Stop Playing His Game
On Friday, President Trump declared the media (with the exception of the mouthpiece Fox News) were the enemies of the people. The media, in turn, exploded in anger and horror over this writing thousands of words in rebuttal in columns on their news sites, blogs on the Internet and tweets on Twitter. Today, I send out a call to all these angered and humiliated journalists across the world defending their honor:
Stop playing Trump’s game. Start playing yours: agitate for the truth.
Like a schoolyard bully, hurtful taunts only have power when you give it to them; Mr. Trumps’ rhetoric, by spawning all these replies (including this one) clearly have us in his sway. Instead of pressing for the truth in the real stories, we are playing into the game in which he has set up: we are spending our time and energy and ink into countering his baseless taunting.
Going forward, when Mr. Trump tweets about the “fake” news of CNN and CBS and The Washington Post or bombasts about the “failing” New York Times, give them their due weight: nothing. Ignore or un-follow his twitter account. Post nothing on your blog or in the columns of your newspaper or the minutes of your TV shows; do not be drawn into the fruitless and pointless game in which he is baiting you. Play your game, not his. He has Twitter, you have the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; you hold real power here.
Spend your energy pursuing the truth about his relationship with the Russians, the pointless plan for the border wall, the failed immigration ban; these are the stories that deserve our attention, not the name calling. In time, his taunts will be as empty as the promises he made the nation during the campaign in 2016.
The historical lesson that Mr. Trump seems to fail to understand is the same lesson that President Nixon learned in 1974: no matter how angry you become, no matter how much rhetoric you throw around, no matter how many new negative catch-terms you invent, you cannot kill the truth. The truth is impenetrable to these things; it only continues to lie in wait until it is exposed.
And it will.