Hint for News Media: Chuck Todd Mansplaining Loses You Ground Against the Trump Administration


It occurred to me, earlier, that anybody who’s outraged that President Donald Trump won’t release his tax filings despite promising to do so should also be outraged that the news media can’t help itself from going for maximum outrage over every little bit of spin and thumb in their eye.  If a press secretary’s attempt to spin crowd size numbers is proof of the end of civilization, then there’s nowhere to go with slightly larger transgressions like backpedaling on transparency.

But the key thing, politically, is the nakedly hyped up nature of the rhetoric.  When using the phrase “alternative facts,” Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway was clearly saying that the administration was presenting an alternative assessment of the audience for the inauguration that it believes to be factual.  As a trigger for all-day virtue signaling in the media and those who pick up its cues, that’s pretty thin justification.

Look, yes, I think it’s a silly topic on which to start a battle over, just as I think the president should release his tax returns, but the news media simply does not have the credibility to be playing these games. Indeed, I’d suggest that Trump is playing them for suckers, right now. The more ridiculous journalists get, the broader the range of people who’ll take Trump’s side.

Consider: for all the outrage over the neologism “alternative facts,” how much time did these reporters spend on Obama neologisms like “man-caused disasters” and “workplace violence” for terrorism?

More than that, though, go ahead and watch Conway’s interview with Todd. The TV host is behaving like what he clearly is: a talking head from the other side of the aisle. He’s hostile from the beginning, building up to laughing at her in a mocking tone.  If we assume that the country is divided around 50:50, do you think this interview will move the balance toward or away from Donald Trump?

Even people who haven’t paid a whole lot of attention will notice the contrast of the deference and benefit of the doubt journalists showed for the Obama administration and this all-out attempt to discredit the Trump administration for every little thing.  Picking up with the outrage at exactly the level at which progressives and the MSM left off with President Bush is blindingly obvious, and the more obvious it is, the less credibility the press will have.

  • The Misfit

    It will be fun to read your explanations going forward through the Trump swamp. I know you are not a partisan because you have told everyone in earshot that you are NOT A PARTISAN. But, you know what? You kind of sound like one. So, splain away. Oh yeah – I second your new found belief in love and understanding

    • Justin Katz

      You misunderstand. I raise the issue not to gloat, but because it’s a problem. I’d prefer if the news media could play it straight and earn back its credibility, but it’s so full of people who’ll do things like turn agreement about “love and understanding” into an insult that it doesn’t seem probable.

      • Rhett Hardwick

        And when was it that the “news media” ever had “credibility”? I think the best we ever had was perhaps “competition” among them. What springs to mind is coverage of Clinton/Lewinsky, go back 30 years before that and they completely covered up JFK’s activities in the White House in favor of “Camelot”, go back another 160 years and they crucified Jefferson over his connection with “dusky Sally”. For some time, papers would identify themselves as “Democrat”, or “Republican”, making public their slant. 15-20 years ago there was a very interesting show on PBS. A historian would read a 50 year old newspaper, then explain what had really been going on. We also had “Hearst’s War” (Spanish American) inspired by “fake news” (and political desires).

  • The Misfit

    So the best assembly of billionaires ever. No, not Davos. Not some global elite. Wait. No. ok. Some global elites. New Trump administration. I think we need to prepare for the worst case scenarios.

  • I’ll believe that political figures have an obligation to be “transparent” about their personal finances when I see media personalities who expect, or demand such “transparency” leading by example, and publicly releasing their own personal financial details.