For several days now Donald Trump has been hyping the announcement of his choice to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He has been rolling it out like a new episode of Celebrity Apprentice. The trivialization of this process is typical of a president whose only prior experience was hosting a reality TV game show. However, the nation’s press ought to know better than to be taken in by such flagrant self-promotion.
Trump has asked the major television networks for a primetime spot on Monday night. It’s the sort of thing that is generally reserved for declarations of war or death notices for prominent government officials. Clearly this doesn’t meet that high standard. Trump’s potential nominee short list has been widely reported, and the names on it have been analyzed in great detail. So the urgency for a primetime preemption of American Ninja Warrior and The Bachelorette is hardly justified. Nevertheless, Trump’s Twitter feed has been firing up the unveiling of his nominee for over a week:
I will be making my choice for Justice of the United States Supreme Court on the first Monday after the July 4th Holiday, July 9th!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2018
I interviewed 4 very impressive people yesterday. On Monday I will be announcing my decision for Justice of the United States Supreme Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2018
Big decision will soon be made on our next Justice of the Supreme Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 7, 2018
Looking forward to announcing my final decision on the United States Supreme Court Justice at 9:00pmE tomorrow night at the @WhiteHouse. An exceptional person will be chosen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 8, 2018
I have long heard that the most important decision a U.S. President can make is the selection of a Supreme Court Justice – Will be announced tonight at 9:00 P.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
It’s curious that the President is impressed by having “long heard” of the Supreme Court’s importance. It isn’t common knowledge to him, but more like a rumor that’s been going around. And all of the mystery and suspense of his already anti-climatic decision is about to blow up. All that’s missing from this charade is the advertising sponsorship notice that “This event is being brought to you by Capital One: Who’s in your pocket?”
At this point there is absolutely nothing newsworthy about this brazen hypesterism. There is no reason that the American television viewer can’t wait until their local news program to learn which Trump flunky got a rose. There will still be be weeks or months of confirmation hearings and the Court doesn’t reconvene until October. So why the rush to put Trump on TV to conduct what will be just another of his partisan rallies? We all know what he’ll say:
“My nominee for the Supreme Court is a tremendous person. Everyone says so. He will rule according to the original interpretation of the Constitution as defined by Founding Fathers like Antonin Scalia, that I can tell you. He will be strong on taxes and the border and national security, and he loves the military. He will respect the right to life and the values that all Deplorable Americans share. Believe me. The enemy of the American people, the media, who are broadcasting this (so dishonest), will try to tear him down. But they are going out business in a couple of years so that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you, my people, will love and support this nominee because I said so. Thank you for listening. Good night, and God bless my nominee, the Supreme Court, and the United Soviet Soc… I mean the United States of America.”
There you go, media. Now you don’t have to air Trump’s speech. Why bother when it will just be an extension of the revival meetings he has been holding around the country instead of, you know, doing the work of the president. If the press does air this propaganda it will be they who doing the work of this president, and that isn’t the media’s job. They should decline Trump’s request for time, and then report on anything newsworthy that comes from it after the fact.
For anyone who simply can’t wait, there is always State TV (aka Fox News), who will air virtually everything that Trump says like the obedient hype machine that they are. And Fox will follow their coverage of the announcement with a couple of hours of “analysis” explaining why Trump’s choice was so brilliant. However, the rest of the media should have more integrity. They should shun this undeserved demand for attention. Unfortunately, as of Monday morning, they all seem to be falling in line with the wannabe dictator in the White House. #SAD!
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.