For all that Trump complains about negative press coverage, he wants to be locked in a relationship of mutual antagonism with the media. It behooves those journalists who aren’t partisans and reflexive Trump haters to avoid getting caught up in this dynamic. If they genuinely want to be public-spirited checks on Trump, they shouldn’t be more bitterly adversarial, but more responsible and fair.
This means taking a deep breath and not treating every Trump tweet as a major news story. It means covering Trump more as a “normal” president rather than as a constant clear and present danger to the republic. It means going out of the way to focus on substance rather than the controversy of the hour.
(While Trump did a fine job shaming reporters at his news conference, he was notably weak on the details on how he wants to replace ObamaCare). It means a dose of modesty about how the media has lost the public’s trust, in part because of its bias and self-importance.
None of this is a particularly tall order. Yet it’s unlikely to happen, even if it was encouraging that so many reporters opposed BuzzFeed’s decision. The press and Trump will continue to be at war, although only one party to the hostilities truly knows what he is doing, and it shows.