Did you know President Trump’s press secretary and the media were engaged in an all-out war over the size of the crowd at the inauguration?
Do you know that Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich has been suspended for a tasteless tweet about Trump’s 10-year-old son Barron: “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter?” And that about 80,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding that Rich be fired?
How about that attention-hogging Madonna said “Fuck” multiple times in her remarks to the Wash., D.C. Women’s March, that a Time magazine reporter incorrectly said in a tweet and a pool report that a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office, or that actor, James Franco, who had a breakout role in 1999’s “Freaks and Geeks”, said he’s “spiraled into a depression” following Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump?
You have probably heard about all this because the media loves this stuff and figures you do too. But in the media’s obsession with being adversarial and entertaining in its coverage of the new Trump Administration, they are falling into a trap of covering the non-consequential.
To an unfortunate degree, the media has gone from its obsequious coverage of Barack Obama, what Noah Rothman called in Commentary a “kind of vapidity that typified political media in the Obama years,” to a 24-7 hostility to Trump that can’t distinguish between the trivial and the significant.
Meanwhile there’s real consequential governing going on.
Today, for example, Trump signed executive actions that cut aid to groups that provide or promote abortions overseas, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and impose an immediate federal hiring freeze.
Trump’s administration also has signaled it is unlikely to move quickly to discontinue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program Obama established in 2012, that it is rethinking its earlier promise to move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and that plans to penalize so-called sanctuary cities are expected to move ahead.
If the media really wants to perform a service for the American people, they need to move away from distracting audiences with inconsequential blathering, petty grievances and tit-for-tat arguments and commit to focusing on significant events in the United States and around the world that have the potential to change our lives.