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To the Press, After 18 Months of Trump

Focus on what he’s really doing.

"Don’t fall for the reality-TV spectacles he creates." (Photo: Screenshot)

"Don’t fall for the reality-TV spectacles he creates." (Photo: Screenshot) 

1. Stop treating Trump’s tweets as news.


2. Don’t believe a single word that comes out of his mouth.


3. Don’t fall for the reality-TV spectacles he creates. (For example, his meeting with Kim Jong-un.) They’re not news, either.


4. Don’t let his churlish thin-skinned vindictive narcissistic rants divert attention from what he’s really doing.

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5. Focus on what he’s really doing, and put the day’s stories into this larger context. He’s (1) undermining democratic institutions, (2) using his office for personal gain, (3) sowing division and hate, (4) cozying up to dictators while antagonizing our democratic allies around the world, (5) violating the rule of law, and (6) enriching America’s wealthy while harming the middle class and the poor. He may also be (7) colluding with Putin.


6. Keep track of what his Cabinet is doing – Sessions’s attacks on civil rights, civil liberties, voting rights, and immigrants; DeVos’s efforts to undermine public education, Pruitt’s and Zinke’s efforts to gut the environment; all their conflicts of interest, and the industry lobbyists they’ve put in high positions.


7. Don’t try to “balance” your coverage of the truth with quotes and arguments from Trump’s enablers and followers. This is not a contest between right and left, Republicans and Democrats. This is between democracy and demagogic authoritarianism. 


8. Don’t let him rattle you. Maintain your dignity, confidence, and courage.

Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert Reich, is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective cabinet secretaries of the the twentieth century. The author of many books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations, Beyond Outrage and, Saving Capitalism. He is also a founding editor of The American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." Reich's newest book is "The Common Good." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

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