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The race to take down Trump

As a long-time messaging and business coach,  one of my driving motivations in following US politics and the corresponding media coverage is to observe all the choices that are made in terms of messaging strategy and measure their degree of success as time reveals it.

These days, however, that soap opera / messaging course is all poured through a very coarse filter.

Virtually every media outlet to the left of Fox News and Breitbart has, in my opinion, allowed themselves to be painted by the President as biased and motivated by a barely veiled agenda.  He tirelessly hits them with his “Fake News” label.

News channels have always had an advantage over whomever they choose to highlight in any given story.

The newsroom can carefully craft their narrative, mould and shape the language and focus to gently nudge opinion one way of the other, in much the same way that charts and statistics can be tickled to support varied conclusions.

I choose to hope and believe that there are still ‘traditional journalists’ that follow leads, hold sources accountable to the veracity of their information, and simply let the story take them where the facts lead.

But Trump is unique.  He inspired and woke something new in the public.  With a brash and cocky “get out of the way and let a pro handle this” attitude, he convinced enough of the electorate to finally try some very different and see if it works.

Equally, Trump stirred strong feelings from the journalists and anchormen and women.

I’ll stick to the news media for now.  When it comes to TV and Movie actors and actresses, I’m not sure anything is added to this conversation.  Their statements are often so demonstrably lopsided and disconnected from half the country and half their audience, that I don’t feel there are any valuable lessons in messaging to be found.  So I’ll leave them until I decide to write an article titled:  “How to alienate huge swaths of your clientelle while ingratiating yourself to everyone who already unblinkingly agrees with you.

As Trump bashes the Media, and he’s done so from very early on, it’s a perfectly natural and predictable response that they will in turn fight back harder and really try to get their flashlights into every dark  corner of his administration and past business dealings.

Tit for tat.  If you pick a fight with the Media (or the Intelligence Community), then you’d better be ready for a fight.  Trump doesn’t strike me as someone who shies away from too many verbal fights.  He clearly feels he will be the ultimate winner.

But in addition to = bashing Trump in order to defend their honor and to drive ratings, there’s something else in the back of the minds of (I suspect) everyone with a press card.

What if I was the one that took down the President?

For all their posturing about not wanting to be the story, not wanting to inject themselves into what they are reporting, they all fantasize about being the next Woodward or Bernstein.

… They all fantasize about being the next Woodward or Bernstein.

Imagine.  A legend in your chosen field.  Revered forever. Robert Redford is playing me?  I’ll take it.  It’s enough to woo many people over the line. The line of truly objective reporting.

We can all see very plainly now, that when you combine personal leanings, with the need to defend your reputation and your industry, and add to that the lure of being the one who “got him”, you get frequent and farcical overreach.

People in the news media now are tripping over each other to fire the first silver bullet, and in their mad dash are doing more harm to themselves and their profession than Trump on his own could ever do.

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