At this point, no one expects President Trump to act like a normal president, nor even a normal person, when it comes to his behavior in situations like the one he was in yesterday.
This country has been through enough disasters that there is a recognized template of support, empathy, and selflessness that we expect presidents to display when touring the affected areas and meeting the victims who are usually still in shock from the misery they’ve experienced.
Trump, of course, simply doesn’t know how to act in these situations.
Case in point, his trip to Houston yesterday. Rather than highlighting the victims or the federal aid that they will be needing to rebuild their lives, Trump, as usual, made it all about himself. From telling flood survivors “Have a good time!”, to responding to a military member who told Trump he had voted for him with “You better have,” the president has been more tone deaf than anyone thought possible.
One of the most egregious examples of this was when he turned his praise of the Coast Guard for saving over 11,000 people into an attack on the media he hates so much by appending this unnecessary comment:
“Think of it, almost 11,000 people by going into winds that the media would not go into. They will not go into those winds, unless it’s a really good story.”
For one Houston media member, this was a step too far after a week of toiling in horrendous conditions to bring everyone a glimpse into the disaster as it was happening and to provide local residents the information they needed to stay safe or get help.
Bill Bishop, managing editor of KHOU-TV in Houston, saw Trump’s grandstanding attack and took to twitter with this pithy reply:
— The Bishop (@BillBishopKHOU) September 3, 2017
Other reporters chimed in, pointing out that they were on the same helicopters as the Coast Guard covering the story and that they were there for the entire ordeal, not just parachuting in for the day.
Of course, the president seems to be the only one who doesn’t realize that he’s wearing no clothes. His cluelessness in making thoughtless and hurtful remarks attacking the press in this situation just serves to isolate him further from mainstream America and proves his unsuitability for the role he finds himself in.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.