Donald Trump won the presidential race in 2016 by running against the media.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t know.
But what has the Big Media apoplectic is that he has continued his war with them through the first year of his presidency.
And well he should.
The Big Media have never seen anything like this before – and, believe me, it’s got them worried.
For instance, take what Dan Rather said recently: “This is not normal,” he said when asked about his view of the White House. “There’s never been anything like this before. We’ve certainly had presidents, for example, who didn’t like the press. We’ve never had one that steadily, out of his own mouth, weighed such an unrelenting campaign against the press. This is something brand new in American history. It’s not normal.”
That’s right. It’s not normal. What is normal? It has been normal for Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan to pretend the press covering them is balanced, fair and non-partisan, when, in fact, it’s mostly made up of a pack of wild jackals out to get them.
The media in this country have long been either willing campaign surrogates for the Democratic Party or vice versa.
That was normal. And, then along came Trump.
He doesn’t take it in the shorts when the media go after him or his policies. He fights back aggressively. He even fights with them on offense. And that has the Big Media in a tizzy. They don’t know how to deal with it. They’re seeing their credibility plummeting. It’s taking a toll on them.
Mostly what they do in response is openly rip him like he’s some crazy aberration, undignified, un-presidential, unhinged. And, the more they do it, the more credibility Trump has with the American people.
After all, when you attack the president relentlessly like this, you lose any pretense to being balanced, fair and non-partisan.
Trump doesn’t have to be balanced, fair and non-partisan. This is something he realizes that perhaps his predecessors didn’t get. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush actually thought if they were nice to the press, civil, accommodating and didn’t pick fights, they would get better coverage.
They were wrong. Because, in the eyes of the Big Media, as in the eyes of their friends in the Democratic Party, Republicans are always wrong – and always will be.
Now, there’s no doubt about the fact that the Big Media preferred the Bushes to Trump. Why wouldn’t they? They could treat those Republican presidents like punching bags and they wouldn’t fight back. In fact, those Republican presidents were actually hypersensitive to the criticisms of the press and often capitulated to them in their policy decisions. That was what Dan Rather meant as “normal.”
Trump doesn’t act like that. He calls the media out knowing he is inflaming their passions. And that’s why you see media like Newsweek upping the ante on attacks that appear to any sane person as absurd if not dangerously unhinged – like comparing Trump to Charles Manson and labeling him a “hate group.”
That’s how Trump has become the media equalizer. They can’t lay a glove on him – no matter what they say or write. Like Reagan, he’s become, in effect, the second Teflon president.
A president can be passionate about his agenda. Americans like a president who’s a passionate fighter. But they don’t necessarily like so-called fair and balanced “news people” to be passionate about their agenda. They’re not supposed to have an agenda – other than the pursuit of the truth.