Did the Networks Get Played by Trump’s Address? Either Way, They Failed.

Donald Trump’s first Oval Office address to the nation last night was, as many predicted in advance, driven by false and misleading claims. It was also, as many predicted in advance, dull and repetitious. The president did not declare a national emergency; rather, he cycled through his deck of familiar anti-immigration talking points, doubled down on his border-wall plans, and moved the needle not a jot on his deadlocked negotiations with congressional Democrats.

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2 thoughts on “Did the Networks Get Played by Trump’s Address? Either Way, They Failed.

  • January 9, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Blah, Blah, Blah. Not one journalistic sentence about the real border security issues we face President Trump voiced. Instead, media and journalists raced to shred Trump’s speech with the same crass arguments used over and over that we are sick of viewing. Journalism is stuck in a hamster wheel of Trump hatefulness. Today, journalism is locked in a room with no exit as it continues to report from extreme hostility, negativity, and hateful bias at such a level it has become frightening to many. One could effectively argue today’s journalism has become a form of hate speech.

  • January 9, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    CJR has failed its most important journalistic duty here, but not by showing a bias against Trump as the other commenter suggests. Rather, the error was in merely offering commentary on the arguments of each side, rather than putting the entire debate it into a perspective that both sides either missed or didn’t want to talk about.
    This is not a simple policy difference over the merits of border walls or even a particular wall. This is a difference over how the democratic process should work. Trump’s view is that Congress can and should make important decisions by horse trading between the parties or between Congress and the President, and it is proper for that to involve holding the government hostage if Trump knows that he cannot get a majority of the recently elected Congress to agree with his demands otherwise. While compromise is an essential and proper part of the legislative process, it should only involve choices between reasonable alternatives, not having Congress authorize something the American voters have just rejected simply in response to a threat to punish the American people in some unrelated manner if the demand is not granted. Would the impropriety of this tactic become more obvious if Trump’s threat was to bomb Mexico if the wall was not approved?


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