If you need another reminder of just how dishonest the media is, and how ignorant the people who read what they write must be, let me take you to eleven things the press still doesn’t get about Trump. That Trump receives daily briefings from some of the most knowledgeable people in the American government is certainly a more reliable source for everything than reading it in the papers. And if you truly believe that Trump had been in cahoots with the Russians you are truly an ignorant moron. Here is the first:
Too often, the press forgets the very lessons Trump himself has taught us about how he operates and why it often works. For example, journalists often imply that Trump’s reliance on cable news is a liability because it leaves him ill-informed. And so it does—but it also leaves him highly attuned to that medium and able to respond to what he sees there with immediate, pitch-perfect tweets or other comments that come across as direct, authentic and trustworthy.
Another example: the power of repetition. Frequently, reporters assume that because they have already responded to a Trump assertion, the issue is settled. But then he repeats the same misinformation, as he did in defending the size of his inauguration crowds. In part, this is because he’s incapable of acknowledging loss or error. More important, it’s because one of his highest priorities is the construction of an alternate narrative and the delegitimization of the mainstream media, traditional authorities, and the primacy of facts.
Likewise, the press seems to have forgotten the power of distraction. Coverage of the Trump-ordered missile attack in Syria made little reference to how conveniently it deflected attention from Russia-gate, Trump’s conflicts of interest, his draconian budget cuts, etc. The media also understate Trump’s reliance on bullying, which works surprisingly well for him. With the recent exception of the House Freedom Caucus’ refusal to knuckle under and vote for the GOP’s health care act, most people (e.g., the other Republican presidential candidates and many TV commentators) back down.
Trump has also mastered the power of grievance and continues to use it. When an issue gets too sticky, he reverts to self-pity—fashioning himself as the victim of Barack Obama’s supposed wiretapping, for instance. The media might call such behavior weak or petty, but it also re-cements Trump’s bond with his followers as fellow victims of the Washington elite.
Finally, the press tends to forget how much Trump needs to keep experiencing the act of winning—and how much this drives his behavior. The likeliest reason for his charge that Obama wiretapped him is that Trump wants to feel as if he’s continuing to beat the biggest competitor he can find. And what bigger target than Obama?