Once again, it is time to ask: “If we assume Trump is not a fool, what strategy would his actions indicate?”
Let’s start with yesterday’s tweet from Brian Stelter:
Trump's anti-CNN video is now his second most popular tweet of all time — as measured by retweets https://t.co/f3DFBrSvSm
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) July 2, 2017
Of course, this is all about the famous tweeted GIF of Trump clotheslining a CNN-headed man in a WWE event, which, if I understand the people reacting to it, is the worst thing EVAH and proves Trump is Literally Hitler. And someone remind me that I need a meme that says “No, that’s isn’t what ‘literally’ means.”
Of course, anyone who has been paying attention and isn’t suffering from the Trump Trance recalls doing bad Shakespeare in order to indulge Trump-assassination fantasies, or the number of celebrities who have threatened Trump or fantasized about his death, or running stories on how many would have to be killed to get a Democrat in the White House, or, this cover:
— Village Magazine (@VillageMagIRE) February 3, 2017
… although, at least, that one does conclude that assassinating Trump would be unethical.
There’s already been plenty written on the pearl-clutching going on, so I’m not going to comment except to say “show me on this doll where the bad video hurt you.”
Instead, let’s just ask what Trump is up to. Yeah, he’s not being “presidential.” Did anyone really expect him to be? Certainly, I thought his behavior might lose the election, but it didn’t: he won. Why should he change?
In the meantime, though, right now about three-quarters of Americans think the press is biased against Trump. Given the dozens of stories that have been pushed by major media and then proven false, including the recent one that was so false CNN fired three senior people over them and added VP-level vetting for any further Trump/Russia stories, it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable conclusion.
So, Trump trolls the press with something like the CNN takedown video, in an environment where three-quarters of the populace think the press is treating Trump unfairly. He trolls the press very successfully, causing immense butthurt all through the legacy press. The pearl-clutching hyperbole strikes, and we find out that Trump is as bad as Erdögan and Putin — who murder and imprison the press. This follows a week of complaints that after CNN got their noses rubbed in yet another false story, CNN is being disrespected by Sean Spicer, and worse, the Trump administration is violating the First Amendment by not putting Jim Acosta of CNN on TV while he berates Sean Spicer.
Then those three-quarters of the population said, “Yawn.”
The press’s credibility degraded further.
And Trump laughed.