Palace Intrigue…

It has gotten to be virtually a daily affair.  We get our dose of Oval office news as to who is in, who is out and who is behind what.  I do not recall this drip-drip-drip about any other President or staff in my lifetime.

I know that President Donald Trump is still a bit of an oddity to the news media.  After all, that media was not at all kind to this then-candidate who had the audacity to challenge the anointed one, Hillary Clinton.  She was situated so as to be the first woman to occupy this office.  Rumors had been squelched, and the propagators of those rumors had been humiliated as best the press could accomplish, sometimes on short notice.

So we awoke to learn that Donald Trump would be sworn in as the new President.  There was the immediate push-back by the press as to his seeming lack of qualifications for this office, and further as to the astonishing vote by the public for this never before politically involved figure and his upset of the anointed one, and that by a slim margin.   Maybe there ought to be a recount postulated some.  The Electoral College itself came under some question as to continuing validity.

We probably should have seen today coming even then.  Today is this general time since the swearing-in ceremony.  It deals with the unorthodox things President Trump does or has done as the media defines such things.  It deals with his selections for advisor roles which weren’t always people the mainstream media had been speculating might be the chosen ones.

And then, there was this Bannon fellow who had been part of the political media but had never been thought, apparently by his peers in that media cabal, to be Oval office-caliber talent.  And there he was in the Oval office.  And there was this Greek-sounding guy, Reince Priebus with a difficult name, and his only creds seemed to be his stature as a Wisconsin attorney and as one of the really big players in the Republican world.

And then there were the multiple family members of the winner who were brought into the inner-inner circle and who had the President’s ear about virtually any and all things.  This was just all so difficult to grasp since this guy wasn’t supposed to be in that position; there was supposed to be a woman, our first woman President whose husband had been a President and who had been First Lady in her own right.

I mean, the guy who was elected doesn’t even seem ‘presidential’ as the press defines that.

Then, oh my, and then the press conferences began and those were nothing like they had always been.  For heaven’s sake, the seating arrangement was even changed, and the big dogs were not assured of being called first…or at all…in this new world.  This simply could not be tolerated, but indeed that continues today and seems to be the new normal.

There were some procedural goofs if all the custom was to have been recognized and made to remain in place, that occurred and this was, of course, evidence that the new President was in over his head, that his picks for Oval office staff had been poor choices, etc., etc., etc.  The press was no longer in the cat bird’s seat and this was nearly intolerable for the press.  It was entitled, after all.

So, as is easy to understand in the swamp that is the District of Columbia, there needed to be someone somewhere that could be made the new canary in the coal mine.  There had to be people with some inside knowledge who would be pleased to be pumped up as to their importance by the press.  They could be pressed into service for rumor and gossip and innuendo that would serve as food for the daily news cycle.  After all, if the press published a story, it was deemed to be the truth. PERIOD!

Then this President, who was deemed not to belong, came up with the accusation about “fake news”, and that almost made heads explode in the world of newsrooms and printing presses and hurried stories on the Internet.  Who did this guy think he was?  Sure, he got elected, but that only counts for so much.  After that, he needs to ‘play ball’ with the press.  If he won’t play ball, maybe we can gather some more enticing stuff to lace into our stories just to make them more eagerly consumed, of course; not to bring distortions to the surface, of course.  Just to help us hit deadlines.

Is the palace intrigue real or is it simply the result of the press’ whining.  Are the leaks being cobbled together from whole cloth or are they real?  We cannot be sure at the moment, but with the passing of time and good memories, we have a chance to find the pearls amongst the dung.

Had there, forbid the thought, been a President Hillary Clinton, how would the press’ world be today.  I suspect quite different from that it experiences today.  Would there be palace intrigue?  Maybe but if so it would’ve been properly assembled to appear as truthful as possible and therefore as believable as possible.  Fortunately, there is no President Hillary.  We will get whatever the press determines to be the truth, and we can take it or leave it.  Fortunately, we have the free flow of information in this democracy, and information can be obtained from many different sources.  It is up to each of us to make the effort to read between the lines, and to be possessors of questioning minds.  We have no one but self to blame if we find we were the victim of our own gullibility.

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