For former President Trump to revive any excitement for yet another presidential campaign — he reportedly wants his third run to feel like 2016 — he’ll have to engage and confront the corrupt national press in aggressive ways that have never been done. That should be fun!
Even more so because there are a few problems the media have created for themselves in advance.
For the past six years, journalists in Washington and New York have been pondering aloud on how “responsible” they are for Trump having ever been president, what they should have done to prevent it, and how they can handicap him if he ever tries to get there again.
This is called a conspiracy. Or, if you prefer, collusion.
But since they’re on the record admitting their emotional hostility toward a major party presidential candidate, it’s impossible for them to pretend that every editorial decision they make in covering the election is anything but driven by that hostility. It’s not new that the media hate Trump. But that there is now such an enormous body of evidence proving that they are prepared to actively choke every ounce of breath from his new campaign means they can’t sell it to voters that this is going to be fair by any measure.
Hmm. Who do we know to have thrived in and even relished circumstances that are demonstrably unfair? Not sure at the moment, but I’ll get back to ya!
If Trump wants to recreate 2016, he’ll have to do what he did in 2016. He’ll have to step outside of the Fox News cocoon and beat the media on their turf — their studios, their airwaves. I don’t know if he can do it again, but it’s the only way. To limit himself to friendly (though increasingly less so) anchors at Fox is to write off all the voters he needs and who want to hear him answer questions related to his handling of the pandemic, crime, abortion, Ukraine, the economy, and on and on. He can’t be afraid to put himself in that environment now, just as he wasn’t in 2016. The point is to prove that as president, he had it right, that the press has been wrong, and that the truth is on his side.
The media, however, are going to have to make some very interesting choices. Do they resist covering Trump’s campaign events? Live feeds of his rallies are going to be 100 percent excluded outside of maybe Fox News. (After a Media Matters staffer called out CNN on Tuesday for airing Trump’s campaign announcement live, the channel cut to “analysis” and “fact-checking.”) All of his pronouncements on social media related to policy will be ignored, other than to call them racist, without sharing exactly what he said.
But what about press conferences? Are they going to decline on-camera interviews? Are they only going to sit down with Trump under the condition that it’s not live so that they can “fact-check” him in the editing process?
They’re going to talk about him. There’s no way they can’t. But how do they explain to their audiences that they’ve set up different rules and created separate editorial decisions specifically for one candidate?
No matter which way they turn, it’s a dead end. That is, unless they’re fully prepared to say each time that they just don’t want voters — their audiences — to see him.
Ironically, that would be the fairest thing they could do after tying themselves into this stupid knot.
On the one hand, journalists in the corrupt media have declared their total and unwavering opposition to Donald Trump. On the other, they maintain that they’re still committed to fairness and accuracy.
Once you’ve stopped laughing, get ready. It’s only going to get even more ridiculous.