By Lauren Wynn UPDATED July 2,2017
Sunday morning news has been dominated not by health care reform, not by the upcoming celebration of our nation’s independence — no, the headlines have been about our President, the Commander-in-Chief, Leader of the Free World (ostensibly), posting a WWE Smack-Down video of him vs a CNN-logo-headed individual. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
Slow clap as the last shred of our national pride goes down for the count.
While the President touts his “direct line with the people” (aka Twitter) as a positive thing – much to the chagrin of his aides – he fails to realize the far-reaching and, perhaps, long-term damage he’s doing in the process. That, coupled with many of his unscripted riffs during rallies, has just upped the ante.
One of Trump’s favorite slogans is “Fake News.” At last count, he’s Tweeted that phrase more than 53 times since the end of last year. It’s set up an adversarial relationship with the press, and is doing real and perhaps lasting harm to the news media and our country.
Here are the top five not-so-fake ramifications of Trump’s war on the media:
1). It destroys the ability of the media to perform its duty: to hold the administration accountable.
When major news outlet after major news outlet is painted with the brush of “Fake News,” it erodes the press’s ability to do its job: to hold the administration accountable for its duty to serve the American people honestly, and to fulfill its promises.
A press corps that is constantly maligned by the leader of the free world loses credibility with the public and may no longer have the ability to call into question the administration’s actions or motives when they stray from the promises they made to the American people. By the same token, outlets that never question the actions or motives of the President and his administration are no better than propaganda machines.
— Joe Gooding (@joegooding) June 18, 2017
2) The President needs allies not adversaries
Making enemies seems, on its face, to be a foolish strategic move. Most presidents endeavor to develop congenial relationships with members of the press in order to help forward their agenda. His bull-in-a-china-shop approach to public relations is leaving many put-off and others scratching their heads. Even his surrogates have joined in! Haven’t they heard that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?
3) It reduces the public’s ability to recognize actual ‘fake news’ and creates a class of gullible, easily fooled consumers who will believe anything.
As in the case of Pizzagate, this can have frightening and possibly deadly consequences.
People’s willingness to believe far-flung conspiracy theories and untrue accusations that confirm their bias is dangerous, but it becomes even more so when it’s being promulgated by the President of the United States:
This is just one example, among many and – to borrow a phrase – it’s sad.
4) It creates Trump Fatigue
Seriously, that’s a thing!
After awhile people tune out. Tired of the tirades, the early morning tweet storms filled with unhinged accusations and assertions, folks just shrug and look away. “That’s just Trump being Trump” is the moniker of the new normal and, frankly, that’s pretty terrifying.
5) Honestly, it makes him look petty and ridiculous.
Let’s just let the tweets speak for themselves, shall we?
I could go on and on (and on and on and on), but you get the picture. It has been said, and bears repeating, that Mr. Trump is his own worst enemy. His obsession with always being right — always winning, coupled with his thin skin and inability to weather even the slightest bit of scrutiny or negative press will just continue to feed the media, which will feed his obsession and round and round we go. Short of a Congressional intervention, we’re in for three and a half more years of this. What comes after Trump Fatigue?
This is Part One in a series. Stay tuned for Part Two: Trump’s War With Our Allies.