Reporters could stage a group protest. But that would make them look like they’re at war with the president, just as he always says they are. Or they could do nothing and effectively “submit to his authority to determine who gets to hold him accountable,” as the former Republican presidential strategist Steve Schmidt put it to me in an interview on Friday.
Mr. Schmidt was on my call list as I polled strategists from both parties on how to handle the conundrum…
The strategists have more experience with this kind of thing than newspaper editors or journalism professors.
“He’s Swift-Boating you guys,” said Stephanie Cutter, a Democratic strategist who worked on the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John Kerry.