The First 100 Days of the War on Media

 

Last Saturday, the world acknowledged that it was Donald Trump’s first 100 days as President. While Fox media reports his first 100 Days in a celebratory manner, applause should be reserved for the fact that Trump has managed to avert major geopolitical crises. President Trump chose to celebrate this benchmark of ‘success’ surrounded  by a crowd of sycophantic supporters at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania. While Trump revealed that he thought the presidency would be “easier”, he chooses to go back to the people that elected him by throwing campaign rallies. This is most likely due for Trump’s need of a reminder that a portion (less than half) of the country still wears the red caps in solidarity with Trump while others hide the caps away in their closets like a scarlet letter.

However, while Saturday bared the title of Trump’s “First One Hundred Days”, it felt like any other day in Trump’s America. The President chose to naturally revel, in the comfort zone, his distaste for mainstream media such as CNN, MSNBC, and NYT. At his rally, Trump stated “if the media’s job is to be honest and tell the truth, the media deserves a very, very big fat failing grade”. Trump continued by stating that the media’s “priorities are not [his] priorities, and [should] not [be our] priorities”. Trump’s continuation of this faulty narrative is  a misguided and dangerous measure in  placing doubt in our society’s trust in the media. The media is not in line with his interests, nor should they be expected to push a Trump centric narrative. They don’t employ “alternative facts” like the Trump Administration has a tendency to do. With a Congress that bleeds red, the fourth estate must hold this government accountable.

In a series of tweets following Trump’s first 100 days, Trump continued to target the media, stating that “the Fake News media is officially out of control. They will do or say anything in order to get attention.” President Trump continues to hypocritically excoriate any media platform not acting as another mouthpiece for his Administration. The news media is not “out of control”; they’re reporting on his presidency with a magnifying glass.

Ultimately, the irony is not lost that this continued battle with the media takes place on the day of the White House Correspondents dinner, which Trump has chosen to not attend. While Presidents have traditionally navigated their relationship with the press, primarily anything from frenemies to friends with benefits, Trump’s choice to not attend the event was due to his feeling that his attendance would be considered disingenuous. Incidentally, the last President to miss the White House Correspondents dinner was Reagan after he was hospitalized after being shot in an assassination attempt. This President boasts about being genuine and honest; however, he is asking the very news outlets he is criticizing to do just the opposite. The President, like a child, can only be appeased once he is met with unanimous consensus; he lives in his very own media bubble. Trump’s parameters for what constitutes news, leaves us with a lowered standard.  Moreover, his war on the media will likely continue over the next four years of his Presidency as he tries to undermine the only thing that reminds this country not to be complacent or not to normalize this President.

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