Mark Thompson and Wendy Sherman challenged the media to do its job in its coverage of the North Korean "summit" -- the one for which Trump declared proudly he had no need to prepare.
All the panelists on Stephanie Ruhle's show agreed there would be no deal of any substance between the two dictators (so labeled, accurately, by Fox & Friends' Abby Huntsman..) When asked if it would be a media win for Trump, though, only Thompson took the opportunity to lay responsibility for that where it belonged. On the media.
Sherman then joined in, and the two of them urged the media to scrutinize the current occupant of the Oval Office every bit as closely and harshly as they have presidents in the past. Thompson, bless his brilliant soul, threw in some Hillary Clinton shade, while he was at it.
Partial transcript below:
RUHLE: Okay, then quick, there will be a grand headline. Will there be a substantive deal this time tomorrow?
SHERMAN: I don't think there will be a substantive deal, of course not.
JORDAN: I don't see how it's possible.
THOMPSON: No, absolutely not.
RUHLE: But will it be a winning news cycle for the president?
JORDAN: Of course. As always.
THOMPSON: If those of us in journalism allow it to be. We need to absolutely scrutinize it. In the same way every Democratic president was scrutinized on North Korea. Can't be this double standard. Every other president was seriously scrutinized on this issue. Trump needs to -- the least experienced one needs to be scrutinized.
SHERMAN: When Secretary Albright and I went to Pyongyang and we went into this extraordinary stadium event that Kim Jong-Il took us to with thousands of people on the floor doing gymnastics, thousands in the stands, with flip cards, showing us missiles going off, we sat there with tight smiles on our face because you are diplomats and you can't be scowling or walk out of the stadium. But we got so much criticism. Secretary Albright was castigated right and left for smiling, for having a toast, for anything that we did in Pyongyang. And she indeed, as soon as she left, said, "I grew up under communism. I'm not somebody who sits there with rose-colored glasses. I know exactly who this real dictator is." I don't think we'll hear similar words from the president. We've heard him say, "He's a nice guy, I like him, I'm honored to meet with him."
RUHLE: He also may be saying that just to butter him up to get him to the table.
SHERMAN: Absolutely, absolutely. He is buttering him up. But nonetheless, if a Democratic president, to Mark's point, if a Democratic president said such things, they would have the administration up on Capitol Hill tomorrow castigating them for doing so.
THOMPSON: If Hillary Clinton had won and set up a meeting with Kim Jong Un, they would have articles of impeachment this afternoon. I'm telling you, that's what they would do.
The media is completely responsible for whether they get played or not by Trump.