I believe some of my colleagues — many of my colleagues — think this president has gone so far over the line bashing the media, that it has given them an excuse to cross the line themselves, to push back. As tempting as that may be, I think it’s a big mistake.

We are not players in the game. We are umpires, or observers, trying to be objective witnesses to what is going on. That doesn’t mean we’re stenographers. If the president — or anyone we’re covering — says something untrue or does something questionable, we can and should report it.

But we shouldn’t be drawn into becoming players on the field, trying to match the people we cover in invective. It’s not our role. We’re not as good at it as they are. And we’re giving up our special place in our democracy. There’s enough to report about this president that we don’t need to offer opinions or put our thumb on the scale.