President Trump’s cabinet met last Monday. Because of delays in confirmations, it marked the first time the entire president’s cabinet had been gathered together in one place since Trump took office. Hence this landmark meeting was the first opportunity for high-level officials to discuss a variety of topics and issues.
But that’s not the way it was covered.
“Donald Trump just held the weirdest Cabinet meeting ever,” read the headline at CNN.com. Chris Cillizza, CNN’s Editor-at-large, went on to complain that the meeting was nothing more than a chance for Trump’s cabinet to show off their sycophancy. Here’s an excerpt from Cillizza’s mockery of the occasion:
At first, I thought Trump was just going to have the new members of the Cabinet spend a few minutes praising him. NOPE! It soon became clear that Trump planned to have every Cabinet member speak. And when I say “speak” what I really mean is “praise Trump for his accomplishments, his foresight, his just being awesome.”
You think I am exaggerating. I am not. Here’s what White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said about Trump: “We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda.”
I mean, what?!?
Fortunately, the video of the session was available for others to what, allowing others to form their own opinions. And ours was not the same as Cillizza’s.
How is it in any way surprising that cabinet members would have nice things to say about the president who appointed them? Why is it bizarre that a large group of people might spend a few minutes in their first meeting together introducing themselves? The introductions lasted all of 11 minutes, and the meeting went on long after that, but to hear the media tell it, the supposed Trump worship was the only item on the agenda.
Some sample coverage:
“At Trump’s Cabinet meeting, flattery is flavor of the day” – Reuters
“Donald Trump’s first full Cabinet meeting on Monday was a much creepier affair than expected” – Slate.com
“President Trump’s Cabinet members slobbered all over themselves pumping up the president’s ego.” – Washington Post
“Groveling before the mad king: Donald Trump’s Cabinet of sycophants” – Salon.com
“Donald Trump’s Cabinet Meeting was Soviet and Surreal” – Newsweek
No, what’s “Soviet and surreal” is that many in the media wonder why Trump supporters don’t pay attention to them. They aren’t even trying to maintain a veneer of fairness anymore.
(Photo of an earlier, incomplete cabinet meeting on March 13, 2017, provided by the White House.)