This is not a post about politics. I don’t really care what your politics are no more than you care about mine.
Trump’s brand has been taking a beating lately. Who knows how sales are doing, but most measures and polling strongly suggest it’s a brand in crisis.
This is not helped when you run into the White House briefing room and make some wild claim or accusation. Which is exactly what press secretary Sean Spicer and man who looks like he’s hiding a severe rash did this week.
The White House Press Corps is the Seal Team 6 of journalists. They did not end up there by accident. They trained for that post. These are not opinion columnists at O magazine.
Trump’s team is, I think, hopefully, starting to learn that the White House Press Corps did not come here to stroke his hair.
When Spicer came out this week and said the media was wrong about inauguration crowd estimates, he tried shoving the press corps into a lower role. You can’t diminish the role of the press corps – their position, duties, and responsibilities are granted to them by the Constitution. That’s like trying to diminish the Supreme Court. You can nibble around the edges, but you won’t win.
We’ll have to see if Trump’s administration continues to push lies and peddle their so-called “alternative facts”. So far, the White House Press Corps isn’t biting.
For Trump’s brand, he’s going to need to either get better at hiding information, which is unlikely in Washington, or start coming out ahead of stories. The inauguration serves as a good example. Instead of trying to re-write history and make it seem as though they had more people than they did, he should have gone to the press before to say, “We hope this will be the most attended inauguration of all time.”
Then when it wasn’t, go find the people in the crowd who never attended one before. Find the people who travelled for the first time ever. You know those people existed in the crowd that was there. And, continue driving home the point that it (truly) was, “The second highest ratings in 36 years” or, “The most watched Republican inauguration since Reagan.” Both are true, both are spin, but both save a little face. The press could have bought that, and so could Americans.
Instead, we end up with this turd of a lie about how many weren’t there at all. It doesn’t just make you a liar. It makes you weak.