Sarah Grace Goolden
The first year of President Donald Trump’s presidency proved to be a whirlwind of accusations and scandals. From firing the FBI director investigating his campaign team, to the recent alleged bribing of an adult movie star, the White House seems to be battling public outrage weekly. Both sides continue to argue their opinion of the president, which means that everyone seems to always be talking about him.
The Trump administration, like many administrations before, have become quite comfortable defending every fumble they’ve experienced. For every scandal, there is an explanation. Most comments from President Trump that can be seen as abrasive and insensitive are brushed off as “just Trump being Trump.” His bluntness is, after all, what attracted a lot of voters to him in the first place.
A good Cabinet of the United States should be supportive of the president, but should also able to admit when he is wrong. Integrity cannot be swapped for unity. If all of their “effort” are put into protecting Trump from the media, then it is likely that more important issues will be pushed to the backburner.
For example, the Russian hacker scandal, in which the president’s campaign has been accused of using Russian intelligence to get the upper hand in the election, has been branded just slander by his supporters.
In a Wall Street Journal article “What the FBI Fight is About,” longtime editorial author Holman Jenkins Jr., describes the lengths he is willing to go in order to support his president. Jenkins Jr. rationalized that the duty of every president is to “fight for his political existence.” Although this is an extreme example of devotion, many of his apologists applaud his aggressive tactics.
It is important to remember that not all of White House representatives are in support of Trump’s decisions. 34 percent of Trump’s original staff have left since his first year, which is more than triple the losses during Barack Obama’s administration. Turnover in the Trump administration is “record-setting,” says Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution that studies staff turnover.
Others have distanced themselves from the administration in response to Trump’s political decisions. Elon Musk and Robert Iger, both powerful businessmen, resigned from their roles on the advisory council after the U.S. withdrew from the Paris climate accord.
On the other hand, the press is just as Trump-obsessed as his fans. Although, according to the Pew Research Center, the media’s coverage of the president in his first 60 days was more than three times more negative than former president Barack Obama. Good or bad, his shocking statements and political blunders are still allowing journalists to churn out article after article, allowing the public to get their daily diet of President Donald Trump.
The war between Trump supporters and haters has created an infatuation with him. Those on one side are diligently awaiting his success. Those who disapprove of his presidency are waiting for his failure. Both are watching his every move, hoping for the upperhand.
President Trump has declared a so-called “war on media,” which includes the dismissal of left-leaning news sources that publish critical news about him. The fact is that Trump will continue to make comments that people find horrifying, and his supporters will continue to find justifications for him.
Being aware and active in politics is an important thing, but when both sides are so firm in their belief that their way is the only way, the divide between the left and right becomes wider.
It is the media’s job to keep society well-informed of what is happening around us, but when every article is about Trump, journalism becomes more of a witch-hunt, proving over and over again that the president is still saying the same things he was last week. Those who love him will not change their mind after the hundreth essay. The Trump obsession is producing nothing more than a separation between the American people.
The events happening in Washington, D.C. should be documented in the media but capitalizing on scandals is where it slips into an obsession, rather than just reporting the news.