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Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman accepted what White House officials said about a new executive order on face value. But their report, stating that Trump would order Judaism to be interpreted as a nationality, lacked appropriate skepticism about the motives behind the move -- and maybe about its meaning as well.
What do you call it when Donald Trump continuously spouts overtly racist and authoritarian rhetoric while obdurately refusing to take the necessary action to stop a raging pandemic? If you’re a campaign reporter for the elite media, you call it a tactical mistake.
Trump's election campaign has been reduced to a blatant appeal to racists and know-nothings. So there are really only two questions reporters should be focusing on: Can Trump and his dead-enders steal the election? And what is going on in these people's heads?
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, considers journalistic "objectivity" -- as his newsroom currently practices it -- a “core value” that he intends to guard as long as he remains in charge. So be prepared for more credulous, both-sides stenography.
A warm round of applause for Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb, who instead of simply repeating what Trump said, wrote about the absence of any plan for the widespread national coronavirus testing that public health officials say is essential.
The only really good reason for reporters to show up at Trump's briefings is this: They are the only people allowed in from outside his bubble. They alone can demand the answers the public needs and deserves. And they alone can confront him with the reality that he denies.
Political journalists are still headlining Trump’s nonsense and trying to explain his decision-making. Stop!
Trump repeatedly makes it clear to anyone listening that he has no idea what he's talking about, and no plan to get the country back to normal. But too many political journalists are still working under assumptions that apply to normal presidents and trying to explain his thinking.
Rather than hide Trump's misinformation-filled briefings or broadcast them as is, the cable news networks should respond by doing journalism – in this case, some journalistic jujitsu. Real-time split-screen bullshit-calling would be a negative consequence for Trump -- and a big win for viewers.
Trump on Friday engaged in a bizarre, desperate huckster sales pitch for a drug that has no proven effects on the coronavirus but that he insisted he has a good feeling about. He said it could be a “game-changer.” He was peddling a fake cure in a way that would have gotten him kicked off the Home Shopping Network for inciting federal prosecution for false claims and fraud.
Trump’s brief foray into presidential behavior on Monday was too little too late, as far as the national media was concerned. His role has been assigned, and it is not the one Trump saw himself playing.