During a press conference in Laos, President Obama had some sharp words for the press and called out the media for grading Donald Trump on a curve.
The President said:
As far as Mr. Trump, I think I’ve already offered my opinion. I don’t think the guy is qualified to be President of the United States. And every time he speaks, that opinion is confirmed. And I think the most important thing for the public and the press is to just listen to what he says and follow up and ask questions about what appear to be either contradictory or uninformed or outright wacky ideas.
There is this process that seems to take place over the course of the election season where somehow behavior that in normal times we would consider completely unacceptable and outrageous becomes normalized, and people start thinking that we should be grading on a curve. But I can tell you from the interactions that I’ve had over the last eight or nine days with foreign leaders, that this is serious business, and you actually have to know what you’re talking about, and you actually have to have done your homework. And when you speak, it should actually reflect thought-out policy that you can implement. And I have confidence that if, in fact, people just listen to what he has to say and look at his track record — or lack thereof — that they’ll make a good decision.
The idea that Trump should be graded on a curve because he is a first-time candidate is both laughable and dangerous. It is laughable because it is an example of the extreme lengths that the press is willing to go to to keep Trump competitive.
It is dangerous for the country, but there is no on the job training to be Commander In Chief. ISIS, the US economy, and the rest of the world aren’t going to give Trump any time for on the job training. All new presidents get tested early in their terms. Electing Donald Trump would be akin to courting disaster.
The free press has a key role in the democratic process. It is the duty of the press to challenge candidates. Members of the media shouldn’t be normalizing or be rationalizing the behavior of unqualified candidates.
When the current president flatly states that the Republican nominee to be the next occupant of the Oval Office is not qualified, the American people should take notice. If the media don’t heed Obama’s warning, it will be up to voters to save the nation from a corporate press that is placing profits ahead of their duty as the Fourth Estate.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association