In an interview with the New York Times, President Trump’s chief White House strategist Steve Bannon said that the mainstream media could do itself a favor by realizing how out of touch it was with the average American.
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Bannon said.
This quote has been (inevitably) used by the media as a rallying cry, but Bannon isn’t saying what they think he’s saying. He’s not telling the media to go away and allow the Trump administration to operate without any public checks. He’s telling them to take a step back and stop filling every front page with attacks on the new president.
Of course, Bannon knows that’s not going to happen.
“I want you to quote this,” he said. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Bannon went on to say that the media was still sore over a “humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there.”
He said it was shameful that no major newspapers or TV news outlets had taken any steps to remedy their reckless campaign coverage.
“The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign,” Bannon said. “Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: They were outright activists of the Clinton campaign.”
Stephen Engelberg, the editor of ProPublica, said in an email to the Times that the media would not buckle under pressure from the Trump administration.
“We are not the opposition,’’ Engelberg wrote. “We are part of an essential function in any democracy. We are here to tell the truth and we intend to continue doing so, regardless of how badly some might want us to parrot ‘alternative facts.’”
It’s weird, though, how the “truth” always paints Donald Trump in the worst possible light. You’d think by now, he would have done something right, even if it was purely by accident. But apparently not. If you stick to mainstream media, this guy’s not just the worst president in history, but possibly the worst individual to have ever lived.
The “truth” is that the media is having a blast treating Republicans the way they always wanted to treat them: as enemies of the state. In doing so, they are exposing themselves as the same.