In high dudgeon, the “Morning Joe” gang this a.m. pouted all the way to their first commercial break. Joe Scarborough, red with indignation while sporting a lovely sweater, issued a dire warning to the Trump administration: fire the aides who didn’t “save him” from his “worst instincts” or your presidency is over. He might have been scolding an obstinate child whom he nevertheless adores, which is not too far from the truth. Jack Shafer sees Saturday’s performance as, to use empowerment jargon, an opportunity:
Boycotts and bans may fill a journalists’ heart with vengeance, or at least keep it from being bruised. But their maker designed reporters to be resilient, to take disparagement, derision, scorn, and sneering from lying government officials in stride. And for good reason. To quote from Jon Ronson once again, “It’s good for journalists to feel demeaned. It means we’re onto a story.” Rather than treat the Spicer, Trump, Conway ingenuities as an excuse to pout and leave the field, the experienced members of the press will be propelled by the weekend to pick up their mobiles and notebooks and go maximum Fahrenthold on the administration.
“Going maximum Fahrenthold” requires budgets, with which most news organizations struggling. Besides, as Kellyanne Conway clarified, the administration has drawn the lines: it has defined its own reality, inhabited by Trump and his share of the popular vote. All the maximum Fahrenthold articles in the United States won’t dent him. As of this morning, the president hasn’t actually divested himself of any of his business connections, has not released his tax returns (Conway says no one cares), and has not created that much vaunted blind trust.