Media probably shouldn't be crowing


February 6, 2019

President Donald Trump may have come to his senses about government shutdowns and his coveted wall.

Last month, the mainstream media, however, called Trump’s conciliatory statements on the matter a “stinging defeat” and a blow to his presidency.

They were crowing. They shouldn’t crow in the first place, at least not in news stories. Further, they crowed prematurely.

Trump has not been defeated.

In fact, by coming to the table, Trump is likely to get more of what he wants. He wants security and he can get it.

If, that is, he is willing to spend the same $5.7 billion on security measures that really work and don’t serve merely as a steel-and-concrete symbol of racism, intentionally or otherwise.

More recently, Trump signaled a willingness to redefine the wall to include many measures that would enhance security and regulate the flow of immigrants while including physical barriers, which even the Democrats have supported in the past.

Earlier, it was Trump blustering “wall or nothing,” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blustering, “no wall.”

To me this signals negotiations for a settlement that may prevent another government shutdown, probably just before the Feb. 15 deadline.

If neither side budges, both can own the next shutdown. Trump owned the first, but another one would make both look heartless. I think they will reach a deal.

The media’s immediate labeling of Trump’s conciliatory statements as a defeat, however, only serves to expose the strength of their bias against him.

Further, it bolsters the powerful Trump faction’s blind discrediting of news media that at least try to be fair in favor of right-wing propaganda machines like Fox News.

I still think Trump is the most dangerously narcissistic, ill-informed and delusional individual we have ever elected to the highest office in the land.

I also believe, however, in giving credit where credit is due, even to Donald Trump.

I do give him credit for seeing the light of political reality for a change. He has taken steps that I hope will lead to a constructive compromise, the kind that leaves everyone with a sour stomach but resolves the problem with minimum dissatisfaction.

I urge my colleagues in the big media to be more careful about recognizing the strength of their own bias and not letting it color their decisions about what is news and how it should be reported.

Trump continues to show the same membrane-thin skin about mainstream media as he has about anyone who says anything that doesn’t glow with unquestioned approval of the president.

The media should be more careful not to take it personally.

Steve Hansen writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired Tucumcari journalist. Contact him at:



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