Trump’s TV habit: Too focused on ‘the shows’?
For decades, Donald Trump “spent hours and hours each week watching cable news shows,” said Philip Bump in The Washington Post, eagerly hunting mentions of his own name. Now that TV provides “an endless buffet of commentary” about his favorite topic, Trump seems unable “to keep from gorging.” According to a wave of leaks from inside the White House, Trump’s own aides portray the new president as an undisciplined, easily bored man who turns to cable TV for hours every day—to obsessively monitor proof of his own popularity, and to search for threats to his fragile ego. The president begins his day with several hours of cable news and opinion shows, and ends it with hours of Fox News—often pausing to tweet an enraged response or to echo policy ideas. “The picture we’re getting,” said Paul Waldman, also in The Washington Post, is of a TV-obsessed, narcissistic president whose aides view him “like a child whose disturbing behavior has to be managed.”
That’s absurd, said Eddie Scarry in Washington Examiner.com. If Trump spent all day watching TV and tweeting, how did he already accomplish so much of what he promised in his first 10 days in office? While journalists were sniping at him for his TV habits, Trump was signing “a raft of executive orders to undo Barack Obama’s legacy,” restricting taxpayer dollars for overseas abortions, canceling the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, ordering construction of a wall at the Mexican border, and prodding CEOs to invest in American workers. Who cares whether he watches TV or issues silly tweets, if he’s getting the job done?
The job is being done in a hurried, impulsive manner—largely because Trump has such a short attention span, said Peter Baker in The New York Times. Take Trump’s executive action to build his promised wall. When critics taunted the president on TV and social media about who would pay for it, he began issuing new pronouncements about an import tax, causing a major diplomatic schism with Mexico. At least four times last week, Trump issued policy pronouncements on Twitter after watching “the shows,” including a threat to “send in the Feds” to stop Chicago’s epidemic of gang gun violence, just minutes after Fox’s Bill O’Reilly suggested he do just that. Do Americans really want their president to be making major policy decisions based on “the chyrons on his television screen”?
Wit & Wisdom
“Behind every failure there is an opportunity someone wishes they missed.” Lily Tomlin, quoted in People.com
“If I don’t go in to work a little scared, I don’t have any interest in it.”
Mary Tyler Moore, quoted in USAToday.com
“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
General George S. Patton, quoted in HuffingtonPost.com
“Even though you can’t expect to defeat the absurdity of the world, you must make the attempt. That’s morality, that’s religion, that’s art, that’s life.”
Folk singer Phil Ochs, quoted in BuzzFeed.com
“Democracy, in its essence and genius, is imaginative love for and identification with a community with which, much of the time and in many ways, one may be in profound disagreement.”
Novelist Marilynne Robinson, quoted in LitHub.com
“Those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it, and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you.”
Frank Sinatra, quoted in the Belfast Telegraph
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
Plato, quoted in MontrealGazette.com
▪By an 84-13% margin, Americans say Congress should not repeal the Affordable Care Act until there is a replacement plan in place. Only 16% of voters want President Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal all of the Affordable Care Act. 96% of American voters, including 91% of Republicans, say it is “very” or “somewhat” important that health insurance be affordable for all Americans.