I don’t usually like to repeat myself in these posts, but when it comes to the media getting suckered by Trump and serving as bots in his reelection campaign, I have to get shrill: no more headlines reporting on Trump’s tweets, taunts and tantrums! Just stop! Now!
The New York Times is one of the worst, and they would do well to read their own reportage on the matter. Today’s edition carries an article entitled Trump Aims Words at Working Class, but Policies at Its Bosses, and the body says exactly that—which should come as no surprise to anyone who has been remotely paying attention the past two and a half years. There is virtually no correspondence between what Trump says and what he does. (And the exceptions, like border repression and the Muslim travel ban, are in policy realms in which he [unfortunately] enjoys majority support.)
Trumpian blather and obscenity are not an accident. He has been doing this stuff for decades. He gets to make his background and true agenda invisible while he slums as a dude with 1950s white working class politics, at the same time reaping the benefit of being perceived as unscripted, honest-for-better-or-worse and the opposite of every politician who has ever tried to put one past you. But every word he utters is the opposite of what it claims to be: Trump’s themes are carefully scripted, cavalierly dishonest and political to the core. It is all about misdirection, and like a devious martial arts move, it turns his opposition’s disdain to his own use.
The solution is simple. The media should just stop megaphoning Trump’s mouth unless he is announcing a policy or personnel action he has actually taken. Make Trump’s true agenda visible by stuffing everything else into the asides or back pages or just deleting it altogether.