Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Is it possible to tell how President Trump is doing?

President Trump was inaugurated nearly six months ago. How good a job is he doing? I can't tell. News coverage is beyond biased. The newsrooms are filled with people who hate Trump. Many of them see themselves as part of the Resistance and use this to justify suspending even the appearance of balanced reporting. Others simply get caught up in whatever the day's distraction is. This is in contrast to President Obama who could do no wrong in the eyes of the press.

Here are a few examples. The Philippians are an important ally and partner in the fight against Islamic terrorism but the current Philippine president is known for his brutal treatment of drug dealers. When Trump made it clear that he would not push for civil rights reforms in the Philippians, the press ran multiple stories and editorials condemning Trump. But Cuba is also a major violator of human rights. Not a word was said about this when Obama opened relations with Cuba, not even when the Castro regime had a major crackdown and made things worse after Obama opened relations. Instead the press swooned at the thoughts of seeing classic cars in Havana and Cuban baseball.

Trump negotiated a major arms deal with Saudi Arabia. This was to balance the region after Obama's promotion of Iran as a regional power. There seems to have been a side-deal that the Saudis would stop turnign a blind eye to the financial support of terrorism. As part of that, several Arab countries cut relations with Yemen. All of that seems like a good thing but all the press could talk about was that the US has a naval base in Yemen.

And the biggest share of press coverage for Trump's first overseas trip was devoted to his wife not wanting to hold his hand.

The Paris Accord is another example. Even if it did everything it was promised to do, the effect would be too small to measure. Did the press ever mention this? Of course not. Instead we were given stories about rising sea levels.

The biggest distraction has been Russia. Trump is not under investigation for colluding with the Russians. There is no evidence that the Russians actually changed the election results, either directly through tampering with election equipment and releasing emails or indirectly through fake news stories. But you won't hear that from the press. Instead we get stories about every time a member of the Trump administration had any contact with anyone from Russia as if a handshake in public is a smoking gun. This story has been, to used a preferred phrase of former Secretary of State Clinton, a big nothing-burger. In fact the book Shattered suggested that she and her campaign were the ones who started pushing the Russian story days after the election. It should have been a big story when fired FBI Director Comey said that the Feb 14 New York Times story stating that members of the Trump administration had meetings with Russian agents. Instead that was, at best, a footnote.

All of this makes it impossible to judge how well the Trump administration is performing. We have no idea if the Trump White House is in disarray or simply going through the normal settling-in pains experienced by every administration. When Trump has accomplishments, they are drowned out by headlines about his tweets or Russia.

This doubles down on the bubble the Left lives in. They get constant confirmation bias. But is this deluge of anti-Trump coverage enough to turn Trump voters to vote Democrat or will the constant, unfair attacks stiffen the resolve of his supporters? We won't know for another year an a half, at the earliest.

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