The Spin Cycle

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire” is a useful aphorism — unless you happen to be talking about media coverage of the Trump administration. In that case, the saying should be: “Where there’s smoke, there’s a smoke machine.”

At the risk of mixing my metaphors, I’m now calling the process we are witnessing this week the “spin cycle.”

Here’s how it works:

  1. Anonymous sources leak fake news
  2. The media hypes the leak, turning it into an “explosive” report
  3. The White House is surprised by the report and denies it
  4. The media reports that the White House is in “turmoil” or “chaos”
  5. The President seeks to clarify the denial in a tweet or interview
  6. The media interprets the clarification as a contradiction and hypes that
  7. The media speculates about Nixonian crimes and conspiracy theories right after admitting there is no evidence of any crime
  8. Democrats start talking about impeachment — again
  9. A few Republicans admit the report would be a problem if true
  10. The media reports that the President is losing the support of his party
  11. Pundits speculate that the President may just decide to resign
  12. The original story starts losing steam due to lack of substance
  13. The media resorts to criticizing the President for his incompetence in handling the (fake) matter
  14. A new “explosive” report breaks …

[A tip of the hat to Michael Tracy, who wrote a similar piece (“The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation”) back in March that inspired this one.]

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