Watching the latest presidental press conference was something else. It’s easy to become anxious when one wonders – “How can anyone think this is an appropriate way for a president to behave? There are so many possible responses to this kind of bullying – What’ good is that some of them were actually used.
When the BBC reporter was disparaged – he simply continued with his question. The body language spoke volumes in saying – “I’m differentiating myself from you. Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me”. Good
This response apparently gets to a president who thinks he has to discredit the media even more loudly on Twitter since then. Messages are being tweeted, then deleted, then reappearing even with an even more shrill tone. Somebody on the other side of the Tweets is getting anxious. Good.
When the mainstream press is seen as the opposition – carry on. The print media did not run headlines of rant and roar the next day. PBS was smart enough to let the president be seen by a wider audience, including me, that did not watch the original news conference – and make no comment whatever. This is apparently getting to the administration home team, who are starting to send surveys to the base to reassure themselves that the base is still with them. There is more anxiety on the other side of this double bind. Good.
“The public doesn’t believe you people anymore,” Mr. Trump added. “Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don’t know. But they don’t believe you.” When you pay attention to some people not believing – as well as taking the credit for it – without acknowledging the difference between some and all in the use of the public – some now pay attention in a way that might not be anticipated. Good.
When the president insults reporters showing his racial and religious bias – people that may have been paying too little attention wake up – Good.
The Twittter-in-Chief is a superb manipulator – playing a tough guy on TV with absolute authority probably is the best possible apprenticeship for honing those skills. He’s back on TV and enjoying saying “You’re fired”. But this isn’t the show – and it does go on.
My fantasy is that after one totally disparaging comment, the entire press corp – Red, Blue, any race, any gender or transgender, elite or non-elite – simply wakes up in the middle of the press conference and says unanimously “We’re done” and walks out, leaving a speaker behind the podium ranting and raving to himself – Now that would be Good!