It's Entertaining, But What Do Trump's Diatribes Against the Media Actually Accomplish?

We’ve n0w had more than twenty four hours filled with analysis of the yesterday’s stream of Trump-sciousness press conference. Most of it boils down to “People who love Trump love watching Trump attack news reporters.” We’ve already known that for quite a while though.


I get it. Nothing appeals to a blogger like slam dunking a reporter peddling a bogus story that advances the left’s agenda. The satisfaction comes from exposing them by telling the real story. The truth.

Biased media is infuriating. It’s Orwellian. I understand why people hate the establishment media and get a jolt of schadenfreude when Trump calls them liars.

Beyond that I don’t understand why it is treated by so many like some sort of victory. I think anyone who believes what Trump does will somehow make the media more truthful and impartial is delusional.

Other than entertaining people who are already 100% behind him, he accomplishes nothing by rambling on about how terrible and dishonest the media is. Especially considering that when he does it, his spiel is usually peppered with misstatements or falsehoods which they can then spend hours on TV pointing out to their audience and telling them how unhinged their President is.

As much as his supporters are reveling in Trump’s aggressive disdain for the press, he won’t win that fight. They’ve got 24 hours a day in which to tear him down. Trump has the occasional press conference to address his dissatisfaction and if every one of those becomes a full blown complaint session about how they cover him, he’s going to forever be portrayed as a buffoon. His die hard supporters like the ones who will show up at his rally in Florida tomorrow will go on enjoying the show but the people who voted for him only because he wasn’t Hillary won’t defend him forever.


Politicians like Newt Gingrich or Ted Cruz—or even Lindsey Graham—have been combative with the news media as well but the difference is that they could enunciate why reporters’ questions are flawed or based on false premises. When they lecture the media, they’re teaching. Maybe the reporters aren’t learning anything but someone watching probably is.

Gingrich dressed down reporters as a candidate like a tough professor grading a student. Trump is more like a man beating a dog with a rolled up newspaper for barking too much two days ago. All the dog learns is this is a human that hits me so I’m going to bark louder at him next time I see him.

The reporter lectured by Gingrich might not be convinced of anything but he’ll at least learn to approach Gingrich differently and tighten up his questioning. Trump’s approach only asks for more of the same. The press gets indignant but they certainly don’t feel as if they’ve been justifiably chastised. The only way Trump comes out ahead is if he convinces people not to pay attention to the mainstream press altogether.

How likely is that? Not very if he can’t deliver substance to back up the emotion.


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