There were some sore egos in the press corps after Donald Trump’s May 31 press conference. The news media was “dishonest” and employed many who were “not good people,” said Trump.
The direct attack from a man running for president was something seldom seen in relations with journalists.
It led the leader of the National Press Club to issue a self-pitying statement that tied tough talk to reporters with disrespect for the First Amendment.
To the sorrowful among the news writers, I can only quote Ronald Reagan, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”
Mr. Trump had said in January that he would raise some money for veterans’ charities instead of participating in a debate. Months passed without much more information from the candidate, and reporters grew restless.
During last weekend, the Washington Post ran an article questioning Trump’s management of the fund-raising effort.
In the press conference, Mr. Trump allowed the first question about the veterans’ fund to be asked before he gave the assembled reporters a piece of his mind.  He explained why it had taken several months to be sure veterans’ groups were legitimate and to distribute the money. Trump had handed out $5.6 million, far above the $1 million goal he had set in January.
The candidate was annoyed that his good deed was being picked apart by the press.
Reporters were put on notice that Mr. Trump would answer their speculations when he was ready — not on their terms — and with no apologies.
That’s the way business tycoons used to answer reporters — and speak to government functionaries.
It was not that business magnates were above the law, it was just that they did not see the need to curry favor with ink-stained wretches and inept officials.
The Depression humbled business leaders. FDR chided them. Congress investigated them. The press grew more bold in casting them as villains. Meanwhile, the federal government had been bulking up with college graduates to staff its offices.
Old timers suspected the college eggheads were impractical, but everybody was using the term “government expert,” whether in earnest or in jest.
CEOs learned to bite their tongues when facing reporters or Congressmen.
Then the effort to win World War II put money back in busnesspeoples’ pockets, and playing along with big government began to look like a smart plan. The Cold War and the Space Race continued the bounty for business and leaders were loathe to bite the hand that feeds.
The silence of businessmen was matched by a growing confidence on the part of newsmen. FDR’s alphabet agencies needed flacks — lots of them. The pay was respectable and the work was a dream compared to putting a paper out. The government grew and PR departments grew apace.
I believe this simple fact explains why no journalist has ever expressed concern about “big government.” They like to see government grow and do what they can to urge it along.
Journalists began to look beyond their role as stenographers of daily events to see a goal of educating the public and channeling society in a proper and uplifting path. The 1960s found them setting the struggle of black people for voting rights before the public. Then came Vietnam, riots — and Watergate. Some newsmen became protagonists in the battle to destroy liberalism’s super bogeyman, President Richard Nixon.
Their triumph pointed out the future of news reporting: scraps of facts, supporting one side only please, and bushels of opinion.
In a way I feel a little sorry for the youngsters that endured Donald Trump’s withering blast at the press conference. They are post-Watergate creations and know no other way. But he didn’t bow to them or manfully keep a stiff upper lip as they tossed mocking questions his way.
There was only one boss in the room, and it was Mr. Trump.
After 50 years, the news media’s formula of find a grievance, find a villain (businessman, cop, small town official or most ideal, preacher), create a movement, and provide the answer (always more government) is growing stale. Reporters have gone from supporting truly oppressed people to the absurdity of demanding that all in society play along with the delusions of people who believe they are the wrong sex.
The “government experts” are becoming ridiculous as well. Whatever expertise the government contains, it is clear that expertise is not the first goal. Hiring quotas for Affirmative Action are the first consideration. Government is sinking back into the scruffy politics-ridden operation it was before the Progressives took over.
Progressives are still in charge but they have taken a round trip back to where they started, except the government is much, much, much, much bigger.
Our news media is biased, too much of the government is obviously playing favorites and over 90 million American working-age adults don’t have a job. People are tired of being inconvenienced by fools. Mr. Trump, as we all know, disdains “losers.” The tycoon used his First Amendment right of free speech to tell journalists how things have changed.

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