OPINION: The Press Made It Impossible For Trump To Win Christmas

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Derrick Wilburn Contributor
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Most are now accustomed to the media’s perpetual blood hunt of Donald Trump. The press’s daily browbeating of Trump is accepted and even expected, but the Christmas onslaught of Trump bashing by the mainstream media was an embarrassment even for them.

It would seem the press already had the stories written and were just waiting for the clock to strike 12:01 a.m. on December 25 so they could run them. On Christmas Day, 2018, NBC News trumpeted: “Trump becomes first president since 2002 not to visit troops on or before Christmas — though he called military personnel on Tuesday, Trump did not visit a hospital or a military base.”

Plenty of others joined NBC.

Media leftists and other leftists excoriated Trump for not having spent Christmas with our troops. So desperate were they to berate him that they couldn’t even wait until the 26th to run these stories.

Unbeknownst to any of them, as their stories were rolling off printing presses or being posted to blogs and websites, Trump was in the process of doing the exact thing they were lambasting him over not doing: He was en route to a U.S. military base in Iraq, where, on December 26, the president and first lady made a surprise visit to our troops.

The media’s next line of scrutiny was to claim the trip was hastily thrown together at the last minute as a result of Trump feeling pressure from their never-blinking coverage.

Trump’s trip, of course, was not publicized information. Presidential trips into conflict zones tend to not be forecasted on the official calendar on the White House website. Such trips are complex. They aren’t scheduled hours in advance; they’re scheduled days, weeks, even months prior.

Advance teams are on the ground up to two weeks prior, military escort and communication aircraft must be requisitioned, ground transportation and other logistics are worked out in exacting detail far in advance of any president setting foot on foreign soil. The very suggestion that Trump made the Iraq Christmas trip in response to criticism is not only a demonstration of ignorance, but it’s laughable considering how well known it is that Trump couldn’t care less what the press thinks of him.

The press then managed to venture from laughable to just plain ridiculous.

First lady Melania Trump was excoriated over her choice in footwear, Trump was blasted for “doing this backwards,” even troops who came to visit with their commander-in-chief managed to fall victims of the Trump-hating press’s poison pen when CNN suggested they may have violated rules by bringing “MAGA” caps to be signed.

Where Trump is involved it never ends. Which causes one to wonder: Does the press, our so-called “fourth branch of government,” place all presidents under the same microscope of scrutiny? We don’t have to look very far into history for an answer.

The Obamas did not spend Christmas with the troops, or even in Washington, D.C. No, the Obamas had their own Christmas tradition. Every year in office, the Obamas spent Christmas vacationing in Hawaii. For eight consecutive years, the Obamas spent two to three weeks living quite large in opulent tax-payer rented estates on the island.

According to the U.S. Air Force, those trips, which sometimes saw the family traveling on separate jets — Air Force One for the president and another, a military version of a Boeing 757 for the first lady — cost Americans at least $28 million. Other sources place the cost significantly higher.

What did press coverage of Obama Christmases past look and sound like? Was there widespread criticism of a president golfing with millionaire friends at private resorts on an island 4,800 miles from Washington, D.C., and 6,200 from Baghdad instead of supporting the troops? Not so much.

What we got instead was fawning pictures of the first family riding bicycles, enjoying shave ice, a shirtless Barack frolicking and body surfing in the waves, and of course, hitting the links. Lots and lots of links. Outlets like ABC News provided hard-hitting pieces that detailed the Obama’s plans for each day, including “Gone Golfing,” “A Late Start and a Luau,” “Family Night Out” and “Golf and Fine Dining.”

In summary, press coverage of Trump’s Christmas: “Trump isn’t celebrating Christmas with the troops!” “Trump with our troops is just a publicity stunt!” “Trump’s wife doesn’t know how to dress at Christmas time!” “Trump should’ve shown the troops some respect and stayed home!”

Press coverage of Obama’s Christmases: “So long, big guy! Have a great time. Can’t wait to see you when you get back!”

Derrick Wilburn is a Centennial Institute fellow and the founder of Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.