How ‘Trump Trauma’ is Crippling the News Media (Opinion)

Chip Somodevilla (Trump), Paul Morigi (Conway), iStock (Camera, Microphones, Background)

Fox News analyst Howard Kurtz argues that press misjudgment has upended coverage of the White House and boosted the president’s agenda in this exclusive excerpt from his new book, ‘Media Madness.’

On Jan. 8, 2017, days before Donald Trump was to assume the crushing burdens of the presidency, he faced a very different kind of problem: Meryl Streep.

The iconic actress slammed him in her speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes, attacking him for, among other things, having allegedly mocked a disabled New York Times reporter during the campaign. The next morning, Hope Hicks, the president’s loyal young assistant who was almost always by Trump’s side, pulled out her phone to play footage of Kellyanne Conway on the CNN and Fox morning shows.

Kellyanne said that charge had been repeatedly refuted and added that if Streep were so concerned about the rights of the disabled, she should have spoken out about a disabled boy who had been badly beaten by young thugs shouting anti-Trump epithets in a video that had been posted on Facebook. Trump loved that answer and started venting about his media coverage.

Hicks retreated to a nearby desk, where she spoke to Times reporter Patrick Healy. He had called Trump’s cellphone during the Globes and then quoted the president-elect as saying he wasn’t surprised by criticisms from “liberal movie people.” Hicks took Healy to task.

“I’m not a confrontational person, but calling the president-elect of the United States at midnight over an entertainment program is crossing the line.” If he wanted a comment from the president-elect, he should have called her. Hope ended on a conciliatory note: “It’s not the end of the world, we’ll move on.”

It was a sneak preview of what would become a constant state of warfare between the new president, his closest aides and the media world — not just journalists and commentators but actors, singers, entertainers and pop-culture figures who often viewed him with outright scorn.

Paul Drinkwater/Getty Images
Streep criticized the president-elect at the 2017 Globes.


Donald Trump is staking his presidency, as he did his election, on nothing less than destroying the credibility of the news media; and the media are determined to do the same to him. This is not just a feud or a fight or a battle. It is scorched-earth warfare in which only one side can achieve victory. To a stunning degree, the press is falling into the president’s trap. The country’s top news organizations have targeted Trump with an unprecedented barrage of negative stories, with some no longer making much attempt to hide their contempt. Some stories are legitimate, some are not, and others are generated by the president’s own falsehoods and exaggerations. But the mainstream media, subconsciously at first, has lurched into the opposition camp and is appealing to an anti-Trump base of viewers and readers, failing to grasp how deeply it is distrusted by a wide swath of the country.

These are not easy words for me to write. I am a lifelong journalist with ink in my veins. And for all my criticism of the media’s errors and excesses, I have always believed in the mission of aggressive reporting and holding politicians accountable.

But the past two years have radicalized me. I am increasingly troubled by how many of my colleagues have decided to abandon any semblance of fairness out of a conviction that they must save the country from Trump.



  1. I am a Conservative and if I lived in the U.S. I would have voted Republican. I was not a DJT supporter initially, my Dream Ticket was Kasich and Condoleezza Rice. Kasich had done a superb job as Governor of Ohio and I felt he would have taken great steps to repair the catastrophic damage caused by the disengaged, impotent, inept Failed Presidency of Barack Obama.

    Once Trump became the Presidential Candidate with Pence as his Running Mate I became a supporter.

    Trump is not perfect, he does not have a filter and it is obvious that he far too often shoots from the hip.

    Having said that he is still a huge improvement over the Arrogant and self absorbed Barack Obama. It is very quickly becoming very obvious that President “O” did not have both hands on the wheel and he was more interested in creating a Legacy for himself than anything else.

    Well, that Legacy will soon be in Tatters and even the FAwning Liberal Media are beginning to turn their backs on him!!

    Some here may mumble about the popularity and high Poll Numbers POTUS “O” had and has.

    Let’s then consider this.

    only two years ago “O” had control of the House, a very strong Majority of the Senate with 60 Dems to 40 Republicans. “O” also controlled the State Governments with 36 Dem Governors to 14 Republican Governors, now that was domination!

    When Obama left Office as a Failed President the GOP controlled the House and the Senate and in fact had 35 State Governors to 14 Dems and 1 Independent. Now tell us just how popular POTUS “O” really was. In fact he was not popular at all, the Polls that showed him popular were the same Pollsters that showed us we would soon be watching HRC assume the Throne. Polls are Unreliable at best and they have no credibility at all.

    And now we have many in Media especially The Clinton News Network (CNN) telling us that DJT is not popular at all. I suggest that they have a good look at the results over the past year. Again, the Polling is always weighed toward Liberals and it is done on line, Millennials are heavily weighed in On Line Polling and they only Vote while in their Mothers Basement while On Line.

    Please read the attached Glenn Greenwald Essay. Greenwald hates DJT but what he points out when he illustrates the Heavy Anti Trump Bias should be given serious thought. Media hate Trump and they are doing everything they can to discredit him.

    Media is indeed for the most part “Fake News”!! Even CNN is getting push back from their own Staffers.

    It seems that CNN are doing their best to Blame the Russians and Trump Collusion for everything including the upcoming pregnancy of the Kim Kardashian Surrogate!!

    How Long has it Been?

    Then consider this.

    Howard Kurt is an interewsting man. I believe Kurtz is Centre Left Liberal but he is honest and I think his book should be read by everyone interested in U.S. Politics, Trump, and the Media.

    I like Kurtz because he does his very best to be Fair and Balanced!! I will be reading his book next week.

    He is a breath of fresh air compared to the Media Specialist over at CNN, Stetzer is am embarrassment to good news people everywhere!!

    It is incredible what some in Media will do to rationalize the Dems Election loss!

    I believe the Anti Trump Media Frenzy will actually benefit POTUS Trump!!

    As to his”Sh*t Hole” remarks.

    If some African Nations, Haiti, and some others were not SH then why do so many Social Engineering Social Justice Warriors and Snowflakes protest the Deportation of Undocumented Criminal Felons to their Home Country? IF those Nations were not “SH” then why not encourage the deportation of those dangerous Criminals?

    You cannot have it both ways!!

    oh and seeing that we are all still here.

    Trump will have a successful 3 years and he will then announce that he is not going to run for a second term. Pence will then take Rubio, Haley, or C. Rice as his Running Mate and he will then be the next President of the U.S. and he will continue to repair the damage done by Obama, Merkel, Juncker, Blair, Lofven, Hollande, Renzi and the rest of Liberal Elite Politicians.

    I hope Howard Kurtz writes a Book about that!!

  2. I am a consumer of news and what is being put out for us
    is the same dish day after day. Often the first 4 stories are
    T.Rump related.
    This is like The Rumours album in the 70’s.
    PDs lost their collective mind and played Rihana
    four or five times every f*king day till it was like water torture.
    Did they sell their soul to the devil?
    Had they not considered the listener in their programming?
    They dug their own grave then and it is history repeating now.
    I stopped my NYTimes subscription because of it and told them so.
    Shirley I cant be the only one who feels this way!!

  3. I was listening to Coast 2 Coast last night on my way to work. 97.3 KIRO come in pretty strong and helps me to forget dead dog radio and fisher price radio.
    Noory had a guest on that in his opinion stated that elites, luminati etc run the planet and all they want is everything. The plan was for HRC to win the election and for the worlds economies to crash and thow us all into total chaos. He further claimed that Trump is NOT an elite and is actually sent from God to delay the inevitable doomsday. He sees Trump as the common mans last hope. Trumps policies have truly benefited the common man. He predicts that Trump gets an overwhelmingly stronger mandate in his second term and hopes that more politicans see the good that Trumps policies have achieved.
    Interesting stuff .
    Trump just happens to be riding a stock market that is heading towards 30.
    Given the choice between Trump ( even an older weaker Trump) and our young fit handsome drama teacher I would take Trump. Even a dead Trump would have more on the ball than our idiot.

  4. President Trump’s speech at Davos was well WOW! OMG , it was positive, he stayed true to his course for America and compared to our rubber duckie socks wearing PM Trudeau’s total hack, virtue signaling speech of lefty, loony globalist tripe, well D.J.T’s speech was like Mana from political heaven.

    The way POTUS Trump is going after 8 years he stands a good chance to be seen among the greatest Presidents in the USA.

    Lefties, liberals, SJW’s and hack globalists will cry, lie and deceive their ways as they see A NEW SHERIFF IS IN TOWN !


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