There’s been a seemingly endless line of people showing up at Trump Tower for meetings with the President Elect, providing the press pool with fodder for non-stop speculation. One of the more flamboyant figures on the guest list was Laura Ingraham, who took her turn yesterday. When word of her scheduled appearance first broke, our colleague Jim Jamitis at RedState (no fan of Trump’s to be sure) noted that she had been an early supporter of Trump’s so this probably wasn’t much of a surprise.
The most likely bet among the prognosticating class is that Ingraham is being considered for a job as Press Secretary. As Jim reports, Laura had previously said she would consider the post, but would prefer to be helping make policy rather than just broadcasting it. Still, if there are no other seats open at the table, would she really want to replace Josh Earnest? Now that the prospect is becoming more real, some in the media seem to be hitting the panic button. (Politico, emphasis added)
If Ingraham would be more interested in policy than previous White House press secretaries, she would also be less interested in the press.
She believes that most mainstream news organizations are part of a bipartisan liberal establishment that is institutionally biased against Trump and right-wing populist movements. Throughout the campaign, she relentlessly criticized the “establishment media” and “Republican establishment” for its opposition to Trump…
“New media has spent enormous time and resources covering Benghazi, the FBI investigation, Wikileaks, Planned Parenthood and the corrupt Justice Department,” she said. “None of these things and others would have come to light without the New Media. ABC, NBC, the Washington Post are worse than irrelevant. We now must make fun of them.”
Looking at that last quote you can understand why the press might be considering that they picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. Putting someone behind the lectern in the White House press room who arrives with a mission of “making fun of them” would represent a total shift in the traditional tone there. But even if this does come to pass, would anyone really be surprised? It’s not as if this wasn’t a punch that Trump has been telegraphing on the campaign trail from the beginning. Unlike what we saw in previous campaigns, the mainstream media didn’t simply serve as quiet observers at Trump rallies. They were featured as prominent characters in the play. The Donald regularly called them out in the press area, heaping scorn on them for their biased coverage and pausing while the crowd would boo and jeer.
Perhaps a new dynamic in the press room will liven things up a bit. We saw multiple instances during the campaign where members of the media insisted that they needed to be “fact checking Trump in real time” during the debates and his frequent speeches rather than simply broadcasting the events and reporting on them later. It would be interesting to say the least if Josh Earnest was replaced by someone who would “bias check” the reporters in “real time” when they ask questions.
Would that provide more or less useful information to the public? As with almost everything else on this unpredictable ride, who knows? We’re in uncharted territory here, but it’s going to make for some awesome blogging opportunities.