The Death of the Media
Let’s compare and contrast, shall we, the way the press is assessing the first 100 days of Hair Führer?
First up, Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing the morning email thingie at Axios:
For all the readers who hate President Trump and see his first 100 days as an epic failure, step back in time for a moment, to election night.
After you wiped away the tears, you wallowed in your fears: Trump would deport immigrants, start erecting a massive wall, unload a clown car of sycophants at every federal agency. He would wage war with NATO and start a trade war with China. America, as we know it, would crumble.
Well, the first 100 days have been a wild reality show, full of bombast and intrigue. But, if you separate hot rhetoric from lukewarm action, your worst nightmares did not materialize.
America First, it turns out, looks a lot like a conventional conservativism. This could easily be the first 100 days of a President Mike Pence:
- Conventional conservative Surepme Court pick.
- Conventional conservative health-care bill.
- Conventional conservative tax-reform ideals.
- Conventional conservative reg reforms.
- Conventional conservative approach to NATO, China, Syria, Iran, Israel and defense spending.
- Conventional conservative picks for Defense, State, Homeland Security and even the NSC, after Michael Flynn was booted.
Coming attraction: Keepers of the classic Trumpian campaign flame claim more wins to come in their war of ideas, especially on trade. But the momentum is with the mainstream.
Sound smart: Maybe the people who should be most hacked off about the first 100 days are those who wanted radical change and got conventional results.
So, shorter Axios: Everything is NORMAL! Nothing to see here, no reason to panic.
Let’s next look to the smart take of NY Magazine: The Specter of Illegitimacy Haunts Trump’s First 100 Days
The story of Trump’s 100 days is in many ways a cheerful one for large- and small-d democrats alike. Trump’s authoritarian tendencies amount to little more than a verbal tic. The party’s legislative agenda has proven astonishingly inept. He attacks journalists as enemies of the people and dismisses the legal authority of the courts, but has proven either unwilling or unable to follow through.
Yet while the fears of what Trump might do to the country out of malevolence have subsided, the fears of what he might do to it out of incompetence have grown. Trump became president because America’s political institutions failed. What remains to be seen is whether those institutions can separate Trump’s failure from the country’s.
So, shorter NYMag: We’re still standing.
And Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) tells us: Trump’s Executive Orders Are Mostly Theater:
…99 days into his presidency, Trump’s high-profile orders have not actually undone Obama’s health reforms, financial regulations, or carbon restrictions. They’ve merely allowed him to announce his intentions to undo those policies in official documents. Trump’s first 30 executive orders will create a lot of federal reviews and reports, along with some new task forces and commissions, but not a lot of substantive change. So far, they’ve been more about messaging than governing, proclaiming his priorities without really advancing his priorities.
The White House is making Trump’s flurry of executive orders the centerpiece of his 100-day legacy, in part because he hasn’t yet signed any major new laws or made much specific progress on his Make America Great Again policy agenda. And his orders have echoed his rhetoric about trade, regulations, crime, and other policy issues, which has given them the appearance of promises kept. But a close look at the language of his orders shows that most of them are basically press releases with presidential signatures, plus instructions to his Cabinet secretaries to look into the issues at hand.
So shorter Politico: all smoke and mirrors, and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
CNN did something sort of strange: they collected all of their first 100 days Russian Usurper-related breaking news alerts and compiled them. You can relive the white-knuckle moments of sheer incompetence and bluster there. So, shorter CNN: it’s all about me, Me, ME!!!1!
Anyway, there is a lot of commentary and bloviating on the significance of our illegitimate preznint’s 100 days of failure out there, but mostly it reads like the Media is trying to
- Normalize him (Axios)
- Reassure us we’re gonna be OK (NY Mag)
- Debunk the hype (Politico)
- Applaud themselves (CNN)
Pretty much everything I’m seeing falls into one of these categories. Anyone else see a different take from a MSM source?