Jack Shafer says Donald Trump has freed us all to do the necessary work outside the bubble of Washington and the White House briefing room, which may be rendered useless very soon anyway:
“As Trump shuts down White House access to reporters, they will infest the departments and agencies around town that the president has peeved. The intelligence establishment, which Trump has deprecated over the issue of Russian hacking, owes him no favors and less respect. It will be in their institutional interest to leak damaging material on Trump. The same applies to other bureaucracies. Will a life-long EPA employ take retirement knowing he won’t be replaced, or if he is, by somebody who will take policy in a direction he deplores? Such an employee could be a fine source. Trump, remember, will only be president, not emperor, and as such subject to all the passive-aggressive magic a bureaucracy can produce. Ditto the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI, and even conventionally newsless outposts like Transportation and Labor.”
Furthermore, his paper and now digital trail of business deal wreckage is a global opportunity to really go for the jugular, since Trump is treating the media as an opposition party, and the media is vowing to oppose him:
“But he remains unpopular with at least half of the nation, and they constitute an eager audience for critical reporting. Somebody could remind Gingrich that it’s much harder to shut down readers and viewers than it is a segment of the media. The harder Trump rides the press—and he gives no sign of dismounting—the higher he elevates reporters in the estimation of many voters.”
The media wars have only just begun, and it will continue to be waged in the cocoons circles of the media and political establishments.
At the very least, this is is sobering opportunity for local journalists in troubled communities to further examine why so many voted for a man many believe is so ill-suited and ill-tempered to be Commander-in-Chief, and what he can really do to help reverse the decay around them.
That opportunity, to do that kind of journalism, has always been there. It’s doubtful the national media will do anything more than parachute into the Rust Belt, Deep South and other “red” areas of America, which is becoming redder with each passing election.