Here’s what you have to understand about the sort of people who become anchors, nonpartisan pundits, centrist columnists, and cable news political correspondents: They didn’t sign up to be the resistance. They don’t want Donald Trump to fail. They want him to “pivot” and “act presidential.”
Yeah, there are guys (and it is guys, for the most part) out there who spend their whole careers trying to be Dan Rather staring down Nixon or Cronkite turning on Vietnam—or even just Tim Russert making some elected mediocrity stammer with a patented “tough question”—but mostly these guys want to be witnesses to Great Men Making History. They want to Respect The Office Of The Presidency.
Here’s another thing you should understand about these guys: The only thing the elite Washington press corps likes more than a bipartisan commission on debt reduction is a stack of flag-draped coffins.
That’s why the best reviews Trump has received so far in his short, mostly disastrous presidency have come in response to the moment in last night’s joint address in which he trotted out the widow of a service member—a SEAL whose death he’d denied any responsibility for just a few hours earlier—to a sustained standing ovation and rapturous press coverage.
The praise from the media was so fulsome that the White House is a bit confused at how easily they managed to win over a class of people they have spent a month demeaning, attacking, and lying to:
You think Donald Trump noticed how the first thing he did that actually got the TV guys to like him was kill a troop?
Here are some things Donald Trump is famous for:
1) Noticing which things he does that elicit positive attention and then doing those things over and over and over again.
2) Craving the validation of the press, generally the sort of press a 70-year-old upper class New Yorker pays attention to, especially cable news.
If one dead American service member won him this much praise, just imagine how much they’ll respect him when he kills a couple hundred—or a couple thousand!
Now that Trump has learned that there is a direct relationship between a president’s body count and how “presidential” the mainstream political press considers him to be, the whole world is fucked.