In a Wednesday morning Q-and-A before heading off on a trip to Texas, Trump stopped before an assemblage of reporters to digress on the issues of the day. He talked about immigration policy, the economy, the Federal Reserve and other stuff. When asked about the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III , he switched into full “Hannity” mode, talking about the Trump “haters” conducting the “phony” probe. Had Trump stuck with just that sort of rhetoric, perhaps it would have marked progress of sorts. But no — he said more: “It was an illegal investigation,” he charged, saying it was “started illegally.”
So how did cable news handle this false and reckless attempt to undermine trust in government?
Not a bad showing by the chyron people at CNN.
There’s a step-back consideration here, though: All three major cable-news channels carried Trump’s impromptu presser moments after it unfolded. Why? Why not digest the session, take clips of the newsworthy moments, and then present a full-throated, fact-checked summary later in the morning? Or even in the noon hour?
There is no reason not to do that. Trump and his minions long ago forfeited the privilege of using the TV networks to present their deceptions to the American public without a journalistic filter. Time to wake up.