We are nearly two months into the Trump Administration, and allegations about Russia are still dominating the headlines. Unless you happen to be a fan of Trump’s agenda, this is a problem.
In a new and explosive report at The Washington Post, anonymous senior US intelligence officials have revealed the existence of a new highly classified intelligence assessment on Russia and its influence campaigns against the US. The assessment, code-named “BEARLY SECRET” or BS within the intelligence community, focuses on the activities of state-funded broadcaster RT and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s personal involvement in actions against the US.
This week in an interview with The New York Times, Gary Johnson broke all the rules. Continue reading Gary Johnson Infuriates the New York Times on Foreign Policy
At least until the election is over, major news outlets seem more like PR firms than, well, news outlets. Continue reading Why Don’t People Trust the Media?
- At Least One Thing Is Still Growing in the US Economy – the Debt
- Trump Releases Child Care Plan
- New leaks and new scandals from the Democratic National Committee
Today’s top stories:
- Obama tells 9/11 families they matter less than Saudi Arabia
- CNN anchor wonders why anyone would care about civilian casualties when they are profitable for US companies
- Trump sets a trap for the Federal Reserve
The public was treated to a delightfully contentious press conference this past Tuesday as presidential candidate Donald Trump briefed reporters about his donation to veteran groups. The topic of the press conference has been in the news a lot lately, though it could scarcely matter less.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, an expert on the presidency and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said Mr. Trump appeared to be making assumptions about journalism that were “so faulty as to be bizarre.”
“The notion that the press would be writing stories praising him for keeping a promise he made in public to veterans, months after he made the promise, suggests he simply does not understand the function of the press,” she said.
Ah yes, the function of the press. Certainly, I applaud all the intrepid reporters who are working to nail down Donald Trump’s stance on the key subject of rounding. But, they could also ask him about almost anything else, and it would be more important to the upcoming election. How about his stance on the War in Yemen that no one talks about (but which America is supplying and actively assisting)? Maybe Venezuela? Maybe the unsustainable rise in corporate debt, fueled by artificially low interest rates? Nope.
Of course, this problem isn’t unique to Donald Trump. It’s how the media treats everyone with power. Occasionally, superficial issues will blow up into scandal–did Barack really just wear a tan suit!? But real issues rarely come up. And it’s not hard to see why. You don’t call out your friends.
In turn, this is why we should want there to be palpable tension between the press corps and the president. When the president stops violating the constitution, international law, and whatever promise he made 3 weeks ago (“boots on the ground” anyone?), then it will be okay for the press and the president to be on friendly terms. But that’s not going to happen anytime soon, and until it does, there is an unlimited amount of real material out there waiting to be investigated and asked about.
Recent history strongly suggests we can’t count on journalistic integrity or professional curiosity to get the media asking the hard questions politicians deserve. Here’s hoping the mutual contempt offered by Trump will produce a better result.