Recognizing that press coverage of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office was largely negative, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan thinks that’s just fine because “politicians have no right to expect equally balanced positive and negative coverage.”
Presumably, one might suspect that’s why Barack Obama got typically positive coverage, and the dominant media virtually ignored the scandals – Fast and Furious, Benghazi and Solyndra, for example – and never challenged his lies about the not-so-affordable health care act.
Alluding to Trump’s remarks to the U.S. Coast Guard graduating class about his unfair treatment by the press, Sullivan observes: “Looked at through this lens, Trump’s press coverage has been a political nightmare. Isn’t that terribly unfair? Here’s my carefully nuanced answer: Hell, no.”
And here’s the justification, in Sullivan’s opinion: “If a president is doing a rotten job, it’s the duty of the press to report how and why he’s doing a rotten job.” And she said this:
“The idea of balance is suspect on its face. Should positive coverage be provided, as if it were a birthright, to a president who consistently lies, who has spilled classified information to an adversary, and who fired the FBI director who was investigating his administration?”–Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan
And even putting all of this on the table, Sullivan accuses the president of “playing the victim card for months.”
As the saying goes, “It’s not paranoia when you know they really are out to get you.”
In this media environment, Trump supporters might challenge Sullivan and her media colleagues by asking if it is any wonder that the president feels under siege. He is under siege. He is a victim, although he has not helped his cause with his Twitter activity or his Bronx brawler approach to many things.
It is understandable, then, that Ivanka Trump appeared on “Fox and Friends” Monday morning to declare her surprise at the “viciousness” and “ferocity” toward her father since his surprise and stunning defeat of Hillary Rodham Clinton in November. That upset the establishment, the media and Clinton’s “free stuff army” of self-entitled, blindly obedient liberal voters.
Sullivan admits to a “dirty little secret” in today’s journalism. “The word ‘Trump’ in a headline vastly increases its chances of getting attention.” She admits the guilt by alluding to the headline of her column. It contains the Trump name.
The press may not like Trump, but his every deed and word sells newspapers and attracts viewers, which in turn boosts ad revenue and pays salaries and light bills.
The press may not like Trump, but they need him. Like it or not, they need him worse than he needs them.
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