If there is one thing we know for certain about the American press corps' interaction with President Donald Trump, it is that they presuppose him an unserious and very vain dolt. If anyone grabs too much of the spotlight or utters anything disloyal, the president throws them out the door.
That is what so much of the press believes. In fact, I suspect some of you readers believe it, too. Certainly, some in the White House believe it. They have tried to exploit it by circulating rumors about various people riding too high in the saddle. The press has tried to drum up divisions between the president and vice president in this way.
How many stories have we read about the vice president overshadowing the president, operating as a shadow president, etc.? These were not true, but they were circulated like a soap opera to try to spark division in Washington.
The press fundamentally believes the president will fire people who are more likable than him, overshadow him or make him look bad by outperforming him. So, I have to wonder if a portion of the press corps is trying to get a lot of Americans killed right now.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has loyally served presidents of the United States going back to Ronald Reagan. In 2008, due to his loyal service to the nation, President George W. Bush awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Fauci is the most prominent voice in the administration now and its foremost presence on national television. But in the past several days, various media outlets have started pushing stories about Fauci undermining the president. Various reporters on Twitter have grabbed screenshots of Fauci at White House press briefings where he appears to be rolling his eyes or shaking his head when the president speaks. The full film shows he was not doing either.
There have been stories where the media plays up what appears to be Fauci disagreeing with the president or being critical of the president, but these have been taken out of context, too.
Given the media's presuppositions about the president, it is reasonable to conclude some journalists are trying to get Fauci fired. Why would they do that? Is this not a crisis where they want the best men and women in charge?
The reason is that the media is addicted to drama. They feed off the storm of clashing personalities for ratings. In the past two weeks, there has been no drama, and the president's approval ratings for handling the crisis have gone up. Both Gallup and ABC News have polling showing as much. The drama of the virus should be enough, but the media now is addicted to the soap opera narrative.
When not trying to break up the marriage of George and Kellyanne Conway, the Washington press corps seems to be picking other targets and trying to get the president firing in that direction. Right now, it is Fauci the press is after, and they are after him selfishly. As long as Trump is relying on Fauci, the president looks presidential. That is too much for the media. Fauci must go, but so, too, must the presidential press briefings on the virus.
These briefings have been going on for two weeks. The president has not changed. He uses copious adjectives and adverbs to sell his plan and what others are doing. He battles the media. He answers questions. Others answer questions as well, including the relevant medical experts advising the president.
In two weeks, the only thing that has changed is the president's approval rating. ABC, CBS and Gallup all have his approval rating for handling the virus at over 50 percent. The American public has tuned in to the press conferences. Naturally and predictably, the press corps has decided this is too much. Fauci is too good, and the press conferences are too helpful. They have given calm and reduced drama. That must end.