Tonight, President Donald Trump will speak to America over what he calls a “national security crisis” at the US border with Mexico. Whatever your opinion of the ongoing situation on the southern frontier, you must admit, a flood tide of humanity crashing against our shores is certainly newsworthy. And whatever your opinion of the President and/or his concerns, you must admit, a primetime Presidential address on what even Democrats have repeatedly called a “humanitarian crisis” is equally newsworthy.
Leave it to our media to try and redefine “newsworthy.” As word of Trump’s plans broke, those resolute guardians of the public commonweal began wringing their hands over whether they should air the address live, or delay, or even flat-out deny the President their airwaves. CNN’s Susan Hennessey fretted over the “benefit” of carrying the speech without the media to “contextualize” it. Her colleague Don Lemon demanded the remarks be run on a delay, so he and his fellow firefighters for truth can “fact-check” it for us.
Pardon me for pooping on CNN’s pity party, but I’m comfortable “contextualizing” and “fact-checking” Trump’s comments without their help. If you’re looking for context, try this one on for size: this fracas has as much to do with border security as it does all the involved parties’ credibility. If Trump was serious about the former, construction of his much-ballyhooed border wall would be well underway. If CNN was serious about the latter, they wouldn’t be this worried about a Tuesday night fireside.
That much of the focus on tonight’s speech is about whether the media thinks Americans should be allowed to hear it proves that this is just the latest chapter in the symbiotic soap opera Trump shares with the media. Trump is the President of the United States. If he livestreamed his remarks from a Mar-a-Lago broom closet, people would tune in worldwide. He doesn’t need to fight with the media over the platform, he just wants to. And the media considered the number of scoops of ice cream Trump has for dessert a copy-worthy topic. They not only should carry his address, they want to. And, of course, they will.