Jared Kushner — President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser — doesn’t often make himself known publicly. It was months after taking his current White House position that he first offered any public remarks at all. That doesn’t mean, though, that he hasn’t been active behind the scenes — taking on tasks like repairing Trump’s public image.
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 8, 2018
Journalist Maureen Dowd, who writes these days in The New York Times, shared recently with an Australian publication that Kushner had sought to involve her in those efforts. After she criticized then-candidate Trump for going after Bill Clinton for his infidelity while himself sporting extramarital affair after affair, the eventual president tweeted that she was a “neurotic dope.”
That’s where Kushner stepped in. At a reception some time after Trump was elected, he approached the NYT reporter with a suggestion for how she could get back in the president’s “good graces” — as if he expected her to care.
‘I think you could get back in his good graces with a nice column and two nice tweets or two nice columns and a tweet.’
Dowd made it clear she wasn’t interested, replying:
‘That’s not going to happen.’
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) September 8, 2018
Why did Kushner ever think that it would happen? His suggestion paints him as out of touch with the realities of media in America — which makes him right at home in the Trump administration. The vast majority of mainstream media outlets don’t slant their coverage to intentionally favor a particular candidate — although Kushner is hardly the first in the president’s circle to reveal that’s what they were hoping for.
For instance, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently slammed The New York Times for publishing a piece written by an anonymous administration official that slams the president as an incompetent buffoon. Plenty of people have had plenty to say about the article — but Sanders’ grievance was over the fact that the piece was negative.
‘We are disappointed, but not surprised that the so-called “paper of record” chose to publish this pathetic, reckless, and selfish op-ed.’
What — are they only supposed to publish things that Sanders and the rest of Trump’s shills approve of? It’s news, and a newspaper published it — it’s really not that complicated, at least when it comes to this aspect of the situation.
Kushner and Sanders of course take after Donald Trump himself in their criticisms of the media. The president has asserted that Google slants their search results against him, prioritizing “fake news” over real news. However, when Trump dismisses 80 percent of mainstream media as fake news and then does a Google search for his name, what does he think’s going to happen? The news sources he doesn’t like are going to disappear just because he doesn’t like them.
He’s determined to prove himself right no matter the cost, suggesting at one point relatively recently that major tech companies like Google (Alphabet Inc.), Amazon, and Facebook might ought to be broken up.
That’s just not how this works, though. None of this is how any of this is supposed to work.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot