The White House has released the “60 Minutes” interview that President Dumb-Ass walked out on, thinking it somehow reveals how mean Leslie Stahl’s questions were (they weren’t), and how the media in general has been tougher on Trump than his opponent.
This plays nicely into the White House’s hatred of most media organizations and complaints that they tend to produce fake news about this administration. “Fake” news is anything reported that is not blatantly flattering to Trump.
The New York Times on Sunday spent nearly 2,000 words just introducing a host of reasons why it is important to get Trump out of office (and into jail where he belongs). All of it was based on facts, not opinion.
Since the White House has learned absolutely nothing about how to manage press relations in four years and handfuls of media spokespeople, let me explain a few things about “the media” that every other administration learns in the first 10 minutes of their term.
If you want someone to like you and generally give you the benefit of the doubt, do not relentlessly insult them. I have spent most of my adult life in and around reporters and editors, and I can tell you that while they aspire to be neutral in their coverage, they are also human beings. Suggesting they are less than professional and can’t be trusted is not the way to win their hearts.
From where I sit, I think most of the media bent over backwards to be fair to Trump at first, since he was new to the ways of Washington and aggressive media scrutiny. But 10 lies turned into 1,000 lies, then 10,000 — and now more than 22,000 lies. Lying does not build credibility. So when the administration badly needed the benefit of the doubt, they didn’t get it because what they said simply could not be trusted as accurate.
What Trumpers perceive as “liberal bias” in the media was simply straight reporting attempting to suss the truth out of everything that happened at the White House.
When nearly every story needs to be qualified with real facts and figures that reveal yet more misdirection and outright lying by Trump or his spokespeople, the result is stories that cast the administration in a bad light. That is not the fault of the news organization, but rather the deluge of bullshit that has flowed from the White House since day 1.
If you limit your gathering of news to Fox, OAN or other right-wing commentators, you are getting stilted, overly generous coverage that does not point out how most of the time Trump is lying to you.
Or you are settling for glossy generalities that have no basis in fact, from his economic and foreign policy “achievements” to what he has said and done about COVID-19. With the exception of loading the Supreme Court with conservative judges (which was just plain dumb luck), Trump has done none of the achievements his supporters claim as reasons to keep him in office.
Rather than admit failure (whatever happened to the big spend on infrastructure? ISIS is reorganizing at a frightening clip; exactly WHAT will replace Obamacare? About that record deficit…) it has been the administration’s MO to make up “alternative facts” and when they don’t land, blame the media for its “bias.”
When the White House wants to understand why most Americans are poised to vote them out of town on Nov. 3, they need only look in the mirror to see whom to blame.