February 17th, 2017

Trump’s presser: beauty in the eye of the beholder

I don’t usually listen to these things (I’m not an auditory person, as I’ve said before). However, late last night I watched most of Trump’s presser, and I must say it was entertaining.

But Trump has often been entertaining. It is one of his most salient characteristics. In this case he was entertaining at the expense of the press, and if members of the MSM were hopping mad at him before (and they were), now they are shrieking mad at him. And outraged.

For example, Chuck Todd: “This not a laughing matter. I’m sorry, delegitimizing the press is unAmerican.”

Ah, but attempting to delegitimize a president—now, that’s a wonderful thing.

Todd and many others don’t understand why to so many Americans it is a laughing matter at this point. Freedom of the press is sacred. But the press has become a monster, grown very used to “speaking truth to power” without much truth as long as that “power” they’re addressing is on the right, and to protecting power when it’s on the left.

The American people aren’t dumb, any more than Donald Trump is dumb. But the MSM has underestimated both.

The MSM has also become very used to wrapping itself in a cloak of “freedom of the press” sanctity. The press is actually still very free—and we (and presidents, too) are free to judge it on its merits. America has found the press very very wanting. America believes that the press has delegitimized itself.

At that Trump presser, the press didn’t know what hit them. That’s not surprising; they’ve always been a bit slow on the uptake about Trump, although at this point they should have caught on some time ago. They expected to encounter a fallen, broken man, and to administer a few more well-placed blows to his solar plexus. Didn’t happen.

I’ll send them a little message, except I don’t think many of them read me, but here it is: Trump isn’t dumb. He’s pretty canny, and he knows how to mock people, in case you hadn’t noticed. Like him or hate him, he’s a good comedian as well, and at least half the country already likes and trusts him. That’s more people than like and trust you, and that fact is not because of anything Trump has said about you, it’s about your behavior for several decades and beyond. And the more sanctimonious you act about yourselves, the more you will be hated.

What did I think of the press conference, besides the fact that it was entertaining? I thought that, between the insults and the jokes, on the substantive issues Trump was fairly articulate and he didn’t seem at all unhinged, although sometimes he exaggerated (this is Trump, after all). He seemed shrewd and aggressive, but totally in control of his faculties and not crazy in the least.

He also made some good points, which as far as I can see the liberal press is ignoring in all its outraged victimhood—for example, that Hillary might have reported it when she was given debate questions ahead of time, but she didn’t. Another good point was that all the brouhaha about Russia, which Trump considers “fake news,” could have the consequence of making any sort of actual rapprochement with Russia more difficult.

And as with most things Trump, his supporters will love this presser and his opponents will hate it.

[ADDENDUM: Oh, and right on cue, we have some seemingly fake news from the AP.]

29 Responses to “Trump’s presser: beauty in the eye of the beholder”

  1. Susanamantha Says:

    I subscribed to Time Magazine from the time I was 19 until I was 40 when I cancelled it in anger after something that was reported in it that I took issue with. It doesn’t matter what it was. It was during the Reagan administration. I watched CNN during the early 90’s and grew cynical about what I was seeing and hearing there. Thank goodness Fox News began broadcasting (not the correct work since it arrives via cable) and I was able to see that there were many others who agreed with me about politics and world affairs. If not for Fox, I would have just divorced myself from all political and governmental concerns. Maybe that would have been the best for me. It sure has been a bumpy ride.

  2. A_Nonny_Mouse Says:

    The poor, poor, beleaguered MSM is sure clutching its grievances tightly to its bosom, isn’t it?

    I can’t do video on my decrepit PC, but I saw a couple of snippets of the press conference on my local TV “Nightly Propaganda-Fest” last night. Then I read the transcript. And laughed.

    You just HAVE to laugh at these ‘media professionals’, right? Blindsided by Trump’s accusations that they are “unfair” or biased or one-sided. OOOOOZING butt-hurt and indignation.

    Apparently their reading of the First Amendment is that they are GUARANTEED obeisance-and-respect, along with the “freedom to publish” any #FakeNews they think will maintain Their Precious Progressive Narrative.

    Heck, I’m still laughing.

  3. T Says:

    As for the press, over at Instapundit Stephen Green posted a Tweet by one “Cuffy” (@CuffyMeh) which bears repeating:

    Journalism 2008-2016: He totally used a selfie stick while doing NCAA brackets SQUEE!

    Journalism 2017: We are your Last Sentinel, citizens.

    It’s not just journalists’ exaggerated sense of self-importance, it’s that they, just as most government officials, live in a bubble of their own making. For example, over at HotAir John Sexton comments on the Senate approval of Scott Pruitt and the resistance from within the EPA itself which “if Mr. Pruitt is confirmed, they intend to amplify their resistance to him, taking their case to the American public.”

    “Taking their case to the American public.” Think about that for a minute. They will take their case of regulating light bulbs, toilets, thermostats, puddles, drainage ditches, etc. to an American public which has already voted to repudiated the regulation of lightbulbs, thermostats, drainage ditches, etc.. Those naval-gazers, the MSM included, have not a single clue.

  4. Brian E Says:

    Your assessment was spot on. Informing and entertaining. I just couldn’t turn it off. It appeared to me, the reporters that asked policy question got answers, those that asked “gotcha” questions got skewered.

    The liberals on Facebook are all aghast at Trump’s “meltdown”. I’m beginning to think there really is something about the brain chemistry that causes liberalism that is organic. It’s as if we’re watching two realities.

    My liberal nieces keep describing themselves as afraid. Sometimes it seems so out of context– is this virtue signaling?

    An example:

    The conversation was about potential labor shortages. if we really implement a large scale deportation without a guest worker program (this is a real issue in the agriculture sector– fruit and vegetables) and my niece responded while we were discussing the limitations of the H2A and B programs.

    “I am scared! We all should be. POTUS doesn’t understand how it all works.”

    She’s a teacher. At first I thought the hysteria was sincere, but is it just a technnique? It’s strange.

  5. Bilwick Says:

    I’m enjoying Trump for the on-going Moonbat Meltdown, and on the basis of “the Enemy of my Enemy,” etc., etc. As a former New Yorker, I am also enjoying his very New York-y “punch back twice as hard” approach to dealing with the “liberal” Hive. The Hive got used to Republicans rolling over and playing dead, and now Trump is spoiling their fun. And to the Hive, may I say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOifa1WrOnQ

  6. Lizzy Says:

    It was entertaining to see Trump treat the press with the same contempt they’ve been treating not only him, but us, the non-progressive hicks in red states, “clinging to our guns and bibles.”

    One can put up with a lot of Trump’s flaws when he is willing to fight back and force the press to cover what they’ve been intentionally ignoring, such as Hillary’s pay-to-play uranium deal and that stupid red button.

  7. Montage Says:

    Trump, actually, should be thanking the press and the media. They helped him tremendously during the campaign by covering him MORE time than any candidate. He would say crazy, outrageous stuff that most politicians never say [right or wrong] and they would cover it wall to wall. Trump took all the oxygen out of the room during the campaign. In some ways the issues didn’t ever matter because it was all about personality. He was the tough guy, the truth teller, the big brother the Republicans always wanted in their corner.

    But Trump knows the game. He knows how to get the media’s attention. And now, ironically, he whines about them being fake news and such. Ironic because he provides them plenty of fake news and he continues to do so. Or what are now called ‘alternative facts’.

    But the relationship between Trump and the media is a symbiotic one. CNN and MSNBC viewers tune in to see what ‘crazy, stupid’ thing Trump said. FOX viewers they tune in to see what ‘masterful, anti-establishment’ thing Trump said. The same applies to newspapers and blogs where most readers fall into left or right and rarely center. Everything is biased and corrosive. But we love it. There is love for everyone. Everyone wins… and loses. Either way, Trump needs to thank the press and they need to thank him.

  8. Griffin Says:

    ‘At first I thought the hysteria was sincere’

    Brian E, I think that in most cases in the media it is almost a total act. They disagree with the policies and they think that the best way to stop them is all the histrionics. All the precious darlings on Facebook and other social media is a tougher call. Some of them that I have come across are so immature and childlike it makes me think that they really are afraid. A couple of relatives of mine that have gone all hysterical on Facebook seem to come back into reality when calmly pressed but they may be in the minority.

  9. KLSmith Says:

    I question whether, “….half the country already likes and trusts him.”
    He got 46% of the vote, some of which were reluctant voters that didn’t like or trust either candidate. And most presidents get less popular, not more.

  10. physicsguy Says:

    Well, maybe a few of them get why we all hate them:


  11. Big Maq Says:

    “Entertaining” like WWF is “entertaining”.

    That is, if one is into that kind of thing.

    I don’t think this kind of presser moves the ball forward whatsoever.

    Yet, that ought to be the goal.

    As said elsewhere…

    “The media is already at historically low levels of public trust. And their hyperbolic reactions don’t help them.

    Given this, pointing at the msm accusingly doesn’t even serve as a reminder, but highlights trump’s own unctuousness.”

    If trump would walk his talk, he’d have credibility and support behind the points he made wrt to the msm.

    His behavior so far, as is, makes it seem like two kids in the school yard taunting and talking about how bad the other is.

    Red team will see this as “entertaining” and happy the msm were taken down a notch.

    Blue team will see the msm as valiant defenders of the “truth”.

    Few here will see that both sides look bad, nor that there may be some legitimate questions the media asked.

    Makes me wonder, really, what is it that trump DOESN’T want the media focused on, that he gave this tasty bit of newsworthiness out? After all, this has been his MO.

    Funny thing (not ha, ha), I recall some here confidently declaring that those of us who were skeptical of trump needn’t be, because the msm’s bias will hold trump from being his most potentially dangerous.

    If they really thought so, seems to me, this all should be a good thing.

    I didn’t happen to think so, and I suspect, after the fact, many of those who argued this now don’t think so either.

  12. Liz Says:

    For the record – it looks like I am the first to offer a comment. Is the internet issue surfacing again? Just letting Neo know….

    One moment that I enjoyed was President Trump responding to a question on what plans he has concerning Russia. The response was perfect – we heard that we will attack Mosul in 4 months, then 3 months then a month and then next week. That is so true – why would we broadcast our plans?

    People complained that he would say that he will do something, but not give a plan. This is why – you don’t broadcast your plan.

    I also like that Trump is calling his meetings “listening sessions”. The Ds, in comparison, were asking how they could better “talk to” the voters.

    Big difference – “listening” and “talking to”.

  13. Liz Says:

    ok – I’m the 12th/13th comment. I guess I need to refresh even though it was the first time today at this site.

  14. Griffin Says:


    I seem to have that issue when viewing this site on my iPad. It will say there are, say, 8 comments then I click on the comments and there will be 17 or something. Happens on every post as best I can tell. With my laptop it always shows correct numbers.

  15. Liz Says:

    An observation on the Nat’l Guard issue. My first reaction was it was fake and then it was a trap to catch a leaker. I’ve seen a reference to 100,000 and 10,000 and 40,000 troops. So, something may be going on. And when the draft is finally disclosed, there is no mention of a number – just talking about contacting states to see if they wanted to help. Big difference.

    Remember that President Trump talked about not discussing a visit with any of his personal staff. But, after the visit, information came out.

  16. Mark30339 Says:

    Good points Neo. Yesterday might have been an exceptionally poor selection for announcing a no Trump comment day. Trump’s presser played very well for him and much of it is welcomed by those of us who see the dominant media as slanted political advocates who intentionally disregard traditional concepts of thoroughness, accuracy and integrity.

  17. Ray Says:

    I commented previously that the leftists were outraged by the Trump win and there wouldn’t be any honeymoon. The media would be after him like a hungry wolf after a rabbit. However, I thank the media has mistaken a wolverine for a rabbit.

  18. Brian E Says:

    One of the things President Trump is getting beat up over is his “lies”.

    I thought I noticed a more careful approach to making generalizations by using qualifiers such as I think, etc.

    Sometimes it seemed it was an afterthought, but he is learning to temper his statements, IMO.

  19. Gothamite Says:

    It is about brain chemistry


  20. neo-neocon Says:


    I think you’re right about the symbiotic relationship. Till now.

    Yesterday I think the MSM realized that Trump might be getting the better of them. Might be making them look foolish, more foolish than they are able to make him look. They don’t like that.

  21. Rob De Witt Says:

    Late to the party in every sense – I don’t have a television, and my computer’s been in the shop this week, so I just watched the press conference while simultaneously reading this post and the commentary.

    I’m one who forwent voting for the last 30 years of the last century on the grounds that “It just encourages the bastards.” I registered as a Republican out of sheer contrariness when I found myself living in what The Congressional Record in 2003 termed “The Leftmost County In America.” That said, Donald Trump is making me laugh and sing; watching him play whack-a-mole with the reporter kids is more entertaining than baseball, and I love baseball.

    What they seem incapable of perceiving is that (a) they will never be able to put Trump on the defensive, and (b) he’s not only more adult, he’s smarter than anybody that would default to a media career.

    And by the way, Gothamite, I agree it’s about brain chemistry – but it’s notable that the linked piece only tested lefties, isn’t it? More evidence of the link between liberalism and mental disorders in my opinion.

  22. Gothamite Says:

    Rob De Witt : I noticed that and concluded they couldn’t find a sufficient sample of conservatives within a 100 mile radius of USC’s campus. I also think that if they do test conservatives and the results show more openness, they will find a way to skew the results in their conclusions.

  23. Big Maq Says:

    “Might be making them look foolish, more foolish than they are able to make him look.” – Neo

    It is not all about how “they” are making trump look. A good part of that is in trump’s own hands.

    Nevertheless, there have been comments here and there from some in the msm (such as John Dickerson’s on Hewitt’s show) that indicates a growing realization that responding in kind to every outrage (real or imagined) are not helping themselves.

    All I know is that while there are folks who cheer him on, they ought not confuse that with how the majority probably see it.

    I suggest that trump is not moving the ball forward whatsoever in gaining the support needed to make lasting change.

    Worse, it may prove rather destructive all around.

    Until trump walks his talk, I don’t see that changing, and he looks to be one who won’t change.

    In contrast, the msm will figure out how to respond – they will change – even if it means being more “honest” or “balanced” than they have been. I am starting to see more toned down reporting in the network news (not so much on cable).

  24. neo-neocon » Blog Archive » Trump’s presser: beauty in the eye of the beholder | Head Noises Says:

    […] Source: neo-neocon » Blog Archive » Trump’s presser: beauty in the eye of the beholder […]

  25. Foxfier Says:

    Few here will see that both sides look bad, nor that there may be some legitimate questions the media asked.

    For future reference, this is a golden way to get people to utterly ignore anything else you say as being in bad faith—especially after the original author has already pointed out otherwise.

    All it does is highlight yourself as incredibly biased.

  26. Big Maq Says:

    @Foxfier – I guess you didn’t see the quote being responded to.

    Nor did you seem to get the message that folks on “our” side (what used to all be referred to as “Conservatives” or “the Right”) by being focused on and invested in pointing out the wrongs of only one side, presents its own risk.

    The danger is not all on one side of the aisle nowadays.

    But, you are free to think I am “incredibly biased” for pointing out such.

    I say “guilty” as I am biased towards holding ALL accountable.

    If this were a blog where the majority were leftists, I’d be saying the same thing only pointing out the problems with their narrative, apoplectic behavior, and the very flawed judicial rulings.

    Piling on in these comments section signals “solidarity” and “confirmation”, but not much else.

    Unless we want to have our own little version of a modern college campus, with their “safe spaces”, we need to be considering more than just how bad those “others” are.

  27. T Says:

    “Unless we want to have our own little version of a modern college campus, with their “safe spaces”, we need to be considering more than just how bad those “others” are. [Big Maq @ 11:21]

    True . . . in theory, but self-loathing has been used for years as a facade of objectivity. As the recent Bill Kristol Tweet reveals, #NeverTrump-ers are only its most recent manifestation.

  28. Big Maq Says:

    @T – there IS a difference between self-loathing and holding BOTH sides accountable.

    At this point, I’m not #NeverTrump (as you seem to imply my argument is coming from), but #IWantLastingConservativeSuccess.

    Any good trump may do may / likely be overshadowed by the other shtuff that comes with him.

    If he doesn’t build broad support, don’t expect any good changes to last beyond an election cycle or two.

    He needs to walk his talk, and demonstrate transparency, competence, honesty and integrity.

    Bashing on the msm, while cathartic for many, is a deflective mechanism for trump, and it doesn’t move the ball forward.

    trump needs as much accountability as the msm does, lest it encourages continuation of some of his worst traits. And, it won’t work if it comes from the left.

  29. neo-neocon Says:

    Big Maq:

    By the way, depending on the polls you look at (they differ quite a bit), there are some that indicate that Trump had a rise in approval right after the election compared to his approval ratings for the campaign year, which had been abysmal. In some of the polls, he has basically sustained that increase. I don’t think there are any polls where his approval ratings have gone down to what they were for the most part during the campaign (they were abysmal back then,as I said). So in general I don’t see him as having lost support, and I see him as having built a very modest amount compared to where he was prior to November 2016.

    I wrote a post on a related subject about a month ago. Since then, the polls are over the map.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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