If you’re counting, we’re just one month into the new administration, and already the mood in the country is fragile.
We shouldn’t have expected calm to follow such a contentious election cycle where the finalists turned out to be a Clinton and a reality star. It was never going to go very well in the post-January 20th world. Reality, though, has perhaps been a bit more unusual than we expected.
Aside from actual presidential duties, the chief topic of discussion has been Trump v The Media, or, The Media v Trump. Each “side” makes the case for why the opposing party should be severely criticized for words, actions, and demeanor. Quite often, they’re both right.
The press conference this week brought the strong feud between the two parties to the surface in a very accessible-to-the-public way. It is true that President Trump often acts erratic and unfocused when speaking and discussing policy. It is also true that the media is quick to find fault with everything he says and does. They could hardly be considered unbiased.
What can we glean from the incessant battle that will rage on for at least the next four years?
- It is a good and necessary thing that the mainstream media is being shaken up. This needs to happen more often.
- Voters are reminded (unlike never before) that elections have consequences. This needs to happen more often.
Those of us not willing to give an entire stamp of approval or disapproval to either party will remain conflicted. This is not a bad thing. The minds already made up, whether for/against, represent a lazy sort of stubbornness. It’s nothing more than convenient auto-pilot.
This not a laughing matter. I’m sorry, delegitimizing the press is unAmerican
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 16, 2017
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
The media is concerned about being delegitimized? They shouldn’t publish stories and pass them off as fact when they’re not legit. Pushing a narrative isn’t journalism. President Trump declares certain news outlets are actually not his enemy when his behavior says otherwise? He could begin by “going high when they go low” instead of joining them in the mud.
This back-and-forth isn’t going anywhere. It’s also not comfortable. We’re stuck between a mainstream media which hasn’t been legit for years, and a president who can’t control them, or himself.
We feel conflicted. In an era when both sides are so shamelessly comfortable with their behavior, our sober discomfort is a must.