President Trump granted the popular news media outlet Axios their first interview for their first episode of their first TV show on HBO. For any other news startup at any other time, this would have been a huge get! However, this is the era of Trump and his silly distractions and conspiracy theories.
I’m not sure if I’m disappointed in Axios or if I should celebrate them. I know I certainly won’t tune in to hear another silly interview by our silly President for their HBO show. I thought they would be different… A smarter version of the news, not a platform for talking heads. They touted themselves as a platform for experts and industry leaders. Trump is none of those things.
But that didn’t stop Axios from spreading the propaganda coming out of the White House. With the headline, “Exclusive: Trump to terminate birthright citizenship.” Axios certainly grabbed the most clicks and attention this morning, which led to much criticism. Now, the media company has to do some heavy, heavy soul searching. Reporter Jonathon Swan was chided for being excited about interviewing the President and getting what seemed to be such a huge scoop.
The public quickly saw through the latest distraction attempt. Another interview by the President won’t likely convert to the right audience for Axios’ new TV show. Trump mastered this distraction. Swan fell for the trap by debating how it could possibly be done, and how it would work. Swan in turn offered no rebuttal. That was likely even determined beforehand and that is not what the public is looking for in their news.
It never fails to amaze me how some of the President’s harshest critics can believe that he’ll actually do something right. When he announces a new policy a handful of liberals and media outlets examine what could be done to do this stuff properly and it almost never happens. Also that human rights abuses won’t happen on this path that we are quickly heading is very very naive. Needless to say, I don’t share Axios’ optimism or business practices here. Is HBO planing a Fox News line up here? Or did they just get Trump to hype their own ratings? Either way, it looks bad for good principled journalism.