Why President Trump's war on the media is a failure

Author: 

[Commentary] Is President Donald Trump losing his war on the media? There’s the conservative information bubble. President Trump wants his people to retreat further inside of it, so they’ll never hear a discouraging word about him and his greatness. So how is that working out for him? Is it keeping his approval ratings from being the lowest of any president in history at this point in his term? Does it enable him to win arguments over things like whether he referred to “shithole” countries? Is it keeping Democrats from winning one stunning victory after another in off-year and special elections? Is it going to stave off the anti-Trump wave election in November that even some Republicans now believe they can do nothing to stop? No one is more firmly ensconced inside that bubble than the president himself. Despite having the collective resources of the US government at his disposal, he prefers to learn what’s going on in the world from a daily three-hour immersion in the carnival of numbskullery that is “Fox & Friends.” But does this help President Trump in any way? Does it allow him to make smart policy decisions or point him toward clever political strategies? He may watch for the unceasing ego massage the trio of nitwit hosts reliably deliver to him, but it can’t help but make him dumber every time he tunes in. To be clear, I’m not saying that there aren’t many problems with the way the mainstream media have covered the Trump presidency, nor that having a supportive conservative media behind him doesn’t help him keep Republicans in line. But Trump’s war on the media is, on the whole, a failure. Given how enraged he gets whenever he sees even a bit of criticism in print or on TV, I suspect he knows it.

[Paul Waldman is a senior writer at The American Prospect]


Why President Trump's war on the media is a failure