Trump Shocks the Normies in Brussels

Here are headlines from the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post this afternoon:

This is an example of how Donald Trump has hacked the media. On the one hand, he did say this, and he’s the president of the United States. You have to give it major play. On the other hand, it’s obvious claptrap that no one, including Trump himself, takes seriously. He said it just to make sure he remained the center of attention.

So what is the press supposed to do? Rein in their headlines based on their own judgment of whether Trump is just making a bid for attention? Print whatever he says because, hey, he’s the president of the United States? Something in between?

As near as I can tell, today’s NATO summit basically went fine. On a purely operational basis, everyone agreed to the various initiatives they’ve been working on, and everyone signed the usual communique at the end, including the United States. At a working level, there were no hiccups. Literally the only thing that made it any different from any other NATO meeting was the fact that Donald Trump took advantage of the massive press presence to get off a few zingers that shocked all the normies.

But you can’t really report it that way, can you?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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