Oops, they did it again.
The mainstream, and mostly anti-Trump, media flubbed its latest prediction of a massive White House shake up summed up in this mid-June Politico headline, "Trump gives Priebus until July 4th to clean up White House."
That story was picked up by dozens of media outlets, the latest of several also wrong reports of internal White House battles and threats by President Trump to junk his whole staff for a new team.
"The same folks who called the election wrong are calling this presidency wrong," said a Trump aide.
The latest shake up prediction included sources who said that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus would be fired if he didn't overhaul the staff by July 4. That was yesterday.
Politico, following the recent media practice of numbering just how many "sources" they talk to, said two insiders and three outsiders confirmed the shake up rumors, though it also included some wiggle room in suggesting Trump may not pull the trigger.
They reported this from Trump to Priebus:
"I'm giving you until July 4," Trump said, according to a person with knowledge of the conversation.
"I don't want them to come into this mess. If I'm going to clean house, they will come in as fresh blood."
L. Brent Bozell III, president of the press watchdog Media Research Center saw July 4 come and go with no change and told Secrets, "I've lost count how many times the 'news' media have reported the imminent political death of Reince Priebus. Mark Twain could relate to him."
Bozell added, "They've declared so many people fired at the White House, I'm surprised there's anyone left over there."
With so many media predictions of firings and staff shake ups gone wrong, some see damage to the media industry.
"When some in the media frequently continue to report on supposedly imminent major White House staff changes that never seem to come true, these stories can end up playing right into the fake news trap over the long-term," said longtime GOP communicator Ron Bonjean, a co-founder of Washington-based Rokk Solutions.
So far, only the former White House communications director has left administration, and some in the media tripped over that story in suggesting that Press Secretary Sean Spicer was also on the way out. That flamed up when reports surfaced that he was looking for somebody to replace him, though the fuller story was that he was expanding his reach by taking over the communications job and extending his reach to the whole administration's press operations.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org