Three minutes before it began, reporters got a heads-up that Donald Trump was going to do a "press briefing" at the White House. You will not find any clips from that "briefing" here at C&L because we knew it was a stunt from the start and would have nothing of substance. After all, today was Nancy Pelosi's day, and Donald Trump really hates it when anyone but he is the center of attention.
MSNBC aired about two minutes of it before cutting away. CNN, however, stayed with it to the bitter end. It doesn't matter what it was about because it had no substance, as host Brianna Keilar observed in a stunned voice.
After reviewing what had just happened -- Trump and some members of the Border Patrol Union went in front of the cameras to say he wants his wall -- Brianna Keilar described what it really was: a "stunt."
"This is a stunt. this isn't a briefing. so we thought there was -- it was billed as a last-minute briefing," she said, visibly annoyed. "It was not a briefing. a briefing is questions."
" A briefing has more than just a political stunt which is what we just saw," she added.
To which I reply, WHAT ABOUT THIS SURPRISES YOU? Will anyone learn? Clearly MSNBC has learned at least a partial lesson, since they quickly realized a stunt was in progress and cut back to Katy Tur. But over at CNN, the producers seemed to be intent on rolling the cameras and then sitting around and saying, "Golly, what just happened there?"
This was so predictable anyone could have guessed. Narcissist Donald Trump cannot abide anyone, and particularly a woman, garnering so much attention, especially since he's entering into the nightmare phase of his doomed "administration" now. So he used the power he has to yank the media's marionette strings and demand they attend to his needs for attention.
There is another way to have handled this. Go in the briefing room. Roll tape. Let him do what he's gonna do, but DECLINE TO RUN IT LIVE.
Record everything; air what matters. If there is nothing that matters on that tape, air nothing.
As for us, we MUST vote with our remotes. As soon as they started streaming Trump live, I switched to CSPAN. Nothing works better than viewers sending strong messages via their remote controls.
Start figuring it out, cables. Our democracy depends on it.