Antony and Cleopatra, Romeo and Juliet – Donald Trump and the legacy media? The greatest romance stories of our time have never failed to inspire the lovelorn on St. Valentine’s Day, and this year will prove no exception.
Sure, for a while after their notorious and very public breakup with Trump, the media fooled around and played the field with newcomer President Joe Biden. He treated the press well, granted White House access, didn’t call them names (at least not often), and it seemed that they shared the same values … and that’s important in any relationship. But it soon became apparent that not only was this new love interest emotionally closed off (no questions, please), but he just couldn’t ignite that passion that was so easy and free-flowing with The Donald.
They’ve been apart for more than a year now, and it’s as plain as the tears running down the tabloid pages: the media wants Donald Trump back, and they’ll do anything to catch his eye once more.
You are Always on My Mind
The establishment press wanted Trump to think it had moved on, that it no longer needed or craved his particular brand of machismo, but the signs were still there. Even on that special first anniversary with Joe Biden – a time when focus and adoring eyes really should have been on its new paramour’s celebration, the media just couldn’t help itself. On January 20, the inauguration anniversary, more stories were about Donald than Joe.
Don’t think Biden was blind to this, though, oh no. He knew.
Joe could so rarely bring himself to even utter the name of his rival. “My predecessor,” “the other guy,” he used. Any moniker that could save him from having to say the dreaded name. And, of course, blaming all the ills of the cosmos on Trump became almost second nature. When the media would make a comparison between the two presidents, the jealousy became too much, and Joe would lash out with harsh derision.
Honesty, Honesty, Honesty
Perhaps, in the end, the media just grew sick of Biden’s lies and boasting. Yes, a relationship needs trust and loyalty, but asking your significant other to jettison their integrity to support you time and time again just became too much.
Joe wanted reporters to boost his ego; he even had his White House staff reach out to his beloved correspondents and lightly scold them over the poor coverage for his grand plans and schemes. The media acquiesced, naturally, as lovers often do. But it stung. And when poll after poll showed that even the formerly adoring public had had enough, the press realized it was now or never to escape what was fast becoming a mentally abusive relationship.
News show hosts, reporters, and pundits obsessed over Donald Trump during his presidency. He was morning, noon, and night, and every sentence he said was worth at least 300 words on the digital page. Some would say that Donald made traditional news outlets relevant again in an age when social media has become the dominant communication platform. When they got together, the media had a new purpose and fire, a raison d’etre, if you will. And then he went away.
Still, they couldn’t stop. Every opportunity to talk about Trump was taken. Day after day, love letters of complaint poured forth, and yet, underneath the surface scorn, the real message was clear: Donald, we want you back. Without Trump, the ratings have dropped, the credibility is stretched even further beyond belief, and talking non-stop about anything but Joe Biden’s seriously troubled presidency just doesn’t draw the crowds.
Of course, they don’t want Trump to be president again, but to have him run? To make him the 2024 contender? That would be the Fourth Estate’s fondest wish. They are ready to ditch this new guy in a heartbeat and spend 24 hours a day talking non-stop Donald.
The only question remaining is how far is the media willing to go to get him back?
~ Read more from Mark Angelides.