Posted by: marlenebarbera | November 28, 2016

Politico offers, ‘New Rules’ for Covering Trump: An Answer to The Shallows?

Nov 28, 2016, Jack Shafer of Politico, in response to Donald Trump’s latest, ‘100-megaton stink bomb’ as he characterizes the President Elect’s latest twitter rampage regarding ‘millions of illegal ballots’ cast for Clinton, suggests some new rules for responding to Trump. To counter Trump’s tendency to toss off provocations to divert attention and discussion from damaging stories, for example, the exhaustive New York Times piece about his numerous business conflicts of interests and the complications they pose for his presidency.

The rules include a suggestion to not leap to the bait, consider that Trump tweets have a loyal following disinterested in objective reality and that this will only alter as his promises to return jobs, to drain the swamp of special interests and to eliminate competition in the form of immigrants and trade deals, fail to materialize into actual policies benefiting his supporters.

His second point contains an answer at least as far as the responsibility of journalism lies, to The Shallows, it is worth quoting in full,

Yes, Trump trolls us, especially the press. We shouldn’t take his bait, but that’s not the same as ignoring him. The context in which the press adresses his tweets is paramount: If Trump makes an unsupported claim as he did on Twitter yesterday, it is news; but the news is not the claim but the fact that he’s advancing a wildly unfounded claim. That point belongs in the headline, the first sentence of the first paragraph, and elsewhere in the piece. Always pair the latest Trump deception with the news story he’s deflecting attention away from. Feel free to qualify Trump’s thrust by writing something like “in an apparent attempt to bury negative news about his recent proposal” when he tweets his cockamamie best.

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