he got elected in the first place. Can you spot it?

The public gets it, you know.

We get it. You know? The game is over; you’ve been called on it and we know and you know that your credibility – which is in fact your entire product – is shredded. The public gets it. You know that, don’t you? Or do you?

QUESTION: But aren’t you — aren’t you concerned, sir, that you are undermining the people’s faith in the First Amendment, freedom of the press, the press in this country, when you call stories you don’t like “fake news”? Why not just say it’s a story I don’t like.

TRUMP: I do that.

QUESTION: When you call it “fake news,” you’re undermining confidence in our news media [and that’s] important.

Donald Trump did not undermine confidence in our news media. The news media undermined our confidence in the news media. For decades they have exaggerated stories that are good for liberals and refused to cover stories that are bad for liberals. Someone is finally calling them on it and we are laughing at them.

I think that what Donald Trump did was to start housebreaking the mainstream media. When they make a mess on the carpet, they get their noses rubbed in it and get swatted with a rolled-up newspaper.

Speaking of rolled-up newspapers, the housebreaking is working:

QUESTION: Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: Yes, oh, this is going to be a bad question, but that’s OK.

QUESTION: It doesn’t have to be a bad question.

TRUMP: Good, because I enjoy watching you on television. Go ahead.

Good boy. Here’s your treat.

TRUMP: That was very professional and very good.

QUESTION: I’m very professional.

Yes you are! Who’s a good reporter? Who’s the best reporter in the whole world? You are.

Good boy.

Published Feb 20, 2017