On Wednesday, the Washington Post published an article titled, "Why Donald Trump's diet is bad for America's health." That's right — amid journalists' sustained hysteria over President Trump's efforts to discredit the mainstream news media, the mainstream news media is critiquing his diet.
To be clear, the article was amusing and I would never argue it shouldn't have been written or deserved to be censored. But it's just not necessary for a mainstream outlet to publish an article that goes after the president for his diet while working to convince the country that it's fully committed to rescuing our precious democracy from the "darkness." Editors at the Post should have passed and suggested it be submitted to Slate or Salon or another progressive publication.
This article, by the way, is just one of many similar examples of mainstream outlets finding laughably creative ways to attack Trump. Which is why Trump and his supporters argue the mainstream media will find any way at all to attack the president. The publication of this article doesn't exactly rebut their argument.
Really it's somewhat remarkable that mainstream journalists have the audacity to complain about Trump attacking the credibility of the media when their publications continue to willfully provide him with the ammunition to do so. Those are the very headlines that Trump allies blast around on social media or rant about on the radio, incrementally making Americans less and less inclined to trust the serious reporting from top outlets.
Yes, the Post publishes opinion articles from people on both sides of the aisle. Still, this one was filed under the paper's news analysis section, and almost comically embodied Trump allies' constant complaints about the press finding every possible way to critique him.
If you are concerned about the president discrediting you, do not provide him with the tools to do so. I, too am worried about the disintegration of trust in the media. I think it's important to have gatekeepers who can be counted on to tell readers the truth in a balanced way. But the media will never earn back the country's trust if it insists on publishing trivial attacks that only make the president's work of undermining their credibility so much easier.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.