Sorry, media. No one cares.
Thursday, Trump used his personal Twitter account to tweet less than kind things about MSNBC Morning Joe hostess, Mika Brzezinski.
As is now customary for the weekly Trump Twitter tirade, the entire political media set quickly condemned Trump’s tweets and members of Congress rushed to release official statements expressing their disgust with the President’s behavior (because there’s not more pressing business), and the daily White House press briefing was overrun with questions about Trump’s tweets.
The most prevalent argument against Trump’s persistent use of social media to bypass typical media outelts and levy criticism directly at a target is that it’s beneath the dignity of the office to do so. But is it really?
I’m of two minds here. In a perfect world, everyone in polite society and in particlar, the Beltway, would be polite. But that’s not our reality, not even a little bit. And if our president is supposed to be a reflection of the people, then that’s exactly what we have sitting in the Oval Office — someone who’s bullied and maligned for the occassional refusal to acquiese to the press corps’ childish demands.
There’s also a tiny part of me that’s enjoying watching the Executive Branch stripped of the uppity reverence and virtual deification of its office holder. Because, after all, the president is a servent of the American people, not the other way around.
There’s still another issue here — one concerning adjustment of expectations. Trump has always been brash and often offensive to delicate sensibiliites. And that’s exactly what helped catapult him into the White House; a stark departure from the status quo that was leading us down the path of ruin.
We are six months into the Trump presidency and the political media still gets riled up and devotes days of news cycles to Trump’s simply being Trump. He plays his little outrage fiddle and they dance the same jig over and over and over again.
Trump’s tweets might not be conventional, appropriate or remotely normal for a president, but at this point, they’re not outrageous. Trump is not and never will be conventional. The expectation that he’ll magically morph into such is getting a bit childish at this point. Which is precisely why I cannot bring myself to be outraged or even the least bit bothered by the fact that Trump is doing what Trump always does.
As we’ve discussed before, the political media have a horrible habit of thinking they are the story. Continuing to lob round after round and expecting blanket immunity because they’re “doing their jobs” is the pinnacle of tone-deafness. Yet, here we are.
We’ve chronicled some of the more outrageous things Mika and Joe have said about Trump on Morning Joe. While it might be better for the old Bambiism (“if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”) to have been applied here, there’s still indisputable rule of the universe that requires the reaping of what one sows. I’m not suggesting Trump was right to swat back, but I am suggesting that there is usually an end to good grace when you persistently and publicly impugn someone’s character.
Lastly, no one in real America gives a damn what Trump tweets. They just don’t.
All of my years working in grassroots activism taught me one of the greatest disconnects in America is the variance between what the media wants and the desires of the American people. Trump supporters (of which I was not) did not vote for Trump because he was polite and docile (if that’s what voters wanted, we’d be blogging about our third President Bush). Trump was chosen because the “forgotten man” truly believed his interests would be defended where run of the mill politicians had failed them. So far, they’re right. And so far, Trump continues to hold his own against the media bullies, for better or worse.
But the political media will continue to play the perpetual victim instead of focusing on actual news and legislative business, and the rest of America will continue rolling their eyes.
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