Editor’s note: The following column originally appeared in the Washington Times.
There are many discussions about President Trump “wrestling” CNN tweet, but it’s time to get to the heart of the matter: that the tweet was brilliant, anticipating a ridiculously overwrought reaction by the legacy media, and boy, did they deliver.
It’s one thing to say the media is fake and can’t be trusted, and quite another to show it to the American people. So consumed with their loathing of the president, some in the legacy media can’t see past themselves and did exactly what you’d expect the pathologically obsessed to do: pathologically obsess.
There is another revelation brought to us by the absurd reaction by the mainstream media: their hypocrisy. We’ve been told for weeks that a play in Central Park featuring the slaughter of Mr. Trump was “just art.”
While everyone else was laughing at the tweet of a staged pro-wrestling stunt from years ago, various CNN news actors insisted their lives were now at risk. This proved the president’s point that the network is not serious, on a singular mission to destroy the president, and ergo can’t be trusted to report what really matters to the American people.
The president remains one step ahead of those who work to harm his ability to do his job, creating an environment where the American people can decide for themselves who they can trust. And it’s apparently not the media. A new NPR/PBS/Marist poll found just 30 percent of Americans have trust in the media, which is double-digits lower than the president’s latest Rasmussen approval rating.
There is another revelation brought to us by the absurd reaction by the mainstream media: their hypocrisy.
We’ve been told for weeks that a play in Central Park featuring the slaughter of Mr. Trump was “just art.”
Just after Kathy Griffin, who worked for CNN at the time, distributed a picture of her holding up a bloody, decapitated head of Mr. Trump ISIS-style, CNN’s Jake Tapper hosted a panel which insisted it was much ado about nothing.
Molly Ball of The Atlantic noted, “I have a hard time bringing myself to care about something like this,” after which she blamed the Trumps for objecting to the depiction by accusing them of “needing to see themselves as victims.” Mr. Tapper tried to stifle a laugh. The panel then declared they had “much bigger things to focus on” than the display of a CNN host holding up the bloody head of the American president.
Well, fast forward just a few weeks, and CNN suddenly does care, and did find time to accuse the president of inciting violence against them — because of a staged wrestling meme where their logo gets jumped. Got it.
The truth is this: Mr. Trump is simply the world’s greatest provocateur. As a businessman and entertainer, he understands the benefits of keeping your opponents on their heels. Ridicule and mockery of your opponents is one of mankind’s oldest political tactics. The provoked can never win, because they’re allowing emotions to dictate their actions, revealing themselves as undisciplined, unserious fools.
Part of the problem for the “journalists” in legacy media is Groupthink. You may hear it referred to as a bubble, but it’s more complicated than simply being isolated from others. It’s a concerted and dangerous state where a group of people believe they have sole possession of the truth and work to make sure alternative facts never infect the inner circle of decision-makers, or those they’re trying to influence.
It also makes it impossible for those afflicted in media to properly and fairly view Mr. Trump and his work. And that is exactly the president’s point.
Yet, there is some projecting here as well. There was a strangely coordinated new media narrative last week focusing on Mr. Trump’s tweeting (of course), breathlessly announcing that his Twitter feed doesn’t deal with any important policy issues. “More than 10 percent of Trump’s recent tweets have been attacks on the press,” tweeted CNN’s Jake Tapper, which linked to a whole segment of him dissecting the president’s tweets, replete with Mr. Tapper’s “I’m really concerned” faux-furrowed brow.
Because Twitter is such a big part of the media’s lives, they actually believe that if they don’t see it on Twitter it’s not happening. Newsflash for so-called journalists: the president doesn’t use Twitter to govern, he uses it to push back, interrupt the left’s narratives, and stay in touch with the American people.
CNN, in their official response to the wrestling tweet, actually complained that the wrestle tweet somehow proved the president wasn’t doing his job. “… Instead of preparing for his first overseas trip, his first meeting with Vladimir Putin, dealing with North Korea and working on his health care bill, he is instead involved in juvenile behavior far below the dignity of his office. We will keep doing our jobs. He should start doing his.”
It takes less than a second to push the tweet button, at which point one then goes about running the free world.
Whether it’s ObamaCare, North Korea, ISIS, tax cuts, the economy, the upcoming G-20 meetings, or even the poor little Charlie Gard fighting for his life in England, the president governs first and tweets when necessary. Part of his ability to do his job is to confront those who work 24/7 to impede his ability to do so. Mocking them takes a few seconds out of the day, but their reactions confirm his concern: many in the legacy media can’t be trusted to do the most basic part of their job which is to simply bring you the news, not hate-fueled propaganda.
Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, New York Times best-selling author and Fox News political contributor.