by Thomas Valentine
For months — heck, for two years — the media has been obsessed with Donald Trump. They have covered his every word and every move since the moment he announced his candidacy for president in 2015, and since he took office in January, it’s been at a fever pitch. Nonstop, wall-to-wall, endless, breathless coverage of Donald Trump and all his missteps, real or alleged. I’ve heard “Russian collusion” so many times that I don’t even know what is being investigated anymore.
The media have been trying to discredit Trump’s presidency since day one. Every little thing he does becomes a national crisis. And it’s exhausting. I’ve simply stopped watching the news most of the time, except for an hour or two a day.
We got a brief break from the rancor earlier this summer when a crazed Bernie Sanders supporter attempted to assassinate Republican members of Congress. I thought the break would last a few days, but literally that same night, the mainstream media was back to covering the latest “bombshell” on Russia.
Now we’re getting a real break as the media does a good job of covering Hurricane Harvey. This is a real, national crisis, the type of story the 24-hour news cycle was designed for. This is where the media is critical — conveying news and safety information, telling stories of heartbreak and heroism. Texans and all Americans are rightfully glued to their TVs for the latest news.
I worry that the media’s Trump obsession may have actually made the impact of the storm worse. Meteorologists have known about the danger of this storm for a week or two, but the media wasn’t covering it until this past weekend. Had they been able to break away from their Trump coverage for one second, perhaps the general public in Texas would have been better prepared because they knew the storm was coming.
But they are covering the storm now. And days like these are where the media shines. They are covering real news that impacts people’s lives. This is what we need — not more panel discussions about the latest Trump tweet.