I confess to being highly conflicted on two points in this incredibly important subject.
For one, I have absolutely no tolerance for the instinctive, self-satisfied liberal blogger need to snobbishly look down upon “the media” (never defined) as a corporate tool responsible for Trump, and Republicanism. Sorry, the second I see that crap on DailyKos or Daily Beast or whatever Daily you read, I turn away. If I want to hear how the media is responsible for all our problems, I’ll just turn on Rush, because at least he is right in that the media – being generally well-educated – leans a little left more so than right. That’s a fairly good truism in just about any industry, find the most-educated and they’ll lean slightly more left of the idiots. Make of that what you want.
The second thing that I have real trouble processing is the idea that “covering Trump’s tweets” is “just giving him a voice” and empowering him. Well, yes, that is true. But, the alternative is to not cover his Tweets, and that might be worse, because if the President of the United States is clearly slipping into insanity, or express racism, I damn well want to know, and that’s about the only way this one talks, through Tweet. So that is a real struggle I have had, coming up with a “comfortable” answer.
But, now, I am hearing something that I think clearly is needed, and it is shocking to me that it has gotten to this point. A column in Politicusa – which is a site I like almost as much as this one – covers the growing consensus that the media needs to stop covering these “LET’S CELEBRATE ME!!!!!” rallies that Trump now does near weekly.
Again, this is not an obvious position, and in some ways it is shocking that we’re at this point. By definition, when the President of the United States says something beyond; “Would you pass the Ranch dressing, please?” it is somewhat inherently newsworthy.
Why? Obviously because the presidency is the only branch of government consisting of one person, one person who can sign orders, make decisions that no one else can. So, it is almost incongruous to say that these rallies are not “newsworthy.” But Klein is on to something, because is any of this not true?
Yes, it is all shocking and childish and immature and petulant and cruel. John McCain is dying. But — but he’s been doing this for years. There’s nothing new here. There’s nothing new in him calling Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas, nothing new in him attacking John McCain, nothing new in him attacking the bushes. And yet whenever Donald Trump wants to change a subject, he sets up a rally and goes and says a bunch of crazy stuff. I wonder at this point what information is being of encoded in that.”
The only way to argue Klien’s point is to note that; A) Trump is increasingly paranoid, which is amazing given where he started, B) There are still people in the United States who would love this man, even if he killed their mother, C) the President of the United States is rude, unhinged, infantile and extremist, all while the world is watching.
But is it always worth it? Or do we simply make it worse? I honestly don’t know. I don’t encounter this “feeling” often. Ask people who know me, they will vouch; I think that I know everything. UFOs? I know all about them. Quantum Mechanics? Got it. Rules of hockey, check, you get the idea. But, I do not know the right answer to this question.
I do think they’re on to something, though.
Jason Easley concludes:
There are so many things that this administration is doing that need to be given public attention that Trump’s rallies do feel like a waste of time and space. As the cable networks have done, PoliticusUSA monitor’s Trump’s events for newsworthiness, but we will not give a wide platform the President’s venting sessions that he disguises as rallies.
The media has caught on, as the Trump presidential reality show is getting canceled by everyone but Fox.
At this point, I am inclined to agree, and I am absolutely flabbergasted by the fact that I do. It is just another indication of how deeply we’ve descended into the abyss of cult-like authoritarianism, and away from what Barrack Obama always called; “the hard, but necessary, work of self-government.”
God I miss him.