Little Rock I have honestly never listened to an Obama press conference in full, nor either of the Bushes, Clinton, and so on, but there I was driving from New Orleans to Greenville, Mississippi, and Mississippi Public Radio was the only clear channel on the radio, so that’s what I had on. I’ve caught their health call-in show before with a doctor from the Jackson VA hospital which is pretty good, as well as some others, and suddenly they interrupted the show to broadcast the full-on Trump show from his New York tower. It was like an out of body experience. It was simply unbelievable compared to any reasonable expectation listeners might have had. Wow!
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind it not being “presidential,” whatever that means, and I’m totally comfortable with disruption and having all of the tables turned upside down. What I’m not comfortable with is crazy.
Here is my best example. Trump said that he “will be the best job producer that God ever created.” I’m not going to try and speak for her, but God must have been shocked. I don’t even think God has been keeping accurate statistics on the worlds’ top ten job producers of all time. And, thank goodness for that, so that Trump won’t have to call God a liar and loser. The pure pomposity and outrageousness of that claim is just breathtaking. It’s one thing to take credit for something. All presidents do that at some level, but this is just a total boast. This is pure ego unleashed. Add to this the fact that Trump is not even president yet. Houston, we have a problem!
The level of mumble-jumble was amazing, and even when he wanted to make a point, he swallowed his ask with asides, personal grievances, preemptive attacks, victim blaming, insults, and hyperbole piled on top of exaggerations. He doesn’t have a cabinet confirmed yet, but it is one of the best ever. They aren’t yet on the job, but he claims they’ve all been working hard and it’s a heckuva team. More unsubstantiated boasts out of nowhere and for no reason. We are about to have a president who has never heard the expression, “actions speak louder than words,” and who clearly totally believes that enough words will drown out all facts and obliterate all fantasies.
It was real work to pull out the brass from the bull. I had to listen hard to hear what he had to say about Russia and the hacking, about conflicts of interest and self-dealing, about how he is going to get Mexico to reimburse us for the wall, about when they would have a healthcare bill, and so on. Part of the struggle is the constant repetition of superlatives crushes the information like a wall collapsing on itself. Even when I thought I was hearing something solid from him, he would dilute and contradict a couple of lines later.
And, then there’s the tone. There’s always been a bit of a scrum in even the bits and pieces of presidential press conferences that I’ve heard in the past, but now we are going all British with name calling and accusations back and forth.
People get ready. Whatever you might have thought a president press conference might have been in the future, get over that. Whatever you might have thought was decorum and the weight and gravity of the office, forget about it. We’re going to see fisticuffs in one of these so-called press conferences in the future. We’re not going to the White House. We’re going Wide World of Wrestling.