Frankly, given that any document bearing Trump's signature is suspect on its face, his failure to sign the new report might actually be a very good thing. It will get a lot more attention without his outsize paw-print obliterating the fine print. It'll be a lot like the lists of condemned books and films that the Catholic Church used to display in the vestibules. Before even hitting the holy water font, we'd make a beeline for the latest report. We were that eager to learn what was forbidden us, and then we'd promptly perform our own extended searches in the public library and in newspaper movie listings to gobble up all the forbidden fruit we would not otherwise have known about.
So what is it that Trump allegedly doesn't want us to see? Get out of our way!
Since the media apparently has forgotten how to cover any story without inserting a Donald Trump angle into it somewhere, anywhere, they are nevertheless persisting in doing him the honor of making everything all about him.
"Scientists Fear That Trump Will Dismiss Climate Change Report" blares the Times and most other news agencies today. Therefore, fear not the premature dying of yourselves, your children and the planet. Worry instead that Trump is so magical that his mighty Tweets will a) speed up the process; and b) convince everybody that they are not sweating more than usual during this Summer of Hell.
Who knew that such a doofus could be so powerful as to actually control our thoughts? Methinks the mainstream media doth protest too much, especially seeing as how the actual report has successfully eluded Trump's slimy grasp. So much for the totalitarian suppression of facts under this fascistic regime, which has thus far proven itself mighty inept in the barn door-closing department.
The media is really having a hard time of it now that Trump is vacationing so far away in exotic New Jersey. They're so used to being the supporting actors in his show that performing their anti-Trump soliloquies minus the comforting backdrop of the press briefing room is jarring. They're scrambling to insert Trump into stories which have nothing much to do with him or for that matter, with us. They assume that the American public is as addicted to Trump trivia and drama as they are.
Due to the lack of any real news emanating from Trump's golf club during these dog days of summer, the Times was even impelled to publish a piece in which four - four! - of its critics "weigh in" with snarky suggestions on what he should watch on TV during the next couple of weeks. (Hint: one of the shows centers around the obsessive-compulsive disorder of its protagonist. Pot/kettle much?)
The newspaper has also started publishing a regular feature curating all the late-night show jokes about the Trump show. I read in today's Times that last night one of the hosts quipped about Trump making a peace deal with some golf course gophers. I'm too lazy to go looking for the links link myself, so Google it if you must.
Times columnist David Brooks is so obsessed by Trump that he devoted a full column to how obsessed he is by Trump. At least it's funnier than the gopher story. An excerpt:
Now a lot of people are clearly still addicted to Trump. My Twitter feed is all him. Some people treat the Trump White House as the “Breaking Bad” serial drama they’ve been binge watching for six months. For some of us, Trump-bashing has become educated-class meth. We derive endless satisfaction from feeling morally superior to him — and as Leon Wieseltier put it, affirmation is the new sex.According to a recent Harvard study (which somehow has also mysteriously escaped the all-powerful Trumpian clutches), the mainstream media devotes almost half of all its space and air time to Trump.
The report portrays a media that was initially solicitous to Trump, later more critical and, now, distinctly combative. And, all along, he was fascinating and clearly a positive influence on ratings and circulation, especially on the digital side of elite newspapers.Trump is so ridiculously easy to cover. All that reporters need to do is set their alarms to beat the competition to the early morning Tweets. Barring that, they can regularly stick their microphones right into his obliging face when they're not passively lapping up all the creamy leaks gushing from anonymous sources both within and without his administration. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the leaks were coming from The Donald himself. He has, after all, been known to impersonate his own publicists.
"Our studies of 2016 presidential election coverage found that Trump received more news coverage than rival candidates during virtually every week of the campaign. The reason is clear enough. Trump is a journalist’s dream."
"Reporters are tuned to what’s new and different, better yet if it’s laced with controversy. Trump delivers that type of material by the shovel full. Trump is also good for business. News ratings were slumping until Trump entered the arena. Said one network executive, '[Trump] may not be good for America, but [he’s] damn good for [us].'"
The report serves as a window, too, onto the mentality of journalists — in ways that might ruffle Fox News and other exemplars of conservative conventional wisdom in portraying the "mainstream" press as driven by liberal bias.
"Although journalists are accused of having a liberal bias, their real bias is a preference for the negative."
If Trump is impeached, indicted or resigns, the media will be deprived of the best drug it ever took and the best drug it ever dealt. The crash and burn will be epic, especially when we all wake up to the early morning mug of the oh-so-sober and oh-so-dangerous Mike Pence.