Let’s face it, Washington journalists, we’re wiped out. We’re just 104 days in and it’s impossible to keep up. We spend all day researching one story and we’ve missed three new ones. So we’ve developed a plan for covering politics in the age of Trump:
First, you, FOX News. You will be on one beat and one beat only: the debate over whether Trump is “crazy like a fox” or if there’s no fox there. Please get to the bottom of this one, FOX. It’s perhaps the most crucial conjecture of all the conjectures.
Next, you, CNN: you’ll cover only breaking news — those urgent stories that provoke the highest anxiety and most intense degree of in-the-moment speculation. In other words, no change.
You, Washington Post: you’ve been doing a great job on the Russia thing. Keep focus on that and you’ll not only win a Pulitzer, but also get your seat back in the briefing room in the Pence White House. Or will it be the Paul Ryan White House? Hatch? Sessions? Ben Carson? I don’t know: you’ll have to see how far this thing goes.
TMZ, we wanted to put you on the where-Ivanka-is-eating-lunch-in-DC beat, but it turns out you have much better presidential access than the Post, so please partner up with them on Kremlin ties. We’ll give you two a celeb-like portmanteau. How about WaZo? Too Swahili?
For the really out-there stuff like Ben Carson’s stream-of-consciousness speeches, fresh conspiracy theories about former President Obama, and confusing ISIS with IKEA in Sweden, we’ll create a new 24-hour news network: Repository of Unsubstantiated and Insane News, or RUIN. Any interest, Breitbart? RUIN will be found on channel 666 on most cable systems. No reason.
Food Network, you’ll cover all international diplomacy negotiated over dinner at Mar-a-Lago. You won’t need press credentials, just a reservation. And please investigate the Trump-Grill-has-the-best-taco-bowls claim.
Bloomberg, two words: tax returns. Two more words: sniffer canine.
PBSKids, you can bring the youngest news consumers into the conversation by animating the president’s Twitter stream based on beloved children’s books. Since your demographic watches TV in the early morning, it times out perfectly. Here are a couple ideas to help kick you off. “I do not like that bad (sick) man. I do not like him, Sam I Am.” and “The very angry president scorned immigrants, intelligence officials, federal judges, The New York Times, Saturday Night Live, CNN, network news, the word ‘fence,’ Arnold Schwarzenegger, Muslims, Mexico, the 44th President of the United States, and the cast and producers of Hamilton, and he was STILL angry.”
PBS, your NewsHour is very informative on a wide range of issues. We’re going to have to scale that back. We’re putting you on one topic only: the defunding of everything college graduates hold dear. Cover this for as long as you can, okay? And, you know, sorry.
Finally, Charlie Rose, we’d like you to explore one question: How is this happening?
Thank you, journalists, for working together to cover this breakneck news cycle. Oh, that reminds me: if any of you freelance reporters suffer an actual broken neck or any kind of fracture, attack or disease, try to get that in before Trumpcare goes into effect. We’ve heard some things.
Okay, Fourth Estate: let’s do this!