Friday, June 30, 2017

Trump Tweets and the World Goes Crazy

President Trump put out a recent tweet about Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. It was a little strange because he referred to Mika bleeding from a recent face-lift. This didn't come out of the blue. The pair regularly attack Trump. For those of us who don't use Twitter, this was a non-story. It had nothing to do with policy and Trump using Twitter to push back against his opponents is nothing new.

You'd never know how unimportant this actually is from the reaction in the press. They went crazy. It was the lead story on NBC Nightly News (or possibly NBC Nitely News depending on the ratings). Other media told us how this is an attack on all women (apparently only women have "work" done and we are supposed to pretend that it never happens). Mika herself called it "unhinged".

So why the disproportionate response? Didn't anything important happen in the world?

There are a couple of possibilities and they don't reflect well on news organizations.

There's the mercenary explanation. A lot of viewers are looking for reasons to be outraged at Trump. If he hasn't done anything of substance recently then the news media has to elevate trivialities in order to feed this demand.

The other possibility is that the newsrooms are actively working against Trump. To use the terminology of the Left, leading with a story like this "denormalizes" the President. It "others" him. It also drowns out any messages that the White House is trying to push.

One thing that's certain, the newsrooms are so packed with people who hate Trump that no one in authority bothers to step in and question why this deserves major coverage. There is a double standard here. Trump uses inflammatory language more often than President Obama did but Obama did make some harsh and unfair statements at times. These were either ignored or given fawning coverage. No one led with the story that Obama called the Republicans "hostage takers" or that he called their budget a "stink-burger". Obama's monologue at the Press Club Dinner was outright mean without a hint of the self-deprecating humor that other presidents used but no one ever called him on that.

The big question for any top news story - "How does this affect me?" went unanswered in the story about Trump's tweet. The answer is that it had no effect on anyone except for giving a momentary bit of publicity to an anti-Trump morning show. That's a poor excuse for a lead story.

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