Friday, June 3, 2016

Trump and the Press

Part of me really doesn't want to write this. Regular readers are aware of my views on Donald Trump. Generally speaking, I find him to be an embarrassment. Despite what follows here, I still have no intention of voting for the man...but... I have to say that I do enjoy watching him with the press.

For as long as I can remember, I have loathed members of the fourth estate. I understand their importance in a healthy democracy and have zero interest in silencing them. But, I still hate them for several reasons. First of all, I know basically what their world view is, and it isn't mine. The vast majority of the White House press corp voted for Obama and would never even consider voting for a conservative anything. They all insist that their near unanimous liberal voting record in no way effects their reporting. I don't believe them. Well, I believe that they believe that, but I don't because it's impossible. My political beliefs certainly have an impact on what I think about politicians, and so do yours. But reporters expect us to believe that the fact that practically all of their colleagues believe the same thing about politics doesn't in any way affect the way they report the news, the type of questions they ask, and the questions they don't ask. It's a ridiculous notion.

Most of the presidential candidates I have supported over the years have been eviserated by the press at every opportunity, and with very few exceptions my guys have mostly just taken it as a given. Now comes Donald Trump. Practically every member of the national press has made it clear that they despise him...and with good reason. But instead of meekly submitting to their hatred, he has decided to dish it right back at them. Gone are the polite non-responses. Gone is the false pretense of friendship. It's like Trump is thinking, "Ok, you want to destroy me? Not if I destroy you first!"

Couple of days ago he called one reporter a sleeze, another a real beauty. One breathless reporter asked him if he had a problem with scrutiny and if he becomes President will his dismissive treatment of the press continue. Trump shot back..."I love scrutiny, what I don't like is lies. I find that political journalist are the most dishonest people in the world, and if I become President, yes I will continue to dismiss you guys"...or words to that effect.

Now, set aside for a moment the irony of Donald Trump lecturing anyone about honesty, when I watch him interacting with the pampered elitist national press corps this way, something in my heart thinks..."damn right!!!...and finally, somebody has the guts to call out these biased hacks!"

Of course in Trump's case, he also threatens to try to pass laws that would make it easier to sue the press, which is a horrible idea, not to mention unconstitutional. I don't want the press censored in any way. The fact that most of them are Democratic Party water carriers is just the way things are and will probably always be...and I'm ok with that. But it is refreshing to listen to a Presidential candidate treat them accordingly.