It was announced last night that President Trump has agreed to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un, a decision that was a surprise to White House staffers, the South Koreans, and, apparently, Trump himself:
Mr. Trump was not scheduled to meet [South Korean national security advisor] Chung [Eui-yong] until Friday, but when he heard that the envoy was in the West Wing seeing other officials, the president summoned him to the Oval Office, according to a senior administration official.
Mr. Trump, the official said, then asked Mr. Chung to tell him about his meeting with Mr. Kim. When Mr. Chung said that the North Korean leader had expressed a desire to meet Mr. Trump, the president immediately said he would do it, and directed Mr. Chung to announce it to the White House press corps.
Mr. Chung, nonplused, said he first needed approval from Mr. Moon, who quickly granted it in a phone call. Mr. Trump later called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and the two discussed coordinating diplomatic efforts. Mr. Trump also plans to call President Xi Jinping of China.
By day’s end, dazed White House officials were discussing whether Mr. Trump would invite Mr. Kim to come to the United States. That seemed entirely likely, the senior administration official said, though American officials doubt the North Korean leader would accept.
Major right-wing media outlets were also unprepared for this, so much so that they clearly don't have talking points lined up -- either that or they're annoyed that North Korea threatens to be a distraction from their obsessive focus on Trump's greatness and the unspeakable evil of his domestic enemies. This morning they're paying little or no attention to North Korea on their front pages. Here's Gateway Pundit:
And the Daily Caller:
Breitbart's going with Trump, God Emperor of the Economy:
Fox has a sidebar clip of the North Korea announcement being discussed by Geraldo, but the main story is Scary Black Man:
There's coverage of North Korea on Fox, but it mostly boils down to "Isn't Trump awesome? Aren't Trump haters deranged?" Let's look at Trump's favorite show, Fox & Friends. At the top of the broadcast, there was this from host Steve Doocy (video above):
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So what is it this time with this leader that has made it different? A lot of people are saying this is what happens when you put a businessman into this kind of leadership position, because he brings the skill sets of a business guy.
Doocy goes on to say that Trump's working more closely with China on pressuring North Korea, and therefore North Korea is being more effectively squeezed -- and even if you believe all that, I'm not sure how this is something only a "business guy" could concoct.
Later, General Martin Dempsey and Berkeley professor Ori Brafman were brought on to discuss a book they've written, and Brafman (of course) praised Trump for a breakthrough approach that's likely to bear fruit in the North Korea talks:
I think one of the things that the president did very, very well in the election is that he recognized a fundamental shift in our society. Rather than having a debate of ideas, which is you're either right or wrong, he recognized that we have a battle of narratives, and narratives are either interesting or boring.
I don't know what he's talking about or how that gets us to a stable, non-threatening North Korea, but guest host Rachel Campos-Duffy pounced:
Maybe it's because he's a producer, I mean, ultimately, of his own reality show. Maybe he understands stories.
Yeah, stories. Surely superior command of narrative will bring about a North Korean climbdown!
Anthony Scaramucci was also brought on, and he took issue with skepticism about the talks that was expressed by Rachel Maddow last night:
... you can see that she's a little bit of that Trump derangement syndrome, which I like. I'm hoping that one of these comedians will come up with an anti-anxiety medication for these liberals, and just take one tablet a day, maybe a suppository, and take it easy....
This, rather than briefing books, is what Trump is going to take in every day between now and this meeting.
We're all going to die.
Crossposted from No More Mister Nice Blog.