Betty wrote about Jay Rosen’s new essay at his site PressThink, where he recommends that editors should change the way their media outlets cover Trump since he spreads so much misinformation. Last night, Rosen posted this lengthy Twitter thread to address the question of whether reporters should do a better job questioning Trump at press conferences. Read the whole thing, but he makes a couple of good points:
- If you question Trump about a falsehood, he spins off more lies as he answers your question, so the lies grow exponentially. So the notion that good, hard questions will make any difference is wrong.
- There will be no moment where some reporter asks (as Joseph Welch did at the Army/McCarthy hearings) “have you no sense of decency” and Trump crumbles. We need to stop looking for that.
Again, read the whole thing. Trump is about to hold another press conference, and I’m sure things will come out of his piehole, but I think Rosen’s proposal to scale coverage of those press conferences way back and summarize what can be verified is what we need to do right now. I also think Paul Campos is right to say that a “semi-normal, minimally functional human being” as President could look like Churchill in the next few months, since we’re all just looking for a little honest leadership, but Trump doesn’t even have the ability to live up to that incredibly low standard.