“Donald Trump’s election has really undermined America’s democratic prestige in China,” offered Claremont McKenna College Professor Minxin Pei on a recent hour of The Diane Rehm Show, public radio from our nation’s capital. When Pei added that it has “set back the prospect of democracy in China for years,” Mrs. Rehm let out an audible moan.
Then Diane asked her guests, “as members of the press” what they “make” of President-Elect Trump’s “rejection of his meeting with The New York Times.”
“It seems,” bemoaned James Fallows, the Atlantic’s national correspondent, “a continuation of his not having any normal press conferences, dealing entirely outside normal press channels and seeming not to recognize the legitimacy of this part of the democratic fabric.”
“I don’t know anything about the specific details about the New York Times meeting,” admitted the Financial Times’ Geoff Dyer. Still, that didn’t stop Dyer from announcing that, “But it’s part of a pattern . . . to a much more conflict-ual, antagonistic, almost bullying relationship with the media.”
Elizabeth Economy, with the Council on Foreign Relations, found it “disturbing” that Donald Trump thinks “he can be his own media, he can simply tweet out whatever he wants, he can make his homegrown videos and sort of impart his information directly to the American public, without the mediating influence of the media.”
Let’s welcome Elizabeth to America.
“We are all recognizing we’re on new terrain now and need to find some way to keep telling the truth, or our best approximation of it, in very different circumstances,” concluded Fallows ominously.
Trump, as you’ll recall, did wind up attending that meeting at The Times.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.