There has been considerable press about how President Donald Trump can be baited by a tweet. This first was pointed out by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in her failed bid to win the White House.
The national press corps has seized on that point with a certain glee.
This was pointed out on some of the Sunday talk shows after a New York Times reporter wrongly tweeted that the new Administration had removed the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. The bust is and was there.
But while I agree the Prez does seem to be apt to take the offense to the slightest dig in a tweet, the national press corps is also easily baited by Trump and the new Administration.
The corps seems intent on answering and defending each time the President, his Press Secretary or any surrogate says anything hitting at the low esteem in which the national press is held by the American people. Members of the journalistic class cannot help themselves from going defensive and responding, which plays right into the hands of the President.
It further amplifies in the minds of the readers and viewers that there must be some kernel of truth to whatever charge. To borrow from William Shakespeare, methinks the press doth protest too much.
Then there is the issue of tone, which is usually combative and dismissive in a condescending way by those working inside the Beltway. To those of us in the Heartland, the attitude of the national press reflects what the President says about them being elitists, out-of-touch with every day Americans.
Yes, the national press corps should be vigorous in reporting the news and holding the new Administration and President accountable for the words spoken, the actions taken. At the same time, the national press needs to get out of their bubbles and reconnect with the reality of we, the people, living in the vast expanse of the nation.
Members of the press say they are not at war with the President, yet the way some label the President and his staff as “ridiculous” as NBC‘s Chuck Todd did on Meet the Press this morning, only serves to alienate the public and solidify a line of defense around the President – even if he is wrong.
To people in the Cornfield, it looks like the national press corps has declared war on the President.
How long will the national media continue to be baited?
How long will the White House press corps keep swallowing the dangling worm, hook, line and sinker?
From the Cornfield, journalists covering the White House and the President need to return to Journalism 101 and step out of the story. The national press have violated this basic tenet and in almost every report become part of the story.
Journalists need to become objective reporters of the news and not the center of the story.