Donald Trump is obsessed with the media. And the media is obsessed with Trump. Let’s take it as a given that this obsession is unhealthy. The last time there was such a level of neurotic fixation and overwhelming distrust between a president and the press was during the Nixon administration. The current White House would be well aware that the press won that war — and that the stakes now can be mortal.
Indeed, each side believes that, given its druthers, the other would kill it. So how does this bitter and potentially lethal game play out?
The media view is that the Trump people are not only mendacious but nincompoops — “alternative facts,” ha-ha. To the media, it is a given that Trump is largely out of control and that the people around him are struggling at all times to save him from himself — and largely failing. This view persists (again in a series of unsourced stories this past week), despite Trump’s victory flattening almost every media assumption about his supposed haplessness and lack of strategy.