Decency and Humor in the Age of Trump

This weekend, Michelle Wolf skewered the Trump Administration at the White House Correspondent’s dinner, especially Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She also roasted the media for practicing “access journalism.” Media types like Mika Brzezinski and Andrea Mitchell have criticized them. Sean Spicer and Donald Trump howled their disapproval too. They are wrong. Michelle Wolf, I cautiously say, was right.

I’m not for trashing the President or White House just for the fun of it. I have evolved a bit from the angry days of early 2017 on this- I don’t think calling Donald Trump names, for instance, is a good representation of one’s anger. I hate his policies, I think he’s generally a bad man, but I think we still have to treat the Presidency as something prestigious and decent, when possible, if for no other reason than to protect it for his successors.

I’m still fine with what Michelle Wolf said though- it was all true. The media did give this monster hundreds of millions of dollars of free media in the 2016 Election, allowing this to happen. MSNBC showed his rallies in full sometimes, then talked about them for hours afterwards. Mika and the Morning Joe team had Trump on the show almost every week during the election. Andrea Mitchell and others continuously treated Hillary’s e-mail “scandal” as real, despite her being cleared several times. They created this monster. They have to own it.

They haven’t really been better with him in the White House either. They continue to cover Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Sean Spicer before her, even though they outright lie about things as petty as crowd sizes. Kellyanne Conway talks about using “alternative facts.” The President denies meetings he was in, and denies deep relationships with people in his orbit when convenient. The President changes stories on his many scandals from week to week. He even tried to claim he fired James Comey over his treatment of Hillary Clinton, as he continues to call for Hillary to be jailed. Nothing this Administration says should be treated as fact, none of his aides should enjoy credibility with the press. This includes his Chief-of-Staff, who has accused Democratic Congresswomen of lying when the facts say otherwise.

What I’m saying is Michelle wasn’t too harsh on Sarah Huckabee Sanders for skewering her ethics- she was too nice. She wasn’t too harsh on the President- she was too fair. She wasn’t too harsh on the media either- she nailed her critique perfectly.

My advice for the media is to quit the “respectability politics.” This was a comedy show, and a good one at that. The people on the other side- Trump, his staff, and his supporters- don’t respect the free press, they hate the reporters, and they don’t care about an informed populace. They don’t want it to continue to exist. They lie to you- you the reporters- every day. The best way to know if Sarah Huckabee Sanders is lying is to check if she’s talking. Yes media, they are not your friends- and they never will be.

Trump’s desired America is an America where a compliant press prints what he tells them to. He has largely received that (see above on his coverage). Since he’s not getting it all his way, he lashes out at the media. They seem to think they can appease him. They should take a note from Michelle Wolf, and realize they cannot. Stop trying, just for the sake of access to more lies- we already went through this in the Iraq War. They’re going to call the media, “the media elites”- embrace it and roast these frauds with the truth.

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