Hey, I completely agree Trump was wrong to share it.
David Cearley

I don’t disagree with you that the media coverage isn’t helping things. Still, both the Washington Post and New York Times withheld sensitive details to protect the source. So did I.

I’ve worked with some of these same media outlets on stories that involved highly sensitive intelligence programs. On several occasions, reporters agreed to not report things in order to protect national security. So, I’m not so quick to pin all the blame on the media.

I won’t argue that Trump always gets a fair shake in the press. He doesn’t. But, ultimately a lot of this is of his own making. Many reporters probably don’t like Trump. But, the bigger reason Trump is held to a higher degree of scrutiny is that he’s so often proven the need to do so. Over and over again he’s undermined his own credibility with dubious, misleading and outright false statements. In the Art of the Deal, Trump explains why:

People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.” — Donald Trump, The Art of the Deal.

This is more or less what Trump’s been doing since he entered the political fray. While in business people might have learned to take Trump with a grain of salt, this approach translates badly to politics.

People expect Presidents to more or less stick to the facts. There’s a whole press corps waiting to tear you apart when you don’t. You might not like it, but it comes with the job. You have to deal with it. When I worked in the White House for Bush 43, there were people whose whole job was to make sure nothing inaccurate came out of the President’s mouth. No similar process apparently exists for Trump. Hyperbole is part of his schtick.

You’re not wrong that the press is tougher on Trump, but Trump himself is a good part of the reason why. To imagine that it’s all part of some well organized media conspiracy obscures the reality that Trump’s problems are in no small part of his own making — and ones only he can fix.

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