The White House this week said it's canceling
its subscriptions to The New
and The Washington Post
, after President Trump described the newspapers as "fake news."
The action isn't surprising. Mostly, it is a silly and futile gesture.
“We don’t even want it in the White House anymore," Trump said about The New York Times in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity that aired Monday night.
"We’re going to probably terminate that and The Washington Post. They’re fake.”
Did Trump really expect to be embraced by the mainstream news media
and the Washington establishment after running as an outsider who promised to end the "American carnage"?
He also described the press as the "enemy of the people," which suggests treasonous
While I wouldn't describe the newspapers as fake, they do show an anti-Trump bias of varying degrees. Among the more recent examples, the Times
staff went into a tizzy in August over a headline that wasn't sufficiently
of Trump's public statements that condemned bigotry, racism and white supremacy.
Apparently, the Times can't run a straightforward headline about the president.
last month ran a contentious analysis about the President's "lost
defined by self-inflicted controversies and squandered opportunities" that "served to further divide the country and to harden public opinion about the ever-polarizing president."
About halfway into the story, WaPo cites polling data that showed the President's approval rating slipped from 43% in June to 41% in August, hardly a dramatic change. Where's the further
division and hardened public opinion? How does anyone measure squandered opportunities in Washington, which is mired in gridlock, unsustainable deficit spending and endless wars?
No one is
asking the Times and WaPo to run glowing stories about Trump, either. But the White House is better off keeping its subscriptions and developing a communications strategy that
engages with even the most hostile press outlets.