by Charles Hurt
President Donald Trump during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) more >
In a whirling dervish White House press conference, President Trump manhandled the press, piledrived all the fake news and reminded the world why he tore through both political parties and got elected president in the first place.
Trump “inherited a mess.”
“I have nothing to do with Russia.”
“CNN is full of anger and hate.”
Administration “running like a fine-tuned machine.”
Media “out of control.”
The crawls across the bottom of television screens could not keep up. At one point it looked like they were actually smoking as the news gerbils at the various networks furiously tried keeping up with all Mr. Trump’s gunslinging.
“I’m actually having a very good time,” he said as he reminded reporters that it was press conferences like these that got him elected. Oh, and that the press is so dishonest.
“You have a lower approval rate than Congress,” he slashed. Left unsaid in that scorching damnation is that the aforementioned Congress — which at least isn’t as despised as the media! — is entirely run by Republicans.
The guy is so merciless. His barbs are so savage. He really is the answer to every problem in Washington.
A low point for the media came when a CNN reporter stood up and meekly offered: “I don’t hate you.”
It was like waving a red flag in front of a raging bull.
“Your ratings aren’t as good as some of the other people that are waiting,” Mr. Trump said impatiently as he waved his hand toward other reporters from other networks with much higher ratings than CNN.
“They’re pretty good right now, actually, Mr. President,” the reporter responded lamely. The little reporter actually looked a little bit like Marco Rubio comparing hand sizes during that Detroit debate.
It is never wise to enter another man’s arena.
Just to make sure the entire exchange was as personal as possible and reached the highest echelons of CNN, Mr. Trump skewered the network’s president by telling the reporter to “ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job.”
And for added good measure, Mr. Trump also advised the reporter that he had decided to update his nickname for the network from “Fake News” CNN to “Very Fake News” CNN.
It has been a few weeks of turmoil. The media, acting at the behest of a terrified federal bureaucracy, has notched a couple of scalps from the Trump administration.
After all the mayhem, that press conference was such a blast of fresh air. It was Donald Trump at his finest.
It reminded the world why he got elected in the first place.
Mr. Trump understands at a gut level how much Americans hate the media. They actually hate the media even more than they hate the lawyers (Congress), which is pretty substantial.
People love Mr. Trump because he does not play nice for the cameras. He is always willing to eviscerate you — while looking you straight in the eye. And he usually draws a laugh while doing it.
Most of all, Mr. Trump is an agent of total disruption, bordering on chaos — everything American voters would like to see set upon Washington.
He is not a politician. He has not been polished by public relations experts. He doesn’t always speak with complete precision.
But he always gets his points across. He wants to shake things up, and the American people stand behind him.