BAUER: The Media Has Trump Bipolar Disorder
Two stories dominated the media’s coverage of President Trump over his first two years in office. What’s amazing about these stories is that they completely contradict one another.
The first story involves what much of the media call Trump’s toxic patriotism.
When President Trump says he’ll put “America first,” the media say it is code for the movement in the 1930s to keep America out of WWII. It’s a way for them to connect Trump to people who sympathized with the Nazis.
But that’s not what Trump means by “America first.” When Trump uses the term, he’s simply saying that as president he’ll put America’s interests ahead of the interests of other countries — something any American president should do.
The media also see sinister connotations in Trump’s use of the term “nationalism.” But as Trump once said when asked to define the term, a nationalist is just “somebody that loves our country.” That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
Then there’s Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” which prompts all the America haters to protest that America was never great to begin with.
Again, it allows the media to suggest that Trump wants to take America back to the era of unsafe factory conditions and segregated lunch counters. Or, as Bill Clinton put it, obliquely, “If you’re a white southerner, you know exactly what [Make America Great Again] means.”
To many journalists, patriotism is a four-letter word spelled MAGA. In fact, merely wearing the famous red MAGA hat is enough to provoke attacks from Trump haters, or get you fired. And as we saw over the weekend, if you’re a white kid at a pro-life rally, donning a MAGA hat means the media will rush to judgment to condemn you without knowing the facts.
But Trump and his supporters have a much more straightforward take on the slogan. “To me, it meant jobs. It meant industry and meant military strength. It meant taking care of our veterans. It meant so much,” Trump has said.
The second story the liberal media tell about President Trump is that he’s committed treason by colluding with Russia against the United States. They say he’s beholden to Vladimir Putin—a stooge for the Kremlin whose sole objective is to destabilize America’s democracy.
But how can Trump be both obscenely pro-American and acting as an agent of one of America’s chief geopolitical enemies?
How can he be both an over-the-top America Firster and a traitor to his country?
He can’t be both … can he?
According to much of the media, he can, because their goal isn’t to make consistent and coherent arguments against the president or his policies, but to do anything and everything they can to get rid of him.
They decide how to cover a story by finding out which side Trump is on and then attacking it relentlessly from any and every angle, even when they contradict one another.
Call it Trump Bipolar Disorder, which is a form of Trump Derangement Syndrome, defined as the acute onset of paranoia at everything Trump says or does.
Trump Bipolar Disorder is the only way to explain how the media can argue that the president is both an unsophisticated and unrefined vulgarian and an out-of-touch elitist with nothing to offer the common man; how Trump can be depicted as both a conman with no real business acumen and a marketing genius; how he can be portrayed as both astonishingly ignorant of history and yet also astute enough to use obscure historical dog whistles of white supremacy.
And it’s how the media can attack Trump one minute for calling Kim Jong Un a “madman” and accuse him of trying to provoke World War III, then the next minute, accuse him of going soft on the North Korean dictator once they meet.
One thing media haven’t wavered on is their take on Trump’s voters, who the media have depicted from day one as bigoted, backward dupes. The media’s astonishing ignorance of the people and places that put Trump in the White House has been matched only by their continued unwillingness to understand them.
If left untreated in people, bipolar disorder can lead to death. It can happen to an industry too, especially one in which the patient still refuses to admit they have a problem.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.