Saturday, January 26, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He cheered the loss of 1,000 American jobs.

Trump has had a terrible week, but he tried to put a brave face on it this morning by celebrating what he regards as good news: the fact that several media companies announced layoffs affecting about 1,000 Americans working in journalism.

Trump, who frequently calls the free press "the enemy of the people," claimed that the jobs were lost because of "bad journalism." In reality, the industry has been contracting for decades because of the challenges in finding a revenue model for the online age. 

It's more common for Trump to take credit for creating jobs he had nothing to do with, something he's done over and over and over and over and over and over again. But this isn't the first time he's gloated over the loss of jobs. Just last week, Trump approvingly retweeted an anonymous editorial written by a "senior Trump Administration official" that called the government employees going without pay lazy, useless, and disloyal.

Why does this matter?

  • Attacking journalists is what authoritarians do.
  • It's wrong for a president to gloat over lost American jobs.
  • There are reasons for a president to be this afraid of the press, but none of them are good.