The President-elect’s first press conference since winning the election was disgraceful. It took a time-honored and respectable tradition, and turned it into the worst kind of reality TV.
This is not normal.
But here’s the thing: Those who were expecting a reasoned tone and approach from the President-elect shouldn’t have.
The President-elect is a 70 year-old demagogue and serial abuser. He tramples the emotions and values of others for his own personal gain and validation. He’s been doing this for decades, and his selfish approach to the world around him has only been magnified since he began his most recent campaign for the Presidency.
The real problem in the case of this press conference was the press pool. When the President-elect singled out CNN’s Jim Acosta, the pool response should have been to support the embattled reporter by withholding their questions until Mr. Acosta was treated with the respect he earned and deserves; it should not have been as it was, which was to satisfy their own egos and competitive tendencies.
Indeed, the press covering the soon-to-be President should take a page from the Russian media’s playbook; they’ve had to adapt, over the past 12 years, the manner in which they cover an egomaniac and authoritarian.
Make no mistake: The President-elect of the United States needs the media more than the media needs him. He feeds on a steady stream of it. He twists and contorts it to suit his own purposes. He uses it to obfuscate his failing comprehension of the issues facing the United States and the world, and to camouflage his many intellectual shortcomings and ethical lapses.
To restrict the media tap will force the President-elect and his cabinet to focus, as best they can given their many limitations, on the problems and opportunities facing our country.
Restricting the President-elect’s ability to manipulate the media will also give citizens of the United States, and the rest of the world who are watching from the sidelines, some much-needed peace and quiet.
Today is Tuesday, January the 17th, 2017.