Members of the press despaired Thursday at President Donald Trump's announcement that he would pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, a major accord aimed at curbing climate change.
Politicos and media pundits wasted no time weighing in with over-the-top hyperbole worthy of a street corner, end times preacher.
"[T]his is the day that the United States resigned as the leader of the free world," said noted plagiarist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria.
Serial fabulist and MSNBC host Brian Williams described the announcement as "dark," adding that the more you looked at the president's address, the more it was like "four or five dark speeches."
The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof, who is currently headlining a private jet tour of the world, mourned, "If somebody drives drunk, we arrest him. If he drives national policy recklessly, threatening our planet, we just call him ‘Mr. President.'"
"Paris is going to be America's Brexit," said Politico editor-in-chief Blake Hounshell.
Never one to miss an opportunity to cheap shot Republicans, the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza lamented the fact that Ivanka Trump and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry supported staying in the Paris accord. The obvious implication here is that the young Trump and former Texas governor are very stupid, and that it is sad that it has come to this:
More interesting than the commentary handwringing, however, is that several hard-news reporters weighed in Thursday with likeminded opinions, dropping all pretense of detachment and objectivity.
"Pope Francis, Ivanka, Tillerson, U.S. CEOs, Merkel, Macron and science could not convince Trump to stay in Paris climate accord," the Washington Post's Philip Rucker opined in a ham-fisted note.
The Post's Brian Fung said elsewhere, "Flood the swamp flood the swamp flood the swamp flood the swamp flood the swamp flood the swamp flood the swamp flood the swamp flood the sw –."
Axios' energy reporter, Amy Harder, suggested ahead of the announcement that climate change was responsible for her iPhone overheating.
The Huffington Post's front page went with the none-too-subtle headline: "TRUMP TO PLANET: DROP DEAD." HuffPo congressional reporter Jennifer Bendery also quipped, "America First, Planet Second – Trump's message, in sum #ParisAgreement." Her colleague, Michael Calderone, quipped, "Trump could've issued a statement – or take over the airwaves with rambling justification of reckless decision to leave climate accord."
Many in the press also latched onto the talking point that backing out the accord would put the U.S on the same level as Nicaragua and Syria:
YES TO PARIS:- China- France- Germany- Russia- United Kingdom- 190 other membersNO TO PARIS:- Nicaragua- Syria- United States— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) June 1, 2017
There has been little daylight between the responses from reporters and commentators. The reactions have varied, of course, but they've mostly skewed towards being extremely unhappy about the president's announcement.
It's okay if members of the press have clear biases. Everyone has opinions! In fact, it'd be better if journalists publicly aired their opinions more often. Let everyone know exactly where you stand!
The annoying thing is: Many of the media personalities who devolved Thursday into snarling bags of rage also preen and puff themselves up regularly with awards ceremonies and speeches about how they're supposedly detached fact-loving firefighters who rush into hell to report the news objectively. Save it for someone who still buys that line.
Just be upfront with your positions! Drop the pretense of objectivity and save everyone the time. It's all we're asking.