Aggression, hostility, bias: The news media’s unapologetic war on President Trump has been going full force since he was inaugurated. Manipulative headlines and unfair coverage require strategic countermeasures — and the heart of a lion perhaps.
“Short of curing cancer or forging peace in the Middle East, President Trump is always going to be a target of ire for a majority of the media. Trump was not their candidate, and he is never going to be their candidate — they just simply don’t like him. That said, President Trump cannot let the media pierce his image as a dealmaker who puts America first amid a narrative of incompetence and dysfunction,” Ford O’Connell, an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and a political analyst, tells Inside the Beltway.
There are tactics to neutralize negative press and avoid the damaging side effects of an entrenched political establishment, he says.
“President Trump will need a big legislative victory on tax reform, infrastructure or border enforcement and immigration. He can achieve that by putting more balls in play on Capitol Hill and playing small ball in the interim: the Supreme Court confirmation, avoiding a government shutdown, raising the debt ceiling. What Trump is fighting against more than the media is a Washington that is perfectly happy with the status quo. A legislative victory won’t be easy, but should it occur, Trump will likely get a second bite at the apple on health care reform,” Mr. O’Connell continues.
“When you are up to your eyeballs in alligators, it is hard to remember your original mission: to drain the swamp. As long as President Trump makes clear that every measure he signs, whether it is an executive order or a bill before Congress, is presented to the electorate as something that will increase jobs or improve people’s livelihood, his core supporters will never abandon Trump. There were a lot of reasons Trump was elected president, but chief among them was a belief he would improve the economy and make life better for average Americans,” he concludes.