100 Days: Assessing the Assessors

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?

This entry was posted in 4th Reich, Axios, CNN, Death of the Media, Hair Führer Donald Trump, media. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to 100 Days: Assessing the Assessors

  1. 9thousandfeet says:

    I think that about sums it up.
    That, and a carnivalesque preoccupation with “The First 100 Days”.
    Even the Guardian, usually a little be more measured and nuanced, is full of it.

    What’s happening is that the Trump Carnival Barker Spectacular is wearing people down. There is such a thing as outrage fatigue, and Trump’s MO is particularly suited to exploiting it. Big Media spends a lot of money on market research to identify the “preferences” of whatever demographic they’re pursuing.

    Most Americans, across most all demographics, don’t want to spend the next almost 4 years (yes, he’s almost certainly going to remain in office that long) in a state of constant agitation, and the big media players are (naturally enough, given the way the media makes money in the US) are going to play to that with the “hey, the sky didn’t fall so let’s all lighten up a bit” messaging.

    Also, most Americans are more bellicose when it comes to international affairs that many of us in places like MPS like to think. The idea that the US must carry the biggest international stick, always and everywhere, is not only disconcertingly commonplace, but is regarded as precisely the way things *should* be by a very large majority of our population.
    The media research people know that too, as does Trump, which is why his little chocolate cake fireworks display so readily drove the Russian connection back onto page 7 below the fold, where it pretty much has remained ever since.

    The best hope for thoughtful people of goodwill is that Trump and/or his GOP enablers will press for something so out in the fascisti weeds that the resistance will be overwhelming, but I’m starting to think that Trump actually can learn on the job and is starting to get a reality-based sense of what he can actually get away with.
    I want to be wrong, because if I’m right about that, we truly are fucked. The thing that worries me the most is how we so readily relish narratives about how fucking stupid he is, and how tempted we are to propagate them.
    He’s a lot of things, none of them good, but stupid ain’t one of them. His past is no less full of lies and deceit and retributive mean-spiritedness than his present, and he’s never been completely cornered or held to account yet. Not once.
    That takes skill.


    • ming says:

      Cheating, conniving, opportunistic rat-bastard motherfucker that will unrelentingly make up shit up while taking everything he can get tiny little hands on. The guy has no shame and people underestimate him for that…but hardly a smart guy. The word salad that comes out of his mouth is a window in to the chaotic mess of his thoughts. He gets away with it because he understands how to manipulate fear, greed and hatred. Trump is good at the lizard brain stuff, but he is still a fucking moron.


  2. HarpoSnarx says:

    The Allen Keyboard Whore neglects to mention the elephant in the Oval Office: that thar fucking treason . . . or is that “conventional” now?


  3. NorKid says:

    Somebody needs to read that Got To Sleep book…


  4. Perturbation says:

    Not so much a different take on the first 100 days, but an interesting collection of thoughts about how the press hasn’t figured Trump out yet, published by Politico.



  5. Ten Bears says:

    They are drinking … ahhhh … recycled, yeah that’s it, recycled Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and Megyn Kelly crotch-shots Now on NBC! Kool-Aid? They’re drinking their own, or each other’s – which would be unsurprising given tRump and O’Really?’s proclivities – ahhh … piss.


  6. Perturbation says:

    Also this, which would have worried me 100 days ago, but which today I find hilarious. Trump would like a mulligan on the first 100 days, I guess, only this time without all those pesky checks and balances. Seems to me he was insisting it was his way or the highway from day one. And now that he’s floundered about, spastically but futilely, for 100 days, accomplishing nothing, now he’s serious he wants all those “strongman” powers he insisted he’d have from the beginning?

    If a strongman tells people to do things his way, and nobody does it, he is ipso facto not a strongman.



  7. moeman says:

    In golf parlance, I think it was an asshole in one (hundred).


  8. Osirisopto says:

    Every time i see that inauguration video I’m reminded of my daughters mother.


  9. Big Bad Bald Bastard says:

    I think the biggest story of the first hundred days is Trump’s wholesale war on the apolitical bureaucrats who actually accomplish the bulk of government activity. He’s going after the State Department, the Parks Department, NOAA, the Department of Ed, the Department of Energy… all so he can put in kleptocrats and cronies. THIS is how he will damage the US for generations to come. He’s the Grover Norquist dream of government-killing come to life.


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