There are two ways you can battle a fire. The first is to pour as much water as you can on it in an attempt to dowse the flames. The second is to snuff out the fire by depriving it of oxygen. Both are effective, but the former often results in water damage that renders the property unlivable. The latter may take a bit longer, but preserves the bulk of the property.
For the last two years, the media in this country have been attempting to deal with Donald Trump the way most firefighters deal with fires. They’ve been pouring as much water as possible on his inflammatory rhetoric, hoping to contain him. Not only hasn’t that worked, it’s resulted in a lot of water-soaked journalists who are shaking their heads in disbelief.
Back in February I wrote the following:
Pull the plug. You heard right. The next time this administration holds a press briefing, don’t show up. Pull your cameras and your microphones from the White House. Let Sean Spicer talk to an empty room for twenty minutes. Breitbart and Infowars can dry hump his leg if they want. Who cares? And don’t make the mistake of taking a copy of the minutes. Propaganda is propaganda. Don’t devote even one second of programming to anything that he or his brownshirts have to say.
When he holds a rally, don’t show up and cover it. He can spew all he wants to the dumb-ass minions who show up and froth at the mouth, but there’s no need to give him a larger audience than he deserves. When he boards Air Force One, let him do it alone. He can bore the pilot to death all he wants with his conspiracy theories. There’s no need for you to jot down every single syllable that comes out of his mouth. And when he heads off to Mar-a-Lago to play golf, as he has done every weekend since being sworn in, don’t follow him onto the course.
So let me make this one final plea to the Fourth Estate: turn off the water and lock down the room. Deprive Trump of the oxygen he needs to spread his venomous rhetoric. It’s your only hope of stopping him.
From the moment he descended that escalator in Trump Tower, Il Duce has made it a point of berating the press. He has called them “fake news” and has harassed reporters whose only crime was holding him accountable for the bullshit he was peddling to the public. But here’s the thing: for all the animosity Trump supposedly holds for the main-stream media, the simple fact is he needs them. Even worse, he’s obsessed with them. That fake cover with his picture on it that appears in his properties? It sure as shit ain’t Breitbart. That’s right, it’s none other than Time magazine, one of the supposedly “fake news” contingent that has it in for him. After he fired James Comey, he elected to be interviewed not by Sean Hannity of Fox News, but by Lester Holt of NBC News. If you think that was an accident, then you haven’t been paying attention to this guy.
Throughout his disgusting and deplorable career, Trump has been a media whore. He loves being in the spotlight. Good press, bad press, it’s all the same to him. So long as his name is in circulation that’s all that matters to him. The one thing he can’t deal with is being ignored. It drives him nuts. The reason you will soon start seeing the daily White House press briefings broadcast live in my opinion isn’t because Trump has fallen in love with the media or that he was suddenly hit with a rush of guilt for his reckless behavior; it’s because briefings that are broadcast live on TV bring ratings. And ratings are the only thing Trump truly cares about.
So the best way to hurt Trump – to deprive his fire of the oxygen it needs to consume everything – is to pull the cameras and microphones from the briefing room. When his minions want to come on the cable shows to spin his latest stunt, tell them no thanks, you don’t do infomercials. When or if Trump wants to hold a press conference, inform him that you wish to ask questions of him. If he declines, then decline back.
Nowhere is it written that the press and the media have an obligation to be this president’s megaphone to the world. In fact, the only obligation they truly have is to the truth. Looking for it at the White House these days is a fool’s errand.
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