The mainstream media would really, really, really like to report on Donald Trump correctly and get to the bottom of his scandals – and on a good day, it does presicely that. The trouble: too much of the mainstream media’s audience consists of false equivocators in the middle who think “unbiased” means saying 50% good things and 50% bad things about each side. Most of the media is a slave to these know-nothings in the middle. It’s why the media is, once again, pandering to them by jumping on Donald Trump’s latest bullshit train.
This week Donald Trump handed a couple of victories to the Democrats in Congress, in what was obviously an attempt at spiting the Republicans, as his relationship with them continues to sour. It’s not a pivot toward the middle. It’s not a sudden display of maturity or growth. It’s not the moment that Trump became presidential. It’s just him giving his own party the middle finger by flip flopping on a couple of issues for the most immature of reasons. It’s yet another reminder of why he’s too unstable to succeed in office. Anyone who follows politics closely knows it. But you’d never guess it, based on some of the headlines out there right now.
Here’s what the Associated Press had to say today: “Trump the independent: The deal President Trump cut with Democrats seems to show a different kind of president.” Huh? These words, coming from a major news outlet that’s normally restrained and reliable, represent a fictional and frankly pitiful spin on what really happened. Yet the Washington Post, Morning Joe, Axios and others were quick to crank out similar sycophantic praise of Trump’s supposed pivot toward maturity. So did these news outlets all go on vacation this week and leave a pet monkey in charge of typing out their headlines? No. There’s actually a more calculated, cynical explanation for why this periodically happens.
We first saw it back when a half-conscious Trump tepidly read a somewhat conciliatory speech to Congress that he’d clearly had no role in writing. Suddenly the media was calling him “presidential.” Of course a few days later he was back to flinging poo. It’s not that anyone in the media honestly believed Trump is pivoting back then, nor do they believe it now. It’s just that, in order to appease the false equivocators in the middle of their audience, they have to praise Trump sometime or other.
So the media seizes on these rare moments in which Donald Trump stops flinging poo just long enough that it can get away with praising him for it. These news outlets know how bad this makes them look in the eyes of politically knowledgeable people. They just don’t care. They write this crap to keep the dummies in the middle happy. That way, when they’re right back to slamming Trump for his next indefensible move, they can say “We can’t be biased against him, because we were just praising him last week.” This kind of nonsense is why independent news sites have to exist.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report