After Donald Trump made the unprecedented decision to largely avoid the press following his Electoral College victory last year, the president-elect announced on Twitter that he will hold a “general news conference” on Jan. 11.
I will be having a general news conference on JANUARY ELEVENTH in N.Y.C. Thank you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
Assuming that Trump doesn’t cancel this one (always a big if), it will bring his final total of days dodging a press conference to a whopping 168 days. His last official news conference like this one took place in July.
But let’s not pretend that taking a series of questions from reporters – without Don King waving flags by his side – is something that should be praised. That shouldn’t be what the story becomes.
Instead, we should focus on what the president-elect says (and doesn’t say) when facing what will hopefully be a tough series of questions. Don’t forget, Trump essentially won the presidency without once being forced to display some level of competency or knowledge of the issues he will face starting Jan. 20.
It’s never too late for the press to hold his feet to the fire – to not let him off the hook for dodging questions or spewing vague nonanswers to disguise the fact that he really doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.
Sure, it’s great that the man who will be leading the free world – gulp – in a couple weeks decided to formally meet with journalists after almost 200 days. But it’s more important that the reporters in attendance make it count.
After all, who knows when they will have another chance?