Media Take the Bait – Again

Quote of the Week:

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” – Donald Trump on the Paris Accord.

Immediately everybody, especially the Mayor of Pittsburgh, jumped all over this one. I mean, sure, the US President is expected to represent his constituents. It’s just that he shouldn’t throw the fact in everyone else’s faces if he wants to maintain any diplomatic clout.

But that’s the point; he doesn’t. Donald Trump has no diplomatic reputation and no interest in maintaining one. He has much more serious problems at home related to mounting evidence of his relationship with the Russians, and his number one priority is to deflect the interest of the media away from that area of investigation. A masterful stroke in that direction was his vapid performance when he actually met Putin face  to face last week. A clever ploy to create a complete joke of the Russian connection, disguising past illegalities with present inanities.

Thus, every tweet, every carefully designed atrocious comment, is intended as media bait. Keep them interested in anything else until it all blows over. It works in the entertainment business. It’s the stock in trade of the magician: bait and switch, misdirect, set up false expectations. Persuade the rubes that the end result is what you promised.

The question is whether the media will fall for it. Putting aside the partisan leanings of most of the major outlets, it is interesting to note the slant of the news reports on these incidents.

Will they take the bait and run wild in the wrong direction? Will they pick up a different slant and call the President on his intentions? It would be too much to expect that they are giving him enough rope to hang himself. That would be showing too much restraint.

At the moment, I’d have to score it at Trump 1 – Media 0. Hook line and sinker. As in, “I have a bridge across the East river for sale. Wanna buy it?”

There Is Hope, Yet

The great thing about the media is that there are always a few fanatics who, no matter their motivation, are willing to go out on a limb to get a good story. We don’t care whether they are idealistic journalists doing their best to defend democracy, or grandstanders only interested in furthering their careers. With most of them, it’s probably a little of both, and as long as the facts they present are true, they will have done their job.

Woodward and Bernstein, where are you?




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