Trump, Stephanie Grisham, and the chaos at the North Korean border

Yesterday, the cameras were rolling as Donald Trump—to applause and a handshake from Kim Jong Un—became the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea. The footage was shaky and broadcast at 2:45am Eastern time; nonetheless, it was a “made-for-TV moment,” as Politico’s Anita Kumar wrote, twice. Reporters across the US media framed Trump’s brief visit in similar, showy terms. “In terms of sheer performance,” ABC’s Jonathan Karl said, “this may be the biggest moment of the Trump presidency so far.” The Washington Post’s David Nakamura called it “One small step for the 45th president; one giant boost for his television ratings.” Trump, Nakamura writes, has “carefully cultivated elaborately staged moments that, strung together, reveal a president eager to play the roles of producer and director, calling the camera shots, hyping the drama and building public expectations for a big reveal.” The characterization of Trump as media manipulator recurs so often that it almost feels clichéd. But media optics were clearly front of mind during his weekend maneuverings. On Saturday, the president, who was in Japan for the G20 summit, offered Kim the chance of a meeting via Twitter. Trump seemed well aware of the stakes: if Kim had rejected the invitation, “everybody is going to say, ‘Oh, he was stood up by Chairman Kim,’” Trump said at a news conference in Osaka. He returned to that theme at a conference with Kim in the Demilitarized Zone just south of the Korean border: “you... Continue reading at 'Columbia Journalism Review'

[ Columbia Journalism Review | 2019-07-01 11:38:14 UTC ]
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