The swift vengeance of the God-Emperor
Make no mistake, there are many things that President Trump could improve upon in his interactions with the press. He is not a natural rhetorician, at least not in the sense that he can deliver a carefully constructed and articulated message in the way that a Cicero, a Caesar, or a Reagan could. He rambles, sometimes incoherently. He jumps from topic to topic with seemingly little connecting those random changes in tack. He frequently gets facts and figures wrong, misinterprets or misplaces basic information, and sometimes takes quotes and ideas way out of context.
And yet he is a fearsome opponent for the mainstream media- the toughest that they have ever seen.
Why is that?
Well, as the Chateau put it a couple of days ago, the God-Emperor is not a rhetorician- he is a RETORTICIAN.
He does a superb job of taking the MSM's hypocrisy, blatant bias, and astonishing lack of foresight and vision, and turning it right back at them. His quips, put-downs, and outright slams of various reporters are delivered with the deft touch and supreme skill of a man used to taking on his enemies face-to-face.
Even when he gets things glaringly wrong- as he did with that assertion that he made about his victory being the biggest electoral college win since that of Ronald Reagan- he doesn't necessarily back down. He dissembles and dodges and changes the subject, but he doesn't apologise and he doesn't show weakness.
He displays classic, characteristic aggressive Alpha-male behaviour in his dealings with both the press and his enemies in the Senate and the House. He tolerates and even encourages honest and fair reporting- but he shows no hesitation in crushing his opponents when he needs to.
His critics in the press have no idea how to handle him- other than by displaying classic Gamma fighting-retreat tactics. Here is a perfect example from The Daily Mail- which, unusually for a big media outlet, actually does try to report things honestly from time to time:
During a campaign-style rally on Saturday, Donald Trump used a quote from one of the nation's Founding Fathers out of context to vindicate his war against the media.
At the 'Make America Great Again' rally in Melbourne, Florida which mirrored the rhetoric throughout his campaign tour, Trump said he hoped to speak 'without the filter of fake news' - whom he declared the 'enemy of America' this week.
The President then referenced previous American leaders who combated the media during their time in the White House.
He said: 'Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and Abraham Lincoln: many of our greatest Presidents fought with the media, and called them out, often-times, on their lies.
'In fact, Thomas Jefferson said: 'Nothing can be believed which is seen in a newspaper'.'
The clipped excerpt comes from a personal letter Jefferson wrote in June 1807 to John Norvell in regard to the First Amendment - which legally protects the rights for free speech and free press.
The actual quote says: 'It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more compleatly [sic] deprive the nation of it's benefits, than is done by it's abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.'
The document goes on to describe possible ways to construct newspapers to distinguish areas of undeniable fact from conjecture - much in the way we structure newspapers today, differentiating news and crime from opinion and feature pieces.
Several years earlier, Jefferson defended the necessity of the media, saying: 'were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.'