The mainstream media will now try to normalise Trump’s abnormal behaviour by focusing only on the “optics” of this week’s “historic” Singapore meeting with Chairman Kim Jong-un, writes political editor Dr Martin Hirst.
TUESDAY 12 JUNE 2018, will go down in history as the day that a U.S. President sat down with a North Korean dictator to attempt a settlement of a 70-year-old conflict that has bedevilled the world.
It is impossible to say, just 48 hours later, if there will be success, or if there will be nuclear annihilation when the peace efforts crash and burn. But what is clear so far is that the Tangerine Fascist met his “Mini-Me” in the North Korean Supreme Leader.
Chaos is the new normal. Both Donald J Trump and Kim Jong-un are highly unpredictable, we cannot know what either of them will do next. Both of them thrive on chaos and a dangerous delusion of authoritarian narcissism.
However, this might not be immediately obvious. That’s because this simple truth has been forgotten in the rush to celebrate, deify and mythologise the few hours that Trump and Kim spent together this week in Singapore.
I spent a few hours watching coverage of the “historic summit” on Fox News.
There was wall-to-wall gloating and waves of “I told you so” and “fake news media were wrong about him” smarm as the Fox presenters lined up to kick the non-reverential American news media and bow down before Trump.
It was sickening. But, to be fair, the coverage was not much better on the ABC.
What Fox and the ABC shared was an overwhelming desire to normalise Trump’s self-aggrandising and far from normal behaviour.
The “optics” and the “atmospherics” of Singapore were endlessly replayed because there was very little else to actually report right up until Trump’s extraordinary news conference at the end of the day.
It was extraordinary, but unless you watched it, you are unlikely to get the full weirdness of it. It lasted for just over an hour and Trump’s impatience to talk about himself meant that most reporters didn’t even get to finish their questions before Trump talked all over the top of them.
And it was all about Trump.
He lambasted all the previous U.S. administrations who had not been able to handle the North Korea situation. It didn’t matter that Trump’s historical knowledge is negligible, he just kept on repeating the few simple lines he’d managed to practice with his advisors/enablers.
On the whole “peace regime” thing, (former President) Obama couldn’t do it, but Trump could because he’s such a good deal maker. “That’s what I do”, he reminded the assembled journalists — and by extension the entire planet!