About Those Press Conferences

Victor Davis Hanson // National Review

President Trump seems increasingly ambivalent about the utility of the daily and sometime marathon press conferences. He should be — and for reasons besides just their length and frequency.

First, Trump gets bogged down into long, back-and-forth jousts with the touché Washington press corps. His impromptu skills, honed both as president and in his years on television, usually ensure him tactical victories. He is not peremptory but retaliatory in his put-downs.

Fine. Most Americans don’t especially like the Washington press corps. So they don’t mind them earning the repartee that their rude provocation deserves.

But Trump’s victories are becoming Pyrrhic.

Anyone who watches the entire press conference sees the context, and why the president is legitimately upset with the constant “gotcha” attempts while the nation has more serious concerns. But few in the nation do watch all of them. Instead the public gleans bits and pieces of them as carefully edited sound bites delivered by print and television media.

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