The Press Stays Calm
I want to congratulate the press—or at least the small (mostly NYTimes) portion that I read—for giving a fair shake to President Trump without criticism or sarcasm. Maybe that’s what it takes to stay in business, but it is something of an achievement to remain calm and “objective” in a piece like this “Trump Says He Has Signed More Bills Than Any President, Ever. He Hasn’t.”* This is a long and respectful article that shows that the President of the United States—Our president—is ignorant about the history that he cites, brags about accomplishments that he didn’t accomplish, and just plain lies.
Why am I congratulating the press—specifically the NYTimes for producing an article such as this? Because the authors (Michael D. Shear and Karen Yourish) and their editors have resisted the temptation, surely great, to be sarcastic, censorious, hectoring, or in other ways grandstanding. Neither they nor I have experienced a president about whom such a report could (truthfully) be written.
But they are right to make their report straight. Those of us who are appalled by the president we have acquired don’t need journalists to express any, not to say vehement, feelings in their reporting. Those others—and there are many, since under prevailing rules, Trump was fairly elected, would only be annoyed if the likes of the Times were in such a way implicitly censoring them for having done what they did. That’s what editorials and “commentaries” are for, not news reports. I do think, to repeat, that such virtuous journalists should be given credit for sticking to the facts, in the face of temptations to express their own opinions.