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January 30, 2017 Other Voices

Trump will be a joke, not a threat

Chris Powell

The only thing funnier than the Trump administration's hostility to news organizations is the indignation of those organizations about it. For while news organizations are as imperfect as the Trump administration is, as long as liberty survives in the United States, the truth will prevail eventually, even when news organizations themselves are against it.

If the new administration's communications team continues to be so clumsy and stupid, the public will wise up to it soon enough.

First the new administration picked a fight with news organizations over the size of the crowd at the president's inauguration. Photographs showed the crowd to be much smaller than the one at President Obama's first inauguration. While this might have been expected, since the weather on Trump's day was poor, a presidential spokeswoman insisted that the administration's claim that Trump's crowd was bigger was supported by “alternative facts,” whatever those are.

Then the same spokeswoman declared that, contrary to Trump's assurances during the campaign, he never will disclose his tax return, even upon completion of the audit he has said is underway. A few hours passed and the spokeswoman took it back; she said the tax return issue remains under review.

But then it was time to retract Trump's campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This issue now is said to be under reconsideration too.

At this rate it may take less than a month for the administration to become less a threat to the news media than an international joke.

Chris Powell is managing editor of the Journal Inquirer.

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