Editorial: Trump And The Media

Editorial By Monsignor William J. Linder
President Donald Trump is back at his old antics.
Roughly after a month on the job, the President held a campaign-style rally because he said he wanted to speak directly to the people with his unfiltered message. Two days earlier, President Trump held a press conference at the White House where he stood up and painted the American news media as being “out of control.”
Let’s be clear on this point. The news media is the one that’s acting “out of control”?
During the campaign, then candidate Trump spouted off incendiary comments and sparred with the media, which were two guaranteed ways to garner lots of coverage. Remember, for this former reality television show host, any coverage is good coverage.
That is except if you’re talking about damaging internal leaks.
President Trump railed against the intelligence community for leaking information that ultimately caused Gen. Michael Flynn to get the boot as national security advisor, and similarly harangued the news media for reporting on the details released.
High level leaks are a gravely serious issue and should be dealt with. Even more so is the fact that the president appears to be at war with his own government’s intelligence-gathering agencies by labeling their actions as criminal and illegal. But I am also disturbed by the fact that President Trump sat for two weeks on information that raised concerns of whether Flynn had in fact lied. Action forcing Flynn to resign only came after the leaks became public knowledge and were reported by the media.
President Trump certainly threw Vice President Pence out in the cold, when Pence had to read for himself in news reports that Flynn had misled him regarding communications with Russia’s ambassador.
The firing of Flynn and the intelligence leaks that prompted his sudden departure further highlight a disturbing theme that has become deeply woven into the Trump administration’s narrative: its relationship with Russia.
And that’s the rub. The sound and fury generated by the Trump administration thus far, by rabidly attacking media outlets, has only served as a distraction from much more serious issues at hand.
What Flynn said to the Russian ambassador is still under investigation by the House Intelligence Committee.

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