NBC News gets roasted for wishful claims of a 'Toned-down President Trump'
On Tuesday, yet another press outlet got rightly roasted and ratio’d for, yet again, wondering if an uncharacteristically long span between raging Donald Trump tantrums could be counted as actual grown-up behavior of the sort we would expect of literally any other person in the public sphere. This time it was NBC News, and the pretense is, roughly, that since he didn’t immediately attack a dead ex-president and since he canceled multiple meetings with foreign leaders, showing admirable laziness, by God that almost, sort of, barely counts as normal!
Don’t call it a pivot. Not yet. Maybe it’s just a blip.
But, for the moment, even some of President Donald Trump’s toughest critics are taking note of a shift in his behavior — from reliably disruptive to seemingly disciplined.
It is a measure of how far we have fallen that all Donald has to do, before the top pundit echelons start feeling the familiar itch of normalization, is quite literally shut his pie-hole for a day or two. Anything that can give the old, familiar feeling of competence is seized upon, and if the man refrains from tweeting out insults during most of an international flight or approves the use of Air Force One to fetch the remains of an ex-president as opposed to sniffily refusing to do so, the class of studiously neutral, ever-apathetic-to-results political analysts in charge of these things will already have a not quite a pivot, but something column half written up.
For the record, this Jonathan Allen-written analysis piece appeared on Tuesday. Just the day prior, Donald Trump engaged in one of the most brazen public efforts yet to tamper with witnesses in the Russia investigation by blasting those cooperating with prosecutors and praising those with the “guts!” to refuse to “testify against” him.
And also on Tuesday, the Dow crashed 800 points as Donald walked back prior claims of trade progress with China, instead declaring himself a “Tariff Man” protecting against those that would “raid the great wealth of our Nation.” (He also retweeted a prominent conspiracy theorist’s theory that “We want Trump” was being chanted by Paris rioters.) He agreed to attend the Bush funeral, a ceremonial duty that was, to say the least, absolutely expected—but, apparently, first needed to be reassured that none of the speakers would be critiquing him during their prepared eulogies.