Hey, media: He’s just not that into you
Tuesday evening, President-Elect Donald Trump snuck out of Trump Tower with his family for dinner at Manhattan steakhouse 21 Club. He left his press entourage behind, fuming over the protocol snub.
This brings to mind a yuppie romantic film from 2009, He’s Just Not That Into You. Trump’s move should be a loud and clear declaration to the media that unlike the current president, he doesn’t care about the media, their feelings, their protocols, or their sensitivities. Hey, press pool: Donald Trump is just not that into you.
Why should he be? The media have not been that into Trump during this election cycle. The Hill reports that Trump as the Republican presidential nominee received fewer endorsements from the editorial boards of major newspapers than any major party candidate in history.
Only two of the top 100 largest newspapers in the U.S. endorsed Donald Trump for president, while 57 endorsed Hillary Clinton. Four papers went so far as to specifically advise their readers to vote against Trump.
Even hapless Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson fared better, securing four newspaper endorsements.
What do voters think about the media? Gallup surveyed U.S. voters and found that 52 percent perceived a media bias toward Clinton, while only 8 percent thought the media was biased toward Trump.
The Media Research Center reached similar conclusions: 78 percent of voters in their survey believe that the news coverage of the presidential campaign was biased, with 59 percent finding the media biased toward Clinton with only 21 percent finding the bias toward Trump.
If the media was overwhelmingly anti-Trump during the campaign and even during his first week as president-elect, why wouldn’t he return the favor?
The media is outraged over Trump sneaking out to dinner with his family. Braying about “a terrible violation of protocol.” What about the protocol of the media doing its job reporting the news in a fair, consistent, and unbiased way?
In 2008, with a different president-elect, the N.Y. Times reported, “The president-elect ditched his press pool of media minders to take his daughters to a water park on Friday morning.” Was the N.Y. Times outraged? Bellowing about protocols? Hardly.
Instead they made excuses: “Mr. Obama drew attention both to the seemingly odd but important rituals of the presidential (and pre-presidential) bubble, and to just how much this very private public man chafes under its constraints.”
I’m sure the media will display similar sensitivities to Donald Trump when he ditches his press pool for his own private family moments.
A quote from the above-mentioned movie is appropriate. “So trust me when I say if a guy is treating you like he doesn't give a s---, he genuinely doesn't give a s---. No exceptions.” Substitute “media” for “guy,” and this sums up the new paradigm for Team Trump. Sorry, media, but payback is a b----.
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS, is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.