This won’t end well: Media war on Trump recalls earlier all-out assault on Nixon

by WorldTribune Staff, May 2, 2017

Donald Trump “is being hammered” by the media “as no other president before him, except perhaps Nixon during Watergate,” columnist and former Nixon aide Pat Buchanan wrote on May 1.

Trump is at war with a mainstream media that “loathe him and intend to oust him, as they relished in helping to oust Nixon.”

President Donald Trump at an April 29 rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania commemorating his first 100 days in office. / AP

It is a war that won’t end well, Buchanan predicted.

“If this war ends well for Trump, it ends badly for his enemies in the press,” Buchanan wrote. “If Trump goes down, the media will feel for a long time the hostility and hatred of those tens of millions who put their faith and placed their hopes in Trump.”

It was on May 9, 1969 that war broke out between Nixon and what he called the “adversary press,” Buchanan wrote.

“With the media establishment of that day cheering on the anti-war protests designed to break his presidency, President Nixon sought to rally the nation behind him with his ‘Silent Majority’ speech.

“His prime-time address was a smashing success – 70 percent of the country backed Nixon. But the post-speech TV analysis trashed him.”

Buchanan continued: “By December 1969, Nixon, the president most reviled by the press before Trump, was at 68 percent approval, and Agnew was the third-most admired man in America, after Nixon and Billy Graham. Nixon went on to roll up a 49-state landslide three years later.

“Before Watergate brought him down, he had shown that the vaunted ‘adversary press’ was not only isolated from Middle America, it could be routed by a resolute White House in the battle for public opinion.”

The April 29 White House Correspondents Association dinner “exposed anew how far from Middle America our elite media reside,” Buchanan wrote, noting that “the electricity was gone, the glamor and glitz were gone” from an event that neither Trump or his White House staff attended. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also bailed.

“The idea of a convivial evening together of our media and political establishments is probably dead for the duration of the Trump presidency,” Buchanan noted. “Until Jan. 20, 2021, it appears, we are an us-vs.-them country.”

Trump opted for a packed rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, “those Middle Pennsylvanians Barack Obama dismissed as clinging to their Bibles, bigotries and guns,” Buchanan wrote.

Trump took aim at the media and their gala in D.C.:

“A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom. … I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington’s swamp … with a much, much larger crowd and much better people.”

Back at the party, “all pretense at press neutrality was gone,” Buchanan wrote.

Said WHCA President Jeff Mason in scripted remarks: “We are not fake news. We are not failing news organizations. We are not the enemy of the American people.”

A standing ovation followed, Buchanan noted. “The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of the press was repeatedly invoked and defiantly applauded, as though the president were a clear and present danger to it.

“For behaving like a Bernie Sanders’ rally, the national press confirmed Steve Bannon’s insight – they are the real ‘opposition party.’ ”

Buchanan continued: “And so the war between an adversary press and a president it despises and is determined to take down is re-engaged.

Whatever happens to Trump today, “the respect and regard the mainstream media once enjoyed are gone. Public opinion of the national press puts them down beside the politicians they cover – and for good reason,” Buchanan wrote.

“For the mainstream media, seeking to recover the lost confidence of its countrymen, this war looks like a lose-lose.”