So long as it’s Christmas and we’re allowed to indulge in our unlikely hopes and dreams (like Harvey Weinstein longing to hear “yes,” for example), I’ve put together a wishlist of all the things I want but am unlikely to receive from the national media, including but not limited to, normal non-hysterical news coverage of the White House.
My three Christmas wishes for the news media:
1. Don’t take every opportunity to be snide toward the White House. During an interview on MSNBC in July, then-White House aide Sebastian Gorka said that the administration, “from the Southern border, to NATO, to Warsaw, to the economy, to the stock market. We're crushing it…” Normal people recognize “crushing it” as a sophomoric expression to mean that you’re completing your tasks with excellence. Anchor Stephanie Ruhle, not a normal person, saw it as an opening to practice her condescension skills. “Alright, well, the White House doesn't 'crush' a stock market but I do appreciate your time," she said.
This is standard fare in cable news interviews with White House officials and President Trump’s supporters. Whether it’s CNN’s Anderson Cooper rolling his eyes at Kellyanne Conway or the New York Times’ clunkiest writer, Charles Blow, referring to Trump as the “president” in quotes, it’s not clever and, more importantly, it’s annoying. I wish for a more original, less niggling media.
2. No more racial tribalism. When you’re a liberal working in the media, you’re given special license to say shocking and horrific things that would cost anyone else their job. Saying things out loud like "you’re not black enough" will get you more airtime if you’re a media liberal.
When it was announced last week that Omarosa Manigault Newman was resigning from her communications post in the White House, CNN Political Commentator Angela Rye went on TV to get loud. “Bye, honey!” she belted. “You haven’t done anything for the community, you are skin folk, we don’t own you … Goodbye, good riddance.” In August, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank warned Jews working in the Trump administration against playing “the court Jew.”
This is somehow acceptable in today’s media, and I wish it weren’t.
3. Give CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta the opinion show he so desperately wants. Every time Acosta is called on during the White House press briefings, a million gag reflexes go off around the world. His stunts disguised as questions — such as his ridiculous immigration question that began, “The Statue of Liberty says…” — have never illuminated a single thing for anyone and exclusively serve to set Acosta up as freedom’s last best hope in his own mind. I wish for CNN to give him an opinion show that may or may not fail, but will get him out of the daily press briefings.
The list is unrealistic. But if April Ryan can ask White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders with a straight face to give the administration’s position on slavery, I at least know it’s nothing to be embarrassed about.