In the past week the President has pulled CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House Press Pass and insulted three black female reporters, and some has floated the idea of a boycott of Trump and/or the press briefings at the White House, but unless he really goes off the rails that’s not going to happen, and it probably shouldn’t.
The Press is in a Catch 22 position with this issue; damned if they do and damned if they don’t because no matter how they react to his insults and claims the Press is the enemy, they play into his hand.
If the news media is busy covering their mistreatment they aren’t covering other issues, like why he fired Jeff Sessions, The Mueller investigation, the midterm elections and so on. When the media focuses on themselves instead of the news, they are playing the president’s game, and that game is rigged against them.
When someone slaps you in the face it’s difficult to turn the other cheek, and the president’s aggressive style seems to be doing just that – slapping them in the face – but the press must be careful how they react. In fact, the best option, for the time being, is not to react at all but keep doing what the press is suppose to be doing, reporting on government matters and informing the public about what government officials are doing. The Press must stay the course and keep asking the tough questions because when they do that they keep him on his heels and he is the one doing the reacting, not them.
If might behoove the Press, however, to stop covering non-essential things like Trump rallies. Very little, if any, news comes out of those rallies, but reporting on those rallies does allow them to control the narrative and direct attention where they want it directed. Trump lives on publicity so don’t give him any he doesn’t deserve.
The news doesn’t tell you how to think, but it does tell you what to think about. We don’t need to focus on statements about nationalism, body-slamming reporters or anything of that nature, we up to our ears with that divisive rhetoric.
The White House wants the spotlight, but they want to control the direction that light is shining. Keep the spotlight shining, but shine it in the shadows where things are hiding; that’s where the real news is.