For all the soul-searching after November 8, all the angst, and the clearly voiced determination to keep its eye on the ball and not get distracted, the media continues to go chasing every shiny object the Trump team throws in its way, wittingly or otherwise.
The latest example is this:
WASHINGTON — President Trump loves to set the day’s narrative at dawn, but the deeper story of his White House is best told at night.
Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room. Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit. In a darkened, mostly empty West Wing, Mr. Trump’s provocative chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, finishes another 16-hour day planning new lines of attack.
Usually around 6:30 p.m., or sometimes later, Mr. Trump retires upstairs to the residence to recharge, vent and intermittently use Twitter. With his wife, Melania, and young son, Barron, staying in New York, he is almost always by himself, sometimes in the protective presence of his imposing longtime aide and former security chief, Keith Schiller. When Mr. Trump is not watching television in his bathrobe or on his phone reaching out to old campaign hands and advisers, he will sometimes set off to explore the unfamiliar surroundings of his new home.
That clip from an NYT story has the media in an orgiastic frenzy. The staffers stumbling around in the dark because they don’t know where the light switches are? A metaphor, we are told, for the Trump Administration itself. A lonely Trump wandering around the unfamiliar rooms of the White House, clad in a bathrobe? Again, typical of the chaotically disorganised accidental president.
Meanwhile, the real smoking gun lies buried in paras 19 onwards, when the story talks of how the stream of Executive Orders were signed. Here is para 23:
Mr. Priebus bristles at the perception that he occupies a diminished perch in the West Wing pecking order compared with previous chiefs. But for the moment, Mr. Bannon remains the president’s dominant adviser, despite Mr. Trump’s anger that he was not fully briefed on details of the executive order he signed giving his chief strategist a seat on the National Security Council, a greater source of frustration to the president than the fallout from the travel ban.
You want to read that again, slowly?
On January 29, Trump signed an EO that gives Steve Bannon a full seat on the principals’ committee of the National Security Council. The same EO downgrades the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who will now attend only if his presence is deemed to be necessary to the deliberations.
Now wrap your mind around this: Trump was not apparently “fully briefed” about the contents of the EO he signed.
Does he not read? Apparently not.
Does he not know what he is signing? Apparently not. He signs what is put in front of him by his “trusted advisors” — the most trusted being Bannon.
What to make of a story that buries this fact — and all its horrific implications — in the 23rd paragraph, while feeding the ‘haha’ crowd with details of staffers trying to figure out which doorknob to turn to get out of the room?
Why is Trump signing EOs with no clue about its contents not a thing?