Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer laughs as he participates in “The President and the Press: The First Amendment in the First 100 Days” forum, at the Newseum in Washington, Wednesday, April 12, 2017, during . (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

 

Tomorrow, some 200 newspapers are going to run editorials TOTALLY CONDEMNING President Trump’s treating the national media much like a rented mule.

Participating dailies include the Houston Chronicle, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Miami Herald and the Denver Post, as well as the Globe. Joining the movement are the American Society of News Editors and the New England Newspaper and Press Association. Dan Rather is on board, as is the Radio Television Digital News Association.

“Our words will differ. But at least we can agree that such attacks are alarming,” Pritchard’s appeal declared.

This is just the kind of mutual masturbation that we’ve come to expect and adore about the press. At no point are they going to own up to the thinly and poorly sourced stories that they have run on Trump and his family and his administration. They aren’t going to take responsibility for total lies peddled to discredit Trump and the men and women who serve in senior positions in his cabinet (for example). They aren’t going to agree to bullwhip Jim Acosta from the White House briefing room. They aren’t going to concede that having Dan Rather join this project makes it somewhat farcical. And it isn’t going to change any minds. If you really believe the media is trying to get the story straight, you and your leprechaun can sip your lattes while you nod your head. If you believe, like a majority of the country, that the press is inherently dishonest and biased against the administration, then you’re going to ignore it. (I probably won’t because CNN’s contribution is bound to offer up some comedy gold.)

This was Bush43 press secretary Ari Fleischer’s take on it.

The most noxious of the blue-check-mark media brigade rose to the bait protesting way, way, way too hard:

Nice try, Tater.

[h/t to our sister site, Twitchy, for doing the hard work of finding great tweets]

So all these papers getting together and deciding to run essentially the same editorial anti-Trump hogwash is not propaganda? But having your employees stay on a pro-administration message is? And, as Jack Shafer says in Politico, this collusion by the major media actually undercuts their own message in a way the White House will surely notice:

Most journalists agree that there’s a great need for Trump rebuttals. I’ve written my share. But this Globe-sponsored coordinated editorial response is sure to backfire: It will provide Trump with circumstantial evidence of the existence of a national press cabal that has been convened solely to oppose him. When the editorials roll off the press on Thursday, all singing from the same script, Trump will reap enough fresh material to whale [editor’s note: this is a major pet peeve of mine. The word is “wale” not “whale” or “wail”] on the media for at least a month. His forthcoming speeches almost write themselves: By colluding against me, the fake media proved once and for all, that they are in cahoots with the Democrats and have declared themselves to be my true political opposition …

In the end, this is a meaningless and ultimately self-defeating exercise that will do nothing to change either opinions or Trump’s behavior. But if it gives the media a few moments of ecstasy, it is probably worth it.

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