How the Media Should Handle Trump: CNN Edition

Ayush, Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/yHX7L

CNN is really cracking me up these days.

You know that look you get when someone’s straight up playing you but you can’t quite figure out how? That’s how their talking heads look whenever Trump or one of his cronies starts talking over them a mile a minute. They know something’s wrong, but they can’t figure out what.

That’s because Trumpland is a whole new world. They speak a different language. Have a different mindset entirely. And half the country, including most mainstream media outlets, don’t know what the hell to do with all this.

So here’s the thing, media peeps. You’re tourists in your own country now. Act like it:

1. Try to accept that you’re in another country. Don’t keep telling them how much better they do things where you come from. Listen carefully, look for and speak to similarities between your culture and theirs. Be gracious as long as you’re not being asked to compromise your core values and principles — be ready to defend same if necessary, too. Logically and gracefully. You’re used to dealing with people who think and act like you do. That’s over. Watch and learn.

2. Ask a whole lot of questions. If you don’t get an answer that works for you, ask again. Keep doing that until you feel like you’ve gotten the real answer. But when you have a chance, do some digging just to make sure. And if you were flat out lied to, remember that, let us know, and be less gullible next time.

3. If it smells weird, don’t eat it. Go to work, find out what that smell is — your gut is usually right. Do your homework and let us know there’s something rotten or poisonous being passed around that we should steer clear of.

4. Make a fuss if you feel you’re being cheated or misled. Don’t wait for somebody on the “panel” to do it for you, pounce! Cry “foul” and embarrass the hell out of ’em. Let them know you’re nobody’s fool. Even if it means looking like one sometimes. They’ll give you what you want and remember not to mess with you next time. Trump may ban you from the corps but maybe that’ll motivate you to fight back the way you should’ve been doing all along.

In other words, try to play nice but scream bloody murder when you feel threatened. And you will be threatened. A lot. We all will be. And we’re counting on you to sound the alarm. You’re our first responders now. Don’t let us down.

One BIG caveat, though. In Trumpland, no one may hear you scream for quite some time. He was elected by people who don’t care what he does, even if it’s pretty vile. They just wanted to show us who was still the “boss” of things. So right now, they’re on Cloud 9. They can’t hear us from ‘way up there.

It’ll feel like a thankless job, but you’ve got a lot of role models to fall back on — Edward R. Murrow keeps coming to mind. Your time will come. Unless we really do go all the way Right, that is. You know what I mean.

Anything could happen. And nothing would surprise me. But you’re our only hope.

And I reiterate: don’t let us down.

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