The overreaction by the mainstream media (MSM) about Michael Wolff’s new book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” was expected. But is there anything revealed from the excerpts of the book that we did not know or could not have inferred? I think not. So here is my take.
The excerpts from Michael Wolff’s book are not surprising at all. What is surprising is that the more visible part of the mainstream media, broadcast news, did not hammer these knowns into the American psyche. Excellent journalists from significant rags like the Washington Post were pleading for coverage and would just get 6-minute segments in the hyperventilating sphere of cable news. They got little coverage on the Sunday Morning network news shows as they attempted to make their weak and shallow coverage of Donald Trump attain an impossible level of unearned gravitas.
So far many in the MSM are exhibiting two distinct reactions.
The first is, ‘not much there as we covered much of it. And by the way, there are a few inaccuracies in the book.’ In those statements, they try to absolve themselves from their dereliction of duty. While it is true that they covered it, their concentration was not on what mattered but on the shallow. They allowed Trump to use them and they used Trump to get an “easy-to-get” audience instead of trying to inform their audience of the potential dangers and work hard to get their attention on real issues that affect us all. Had they done that, they were sure to get secondary coverage form many sites yearning for real news and information.
The second reaction is to treat the book as if it is revealing new information that fundamentally changes our understanding of what is going on in the White House. The fact is, we are well aware of the dysfunction, incompetence, and ignorance that defines the Trump administration. The problem is the attributes that define the Trump administration is taking advantage of on a continuous basis. So, while the new news hyperventilation is Michael Wolff’s book, the competent Republicans in power are using that distraction to decimate the core of America. I covered this in my blog post titled “Trump not smart enough to realize GOP establishment using him.”
The media does need to hyperventilate on a few issues that it just covers in passing. Specifically, Trump campaigned as a populist, and now he is screwing his base, more so than any other demographic. Why not spell it out in terms they can understand. Maybe they could use Robert Reich’s words as a template as we did in the blog post “If Trump voters read Robert Reich’s list of cons on them will they believe?” I think they would.
Many in the activist world are pleading for a press that returns to its primary purposes. Great print journalists are doing great work. Bloggers are working overtime to get their work out to a broader audience. But there is a sect within our culture that still depends on the visible part of the MSM, cable news. Do your job.