“The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story – RUSSIA. Fake news!” – Donald J. Trump tweet 2-16-17
Way back in 1987 Donald Trump published a book, I think giving him credit for writing it may be a stretch, that was part autobiography and part extended essay on how to become a winning negotiator and business dealmaker called The Art of the Deal. This book is his Bible, sorry all you Christian Evangelicals, or at least in his mind should be mentioned in the same breath with the Holy Bible.
At the heart of the book are 11 winning negotiating tactics. As you would suspect there is the regular smorgasbord of business bullshit in this list, think big, contain the cost, maximize the options, etc. but my favorite is number seven; Get the word out! Trump says; “One thing I’ve learned about the press is that they’re always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better…The point is that if you are a little different, a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you.”
“FAKE NEWS media, which makes up stories and “sources,” is far more effective than the discredited Democrats – but they are fading fast!” – Donald J. Trump tweet 2-16-17
Our President and his administration is getting its ass kicked in the news and for whatever reason it pisses him off and I am not sure why. When he was campaigning he bragged about not having to spend any of his money on commercials because of all the print and airtime he received for free. He made outlandish, braggadocious statements for the sole purpose of getting his smug orange face on the nightly news, and guess what, it worked. So what changed in his mind? Why does he feel that the office of the President should provide him with some kind of hall pass, some cloak of protection?
Our President has a very short memory. If he were to look back just a few months ago he would realize that he campaigned against the backdrop of both leaks and fake news aimed at his opponent Hillary Clinton, facts that are documented in his Tweets, his speeches and on the nightly news. And now his feelings are hurt? He feels like he is being picked on?
Jeff Bezos, the man who started Amazon, owns The Washington Post. He purchased the paper in 2013 from the Graham family for $250 million in cash. Mr. Bezos has a personal net worth of $72.4 billion. Trump claims he is worth $4 billion give or take a billion. Given the disparity in whose pile of cash is bigger, I don’t see Mr. Bezos or The Washington Post being too concerned about Trumps Fake News tweet rants. As a matter fact, from a business standpoint, Trump’s election has probably maximized Mr. Bezos return on his investment, number 11 on Trump’s winning negotiating tactics list, Have Fun!
Short of President Trump repealing the First Amendment, and I bet he and Steve Bannon have had those conversations, Trump is in a war he can’t win. It is simply not in his DNA to play nice and honestly I think that train left the station many, many months ago. Sure he can pick and chose who he likes. His press secretary can ignored raised hands in the press briefings but short of some fascist escalation, the power of press is a voice that won’t be contained or stifled.
“Select journalists being invited to have questions screened for use in press conference. Can enough be screened fast enough? Unknown.” Rogue POTUS Staff tweet 2-16-17
I know many of us feel like we have entered the political dark ages, but for the press and media this is their renaissance, a time of renewed energy and purpose. I don’t want our President to fail. None of us can afford that. But I do want him to be held accountable not only for his actions but for his words, even the ones he types with his thumbs. I don’t have that kind of power, none of us do. Thankfully there are institutions that do and we need them now more than ever.
“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” – Thomas Jefferson