The cost of Trump’s reality show
Donald Trump’s presidential reality show has great ratings, said Matthew Yglesias, but it’s “blinding us to what matters.” While the country is engrossed in such spectacles as the Nunes memo and Trump’s latest tweet, important news is getting lost. Just a few examples: The Labor Department suppressed a report that the Trump administration’s proposed new rule allowing restaurant owners to keep employee tips could cost workers billions of dollars a year. The Centers for Disease Control is facing an 80 percent funding cut from its efforts to fight infectious disease outbreaks, in the midst of the worst flu season in years. And there were two major passenger train derailments to serve as a reminder of our crumbling infrastructure. It’s not that the media didn’t cover these and other important stories, but they were completely drowned out by the Trump Show. Sometimes, the firestorms the president generates play to his advantage; other times, they backfire spectacularly. “But either way, it’s an absolute disaster for the understanding of public affairs.” Staid stories about what the federal government is actually doing might be “less exciting than Trump’s Twitter beefs,” but they have “real impact on real people’s real lives.” Governing is not a TV show.