Remember back in those first Republican presidential debates when Donald Trump would seemingly mess with Jeb Bush and Rand Paul just because he thought it was fun?
Right from the start, he was marking his territory like some kind of feral dog. He smelled weakness, and off he went — straight to the White House.
Now that he’s there, don’t expect this old dog to suddenly learn new tricks. Why would he? The old tricks are working. This is a man who invented an alter ego named John Barron just so he could mess with reporters’ minds. Which I know is a pretty low bar, considering how messed up many of those minds already are.
Journalism has been trolling the American public for decades now with its fake news and elitist contempt, but now it has met its match. Trump has seen its malarkey and raised it. And like double-down addicts who always think the next hand of poker will set them free, progressive journalism is almost certainly about to bankrupt itself of whatever shred of integrity it had left.
In fact, Trump is counting on it.
Amidst making cabinet selections that ultimately haven’t looked too different from what Jeb himself would have selected, Trump yelled “squirrel” in the form of sharing his opinion on flag burning earlier this week.
Off to the races we went.
Ironically, the chattering class took a break from demanding Draconian limits be placed on Christian speech and expression to offer an ode to the First Amendment. Which took Trump right where he wanted to go. Otherwise known as his happy place, where he holds court on Twitter with barely trained seals.
The great prophet Snoop Dog had it right: Hate the game, not the player. Trump is just the dealer here, and you’re not a dealer if there’s no one to deal to. It’s not his fault the mainstream media have all the self-control of a meth addict.
For all the stress Trump put his messaging team through during the campaign, this is an amusement park for him now that he has won and in governing mode. He gets to call all the shots with the biggest bully pulpit on the planet. Just wind up that jack-in-the-box that is the artist formerly known as journalism, and watch it annoyingly pop again and again and again.
He will watch amused as various members of the press write column after dutiful column about their vital watchdog role, during what they believe to be the most dangerous presidency of our lifetime. Meanwhile, Trump will smile a yuge smile, because he knows he has them right where he wants them. They simply have no idea what is happening to them.
This goes way beyond flag burning and midnight Tweet binges. For example, Trump has announced his own multi-billion-dollar version of the New Deal as part of his strategy to Make America Great Again. With this week’s crony capitalist deal with Carrier being the opening salvo on that front.
So while he’s got the discredited media birthing cows on television defending flag-burning-America-haters, Trump was in Indiana celebrating 1,000 jobs he “saved” before he’s even sworn in. Exactly the side-by-side “America First” comparison Team Trump is looking for. Because Team Trump understands as leery as people may be about a Trump presidency, they hate the media even more.
Even though they bring out the worst in the other, Trump and the media need each other like we need oxygen to breathe. They’re like the stereotypical binging rock star and his junkie groupie, who can’t stay away from each other. But when they hook up, it always ends up with both of them naked in a seedy hotel with full ash trays, dirty needles, and half-drank liquor bottles everywhere. He always wakes up before her and sneaks out, leaving her to clean up the mess.
And given the fact Trump is about to be inaugurated while the media implode, it’s pretty obvious who’s who in this analogy. (For more from the author of “Trump and the Media: Star-Crossed Lovers” please click HERE)