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New leaf, same old tree?

January 19, 2017

Merit and effectiveness.  Novel concepts indeed in Washington D.C.

In listening to the Trump administration’s first “official” press briefing, one thing stood out.

If you want to work in this administration, you had better be the most qualified person for the job, not the best at brownnosing and whining.

Much has been made of the Cabinet picks not being in lockstep with the President-elect philosophically.

Although he has repeatedly explained that he is looking for a wide diversity of opinion, that concept seems to be so foreign to those of the partisan political persuasion that they are unable to process it.

That shortcoming came up in a question from one reporter in the room, a woman whose name and employer I did not get, when she questioned why the Cabinet was not more “diverse.”

It was fairly obvious that her definition of diverse and the President-elect’s are quite different.

You can read that any way you want to, and certainly some people will see it as a positive, while others will seek to make political hay from it.

Press Secretary Spicer minced no words in replying that race was not going to be a final determinative factor in the hiring process. He pointed out that the Cabinet is racially and gender diverse but more than that, these people have backgrounds that the President-elect feels fit them for the jobs he has available.

From a citizen onlookers observation platform,  it is a shame that the media can’t initially just report what was said, and stop with the “gotcha” game. Apparently impartial reporting isn’t going to be  a habit easily adopted.

Much substantive information was contained in the briefing, such as whether the departments have people in place to keep them focused  and effective until the Cabinet appointees have been confirmed, should the already well-advertised stall tactics drag out that process for several weeks.

Mr. Spicer made it clear that the departments would be temporarily manned by capable holdovers, if only on an interim basis.

In short, if a foreign entity wants to start trouble, the new administration will be ready on Day One to deal with it operationally.

There will be a time and place for exploring and even challenging how effective the Trump philosophy is in the context of national and world events.

No administration gets it completely right in the beginning, and it is the role of the press to objectively comment and even demand answers when it isn’t working.

It should not be the role of the press to advance one party’s political agenda.

Let us hope that once all the campaign and inaugural dust has settled and all the crocodile tears shed, we can have just a bit of objectivity and far less subjective and totally useless reporting.

Every news outlet has an opinion and editorial department.

It remains to be seen if they also have an impartial  journalism department.

From → op-ed

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