Trump vs. the Media: New Sheriff in Town

At the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes has some thoughts on the president-elect’s recent press conference:

Donald Trump is in the rare position of loathing the media and dominating them—simultaneously. What more could a president-elect want as he enters the White House? Not much.

Reporters, columnists, talk radio blabbers, and even the elite media in Washington and New York think Trump is obligated to deal with them pretty much on their terms. Trump doesn’t agree. The notion of catering to them has never crossed his mind. And probably never will.

Instead we get wild events like Trump’s first press conference since winning the presidency. It was on his home turf at Trump Tower. He was in charge. The reporters were an unruly mob. As they tried to attract Trump’s attention, he coolly surveyed them before deciding who should ask him a question. He was dominant, the press pitiful.


They’ve been pitiful for a long time; it’s just that nobody’s pointed it out quite as forcefully as Trump. A bunch of Ivy League-credentialed throne-sniffers willing to suffer any indignity as long as they can stay close to the seat of power, they’ve long since confused themselves with those they cover. They’ve violated the first rule of working for a major media organization, which is confusing their sense of self-worth with whom they represent.

Reporters — even the vaunted White House press corps! — need to remember two things: 1) they can be fired at any time, and nobody will care, and 2) they need their employers more than their employers need them; these days, with journalistic standards at rock bottom, anyone with half a brain and a full set of teeth can work for the dying MSM.

With Trump, rules have changed. CNN was oblivious to this. It had played up the dubious “dossier” story about Trump. Yet, after Trump denounced the story, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta thought he was entitled to ask a question. Trump refused. “You are fake news,” he said, looking at Acosta.

Which leads us to the first change. And by the way, it applies across the board, not just to the media. The new rule is simple: When you attack Trump, he will hit back harder than you could have imagined. “He learned this in the New York media when he was a businessman,” Newt Gingrich said in a speech in December.

This is “Trump’s core model,” says Gingrich, who understands how Trump operates better than anyone else. There’s a reason for Trump’s counter-punching. He always wants to be on offense. “He’s on permanent offense,” Gingrich says. This, too, is a change. “He gets up in the morning, figuring out, how am I going to stay on offense?”


The media, like the Hun, is always either at your feet or at your throat. In collaboration with their Leftist buddies, they’ve been striking at the new president since Nov. 9 in an effort to de-legitimize him. They’re not going to like what’s about to happen to them, not one bit. Then again, that’s what soup kitchens and jobs retraining are for.



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