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Pressing on

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, January 19, 2017 08:00 am

Next week a range of journalists from old and new media will gather at New York University  for an event hosted by the liberal website Slate called "Not the New Normal." It’s billed as a forum on "how the news media can and should proceed to cover" the Trump administration.Here's hoping, writes Tom Kuntz at Real Clear Politics, "the answer to that question is fair, fact-based coverage that informs the public about issues of significance."

Yeah, well, good luck with that.

If the press takes its cue from Kyle Pope, editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review, it will remain as clueless as ever, as arrogant and ignorant as a high school sophomore, absolutely certain of its superiority and completely in denial about its biases. In a piece called "An open letter to Trump from the US press corps," he basically delivers a finger-wagging lecture to the president-elect that's as snotty and disrespectful as it can be. He recaps a list of sins against the press he thinks Mr. Trump has committed and then lets him have it:

All of this, of course, is your choice and, in a way, your right. While the Constitution protects the freedom of the press, it doesn’t dictate how the president must honor that; regular press conferences aren’t enshrined in the document.

But while you have every right to decide your ground rules for engaging with the press, we have some, too. It is, after all, our airtime and column inches that you are seeking to influence. We, not you, decide how best to serve our readers, listeners, and viewers. So think of what follows as a backgrounder on what to expect from us over the next four years. 

The overall point of the piece seems to be: Like it or not, Bub, you need us to get your message out to the American people, so you'd better be nice and play by our rules. He even threatens at one point that if Trump mean to a member of the press, they'll all come back at him with "a unified front."

But the thing is that Trump does not need them, as he has demonstrated over and over again during the primaries and in the transition period. He gets 20 million views every time he tweets, and many of them end up on the front page and in the evening newscasts. He is very good at getting his message out, unfiltered and unshaped by the media.

And no matter how many people keep telling him, "You can't do that," he's undoubtedly going to keep doing that, says Brian Micklethwait at Samizdata:

More generally, one of the things I notice about effective people, including me at those times in my life when I have been effective, is that effective people often do things that they "can’t" do, but which actually, they can do, and which if they do do will serve their purposes very well. "You can’t do that" actually only means that until now you couldn’t do that. And it often also means: Now that you can do that and now that you are doing it, we want you to stop.

Until recently, no President of the USA could tweet back at his media critics, very quickly and cheaply and easily, without in any way having to beg from them any right to reply to their criticisms, and without irritating anyone else who isn’t interested. Now, the President can. The claim that he shouldn’t, because "proper Presidents don’t behave like that" needs him to be persuaded of this claim. But if ignoring this claim is a major reason for his effectiveness, why would he be persuaded?

The press has lost a great deal of credibility during this political season. I don't see any evidence yet that they're going to work at getting it back.

Don Surber says to the press:

Trump owes you nothing.

I owe you nothing.

The American people owe you nothing because — and pay attention this time — we don't believe you.

Yep.

ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS

If that's the case, my sister thinks she must be immortal by now: Eating hot chili peppers may help you live longer.

Only a tiny portion — probably somewhere between 3 and 11 percent — of the guns used in crime are purchased legally, so passing more gun laws won't help at all.

The suspense is absolutely killing me: Will Lady Gaga use her super Bowl halftime appearance to dis Donald Trump?

Take a peek inside the most expensive home for sale in the U.S. — $250 million. Some of the photos show how delightfully wretched excess can be.

United Nations ambassador nominee Nikki Haley voices skepticism about the value of the U.S. I like her attitude.

On this day in military history: 75 years ago, on Jan. 18, 1942,  FDR facetiously awarded the Iron Cross to New York Daily News reporter John O'Donnell, for his frequent negative reporting on the war effort.

The Asian-American band The Slants goes before the Supreme Court to defend its name, which couldn't be trademarked because it is "offensive." If the First Amendment still means anything, they'll win handily.

Dang, I should have planned a little better: Indiana is the 10th worst state to grow old in.

Oh, my God, we're all going to die! In 2016 a record high temperature was set for the third year in a row! Please, please, please, government, save us now, we don't care how much you tax us and how much control you take over our lives! But wait:

For the benefit of science reporters and other people who are unfamiliar with the scientific method, let me point out that the margin of error for these measurements is plus or minus one tenth of a degree Celsius. The temperature difference that is supposedly being measured is one one-hundredth of a degree—one tenth the size of the margin of error. To go back to sports reporting, that’s like saying that the football is on the 10-yard line—give or take a hundred yards.

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