Stephanie Ruhle's guest, Dylan Byers, nails the role media plays in beating the proverbial dead horse. Sharpiegate is the perfect example.
September 6, 2019

This "Sharpie On The Weather Map" story is the Hydra of "gate" stories. Cut off its head and 2 more grow in its place. This thing will. not. die. Yes, I recognize the irony of doing exactly what the person in this very story is telling us not to do - stop fixating on Sharpiegate. He's right about a few things, though, and he's saying sh*t that needs amplification.

Stephanie Ruhle, talking about how abnormal the Idiot-In-Chief's obsession with this is, asked Dylan Byers (an MSNBC media analyst) about how Trump mishandled the situation. She claimed he could have just said, "Yeah, it was within the realm of possibility the storm may have hit Alabama at SOME point, but at the point *I* tweeted about it, it wasn't anymore, so I screwed up and sorry, guys..."? We all know he's not capable of normal.

Byers took it further, and reminded us how complicit we in the media are.

Sure. I have two sort of points of view on this. One is, it is a baseline expectation that in a time of a national emergency you should be able to trust the White House to give you accurate information. I think it is also absolutely fair to question the mental fitness of a president who is so obsessed with proving himself right on this issue that it becomes a five-day story.

I will also note , though, at the same time I do begin to wonder five days into this story if there's not also a question to be raised about the media's fixation with this story. I mean, at a certain point, how much are we participating in a feedback loop and what exactly are we trying to achieve? Are we trying to demonstrate to audiences that the president and his administration are inept? Don't we think so many years into this administration that the amount of Americans who believe he's inept already know and the amount of Americans who support him aren't even listening to us, and the vast majority of Americans are probably wondering, yes, why is the president so fixated but at the same time WHY IS THE MEDIA SO FIXATED? And I swear, I go to and I see one of their foremost journalists, Jake Tapper writing the lead story on the website about how Trump invited a Fox News journalist into the White House to convince him of this. Not to sound like a politician but there are kitchen table issues, here, that so many more Americans want to read about.

I loved the little reminder that at as BASELINE we should be expecting truth and accuracy from the White House. Do any of us remember what that feels like anymore? And YES, we have permission to question this man's mental fitness. Finally, hell to the YEAH about the mutual fixation — it borders on clinical co-dependency.

One thing I disagree about, though, is that I do think it's newsworthy that Trump hauled John Roberts into his office to tear him a new one about Fox's coverage. That's some seriously dangerous fascism happening in real time. But the rest of it? Cover it and move on. Don't let him spin this out into a 5-day story. Yes, I know, I'm here, covering it. Let's just accept the weird mobius loop nature of this thing for a minute to appreciate the truth Dylan Byers dropped on Stephanie Ruhle's show this morning.

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