A Donald Trump press conference is like two old codgers arguing about who’s prostate troubles are more unbearable.
Trump and the media both think they have it worse. Trump complains then afterward the media takes exception to his complaints. They somehow still act genuinely surprised when Trump behaves like Trump and they still seem genuinely offended when Trump criticizes them.
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) February 16, 2017
Jake Tapper on CNN normally seems to be a very grounded person even but his analysis of todays’ presser was unnecessarily hyperbolic.
“If you are a soldier in harm’s way right now. If you are a hungry chid in Appalachia or the inner city. If you are an unemployed worker in the hollow shell of a steel town, that’s not a president who seemed rather focused on your particular needs and wants. That’s a President focused on his bad press. It was unhinged. It was wild. And I can’t believe there are Republicans on Capitol Hill who don’t understand…that might play well with the 44% of the population who voted for the President but a lot of Americans are going to watch that press conference and think ‘That guy is not focused on me. I don’t even know what he’s focused on.”
In terms of Trump, I think calling the presser “unhinged” or “wild” seems excessively melodramatic. Trump was rambling and often incoherent but we all know he can get unhinged and wild. This wasn’t it. Calling this one unhinged and wild leaves you nowhere to go when he really gets crazy. This was just a normal everyday stream of Trump consciousness.
The three hypothetical people in Tapper’s pontifications probably weren’t even aware that there was a press conference, and on the off chance that they actually paid attention to it they probably weren’t expecting a comprehensive explanation of how the President is going to fix all their individual problems. Tapper is putting a ton of baggage on the shoulders of a minor press conference to announce a Labor Secretary pick.
I think Tapper’s response is colored by hurt feelings that the President doesn’t respect his profession or his employer. He did make one somewhat valid point. The presser was a lot like Festivus.
Both sides of this fight are utterly ridiculous at this point. Journalists aren’t going to win any sympathy from the public and Trump isn’t going to get any more positive coverage from complaining.