The news organizations and government employees are backing off Trump attacks because they realize they have gone too far.
They’re probably all backing off Trump assaults only temporarily, and it is sad that they weren’t embarrassed sooner, but CNN and Buzzfeed have pushed everyone else to break ranks and opposed the Trump attacks.
Here’s the appraisal of Howard Kurtz on Fox News:
In case you missed it, here is Donald Trump’s spectacular showdown with CNN at his press conference.
Other parts of the mainstream media have been distancing themselves from CNN and Buzzfeed, momentarily backing off Trump attacks.
What is especially noteworthy is that even intelligence agent have been shamed by the story. According to Bloomberg,
U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he has told Donald Trump that the leak of a classified report that details unsubstantiated claims that Russia has compiled damaging information on the president-elect probably didn’t come from U.S. spy agencies.
Clapper said in a statement he talked to Trump Wednesday following a press conference where Trump suggested that the intelligence community may have released an unverified dossier detailing compromising allegations about his personal and financial life in retribution for recent criticism and skepticism he’s levied toward the spy agencies.
“I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security,” Clapper said.
Clapper said the pair discussed the document and that he emphasized it didn’t originate in the U.S. intelligence community. He also said he didn’t believe the leak of the dossier, published Tuesday by BuzzFeed, came from U.S. intelligence sources, and that the administration didn’t rely upon it when reaching its conclusions about Russian culpability for the hack and release of Democratic e-mails.
Clapper did indicate that he had briefed policy makers on its existence, however, saying he was obligated to ensure they “are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.” But, Clapper said, the intelligence community hadn’t made any judgment on whether the claims within the document were reliable.
I suspect the media and the government workers will soon resume attacking Trump. I don’t expect miracles! Still, it was good to see evidence they were embarrassed and publicly shamed by CNN’s and Buzzfeed’s behavior. The media won’t start liking Trump, but now that they finally have felt a small part of the damage they have done to themselves, we can hope that might think more about what they publish.
After all, the media are aware that their attacks aren’t working. As the New York Times reported,
Washington may be veering from one Trump pre-inaugural controversy to another: unproved reports of Russia’s holding embarrassing information against him, possible ethical conflicts, the donors and billionaires of his cabinet, his pushback against intelligence findings on Russian hacking in the election. But there does not seem to be much angst in Iowa among those who voted for Mr. Trump, including some Democrats and independents.
Iowa is seen as a bellwether, as it was for the Trump victory. The unending attacks and fake news in the media aren’t working. Backing off Trump and trying to be more objective would be a smart strategy.