Among the many firsts for which the President-elect may be credited: Deploying Twitter to declare war. Not against a foreign nation, but the mainstream media, which he has described at various times as “outrageous,” “dishonest,” “sleazy and among the worst people I’ve ever met,” “scum,” “slime,” and “disgusting.” And they “spread fake news.”
Legions of his followers on social media gleefully retweet and repost his rants, chiming in with their heartfelt approval. Singling out bastions of establishment journalism such as The New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, NPR, etc., they not only applaud their candidate’s sharp language, but express solidarity with his suggestions that change is needed, perhaps by limiting their access, adjusting libel laws, and taking a hard look at the First Amendment.
The President-elect’s transition team has taken notice, and in a series of memos provided suggestions to capitalize on popular sentiment, in what one adviser termed “defanging the MSM.” In a confidential telephone conversation, Bratbreit has learned that once in office, the President will take action to create barriers between his administration and MSM representatives, creating havoc as they scramble for news, ultimately battering their revenue streams. “Nothing illegal, of course,” our source insisted. “Just hardball capitalism.”
While this would appear to bode badly for MSM, since the election subscriptions (and in the case of ProPublica and NPR, donations) have soared. In an ironic twist, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times report big jumps in subscribers, as do magazines such as The Atlantic and Vanity Fair. One editor speculated that an unintended consequence of Trump’s overt hostility to the press will herald in a new golden age of journalism.
Sounds like a stretch, but recall the way sales in firearms soared during the Obama administration, as Second Amendment supporters reacted to reports that new restrictions and confiscations were imminent. One source reports sales of 100 million guns in seven years of office, earning making Barrack Obama the title “Salesman of the Year.”
Perhaps this title will be handed over to Donald Trump, along with the keys to the White House, when new MSM revenue is calculated.