This is the best blow by blow analysis you’re going to hear of not only the failed interview of Donald Trump on Meet the Press this Sunday, and what a blown opportunity that was, but also of the failure of television journalism as a whole to deal with the Trump phenomenon and the political situation in this country today.

Trump threw a monkey wrench into political journalism, particularly broadcast journalism, when he came on the scene in 2015. The institution of broadcast journalism simply was not structured for one such as Trump and the mechanism broke down immediately. I remember reading an editorial in the Dallas Morning News, which made the analogy to a photocopier. “It’s like trying to make a copy of something three inches thick and made of cardboard. Of course it won’t go through. The machine simply was not designed to handle something like this.” Neither was TV journalism, which began pandering to Trump, who is a master of TV. TV created Trump the Candidate, like Victor Frankenstein made his own monster and now they don’t know how to stop it. The first step, as Schmidt points out, is to change the style of the interview to take place in real time, to “extemporize” and not just check all the boxes.

Schmidt called the Big Lie, “the lie that is poisoning the headwaters of our civilization.” This is not hyperbole, this is plain, unvarnished truth. And the broadcast media either can’t get it, or they flat out don’t want to address it. Jonathan Swan did a first rate interview with Trump a few years back. He nailed him with facts. Bret Baier did a very good interview with Trump, not as good as Swan’s but still very creditable. Baier was also fact based and he didn’t allow himself to be thrown off base or steamrolled. Kristen Welker did.

Welker, as Schmidt points out, allowed Trump to maneuver her into articulating the stance of the Democratic party. Welker became the Democratic proxy and Trump did his MAGA propagandizing and that was the show. The show may have had a different producer and director in the credits, but it was produced and directed by Donald Trump. He got exactly what he wanted. Again. Like always.

The broadcast media keeps falling for Trump’s ploys over and over again. They are seriously about to eclipse Charlie Brown and Lucy with the football. Trump is never going to change. He’s always going to pull the football. The media has to be willing to then grab the football from Trump, tackling him if necessary, and bringing the game back into a game of rules and making things fair.

Trump is a con artist, a manipulator, and a cheat of epic proportions. None of that came through on today’s Meet the Press interview because Trump got the host on the defensive. And now it looks like the show, maybe the entire network, is on the defensive. They just don’t get it and it’s glaringly obvious.

The way the broadcast media covers Trump has to change. And it needs to happen stat. Maybe this is the watershed moment we’ve all been waiting for, and finally the networks get the wakeup call. A legitimate interview with Trump can’t be an occasional phenomenon that is lauded as extraordinary because it is. It needs to become the norm.

The talent is there. Can the broadcast media turn back the clock to the days of Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, that crew and actually get the biggest story of our time reported truthfully and in context? Democracy may depend upon it. It is that crucial. Donald Trump must no longer be given “an unimpeded avenue with meek and occasional interjections about what was real and what was not,” as Steve Schmidt said. Trump’s attempting to recreate 2015 again. And so far the media is playing right along. If this doesn’t come to a grinding halt now, I fear the consequences.


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  1. The corporate media are not interested in objectively covering TFG. Ratings are the metric they are concerned with. Bigger ratings, more ad revenue. Truth be damned. That they don’t see they may be signing their own death certificates is amazing. The Fourth Estate will be turned into Pravda if TFG is reelected and journalists and media CEOs that don’t play along will be dealt with. Orban in Hungary just took over the media and handed them over to his pals.

    • Not just the ones who don’t play along either. If all you need is one Pravda-type agency, you certainly don’t need all the different companies. A LOT of employees and CEO’s will be out of work. Of course the CEO’s will be in better financial shape…

  2. The 4th Estate was bought out years ago and is just playing dumb at this point . It is not just the ratings it is thought control propaganda as corporations and their corrupt politicians seek to take over the country and suck it dry before climate caused “disruptions”.

  3. The problem is Trump would not agree to be interviewed by any of the people you suggested. CBS and ABC are left. They will be the next to give the fascist scum a chance to pollute our democracy. Let us just hope that this will be the last round of networks giving Trump a platform on which to manipulate the voters.

  4. You were right Ursula. You did good. Yeah I watched this and I said to myself, What? And I’m sorry but if she’s the pick for meet the press they need to call the doctor and tell him it’s time to pull the plug. This girl can’t be serious. She didn’t even get it that she blew the interview. And I just don’t get it. Why do they keep treating this idiot like he’s some kind of God. He isn’t even a good criminal. A decent mob boss and we would be wondering what happened to our country.


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