While there is no denying that President Donald Trump and the predominately liberal media establishment have a rather combative relationship, it is up for debate whether the blame for the fraught relationship falls on Trump, on the media, or somewhere in between.
Somewhat surprisingly, however, President Trump appeared to accept responsibility on Tuesday for the bad relationship and resultant bad press that he and his administration routinely receive, the Washington Examiner reported.
Trump’s mea culpa
Near the end of what has become a daily press briefing with Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force at the White House on Tuesday, the president was asked about his recent remarks about bipartisanship, particularly in regard to some inaccurate criticism he received from former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump initially deflected the remarks and insisted that his team had been doing a “fantastic job” in dealing with the global pandemic. But then came the unexpected admission of some measure of fault.
“The only thing we haven’t done well is to get good press. We’ve done a fantastic job, but it hasn’t been appreciated,” Trump said, noting that the “press doesn’t like writing about” the good things his administration had accomplished.
“So we’ve done a poor job on press relationships and, you know, I guess, I don’t know who to blame for that,” he continued. “I don’t know, maybe I can blame — maybe I can blame ourselves for that. I will blame ourselves.
“But I think we’ve done a great job,” the president added. “I think we’ve done a poor job, in terms of press relationship.”
Rare praise from CNN
The Examiner noted that Trump’s seemingly rare admission of fault — at least in terms of his constant battles with the media — earned him some equally rare praise from CNN, as network correspondent/host Dana Bash cited the president’s calm-yet-serious tone as being exactly what the nation needed from a leader during the ongoing public health crisis.
He probably shouldn’t get accustomed to receiving such praise from CNN or any other major media outlet, however, at least according to the Media Research Center’s founder and president Brent Bozell.
“During a time of national crisis, the American people, along with the national media, tend to rally around the president. There’s no better example than 9/11 and George W. Bush,” Bozell told the Examiner. “This will never be the case with the national media and President Trump. While the ‘hard news’ reporting has been far more serious than usual, it’s also included the usual misreporting and gratuitous head slaps aimed at the president. But that’s ‘breaking news.’
“Once they get to the analytical phase, deciding winners and losers, the floodgates will open,” Bozell added. “Just as they blamed Reagan for AIDS, and Bush for Katrina, they will blame Trump for the terrible damage of the Wuhan coronavirus, both in terms of the economy and loss of life. Just watch.”
Unfortunately, Bozell is almost certainly right, and while this moment of nonpartisanship was nice, it must be noted that it was fleeting. There should be little doubt in anyone’s mind that the no-holds-barred fight between bitter enemies — in an election year, no less — will resume within the next day or two, if it hasn’t already.