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.
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.