Let us begin by acknowledging that any sense of perspective in American politics or political media has died a hideous death. There is plenty of blame to go around, but I still lay most of it at the media's doorstep.
The mainstream media (MSM) in America presently combines unearned self-importance, a still-impressive reach, and a pathological need to be permanently aggrieved that is poisoning the political psyche in this country.
Sure, they will tell you that it is all President Donald Trump's fault, but he is only one man. He may be the most powerful man on Earth, but still just one. They, by comparison, are a legion.
By now, we are almost all aware of Trump's Sunday morning wrestling parody dig at CNN.
It's an old staged promo for a “sport” that itself is universally agreed to be staged, and a semi-well-adjusted person over the age of 4 can understand that it isn't meant to be taken as anything but a joke.
The debate continues to rage about whether or not Trump's Twitter behavior is “presidential” or not. I happen to be a fan, while many others have pointed out that Bill Clinton sort of permanently lowered the bar for that.
The reason so many are aware of the tweet, however, is that the press spent several hours after it was posted behaving as if the president had just put their lives in danger.
Republican “strategist” Ana Navarro led the charge:
By the way, the strategist credentials she's ridden to this gig were: McCain '08, Huntsman '12, and Jeb '16. Elizabeth Taylor had better success with marriage(s).
CNN's ninny-in-residence, Brian Stelter, tried to distract from the fact that he had to go on-air and address just how big of a bucket of fail his network has been this past week by trying to get Trump kicked off Twitter:
Because the left has learned nothing from 2016, the all-important celebrity reaction was immediately sought out:
Carl Bernstein went into a verbal garment-rending about Trump being “anti-freedom of the press.”
Bernstein said that on CNN — which, again, is less than a week removed from firing three people over a retracted story that lied about the Trump administration and Russia. The network's journalistic moral high ground is nothing more than a rapidly eroding anthill at this point.
The press has been fond of saying that Trump's tweets are a distraction from things that aren't going well for the administration so far.
If they are, it is only because the MSM turns them into one.
If the president spends 12 seconds tweeting, the media covering him don't have to dwell on it for the next 10 hours.
The only reason they are doing this is because they are so malignantly narcissistic that they can't resist the chance to make a story about themselves, especially if it fits the “Trump is bullying us!” narrative.
The factors mentioned at the beginning of this post make it impossible for them to understand that a goofy tweet is just a goofy tweet, no matter how un-presidential. They're so unhinged right now, they perceive everything as a personal threat.
Obviously, this is a shift in mood for them, as they have all just emerged from eight years of behaving like a throng of teenage girls at a One Direction concert for President Barack Obama.
It is time for them to stop pretending that this is a one-sided adversarial relationship with Trump, however. They may think they are engaged in responsible journalism, but they were so far removed from it during the Obama years that they overcorrected while reorienting themselves for the Trump years.
If CNN doesn't want Trump to say bad things about it, then maybe CNN should stop lying about him and try some real, emotion-free journalism.
And maybe get a grip already.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.