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The Media Discuss What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump at the Political Forums; What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump - POLITICO Magazine There was lots of hand-wringing after the election about ...

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Old 04-28-2017, 10:30 AM
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Default What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump

What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump - POLITICO Magazine

There was lots of hand-wringing after the election about how the media had messed up. Were we too quick to believe the polls? Did we have any idea what real Americans actually thought? Did we give Donald Trump too much attention—or not enough? Now that journalists have spent a few months covering President Trump, we asked a range of media critics, political operatives, historians and more: What does the press still get wrong about Trump, and what do we just not get at all?
I particularly like number 4

4. ‘Trump is crazy’ has become a cliché.
John McWhorter, associate professor of linguistics at Columbia University and author of Words on the Move: Why English Won’t—and Can’t—Sit Still (Like, Literally)

The cherished idea that Trump is mentally unstable, endlessly massaged by media writers, is weak. Too many of us have known people much like him in his boyish, defensive, unfocused and breezily incurious essence; it is almost weird that we are pretending that it is a sign of pathology that someone has a hard time admitting he’s wrong. Trump is simply a profoundly mediocre person tragically unfit for the presidency. What’s “crazy” is that he wound up there.

Social media’s eclipse of the smoke-filled room accounts for that much more gracefully than an alarum painting Trump as fit for psychoanalysis and medication. Is this idea of Trump as madman possibly a variation on the too-typical disparagement of the modestly educated whites “out there” who voted for Trump? Now that the general call in the media is to hold off on tarring them as racist troglodytes and sexists, it seems that a new way of punishing them is to say that they were so dumb they elected an obvious lunatic to the presidency because he said he would get their jobs back. But what if he is less loony than just a jerk? Plenty of presidents have been jerks, and possibly most of them.

Neither the media nor the “out there” people deserve anything called blame for Trump’s election. Social history is not only nasty but complex. Pointing fingers, however, isn’t.
Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.

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