News conferences are a double oxymoron. Pressers aren't conferences; conferences involve back-and-forth communication. Nor do they have anything to do with news. News is neither created nor conveyed at a press conference.
The one place in the world where news is least likely to happen is a press conference. If I were in charge of a media organization, the last thing I'd spend money on would be a White House correspondent whose role is to sit politely holding up his or her hand, hoping like a compliant schoolchild to be called upon, begging for the privilege of being lied to.
There are no eye sockets big enough for the eye-rolling I want to do when I hear American politicians express shock at political violence like the last week's domestic terror trifecta: A racist white man murdered two black people at a Kentucky grocery store, a white right-winger stands accused of mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to Democratic politicians and celebrities and a white anti-Semite allegedly gunned down 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is in its 17th year, with no end in sight. The U.S. has killed 1 million Iraqis over the last 15 years. We're killing Syrians, Yemenis and Somalis. None of the victims threatened us.
Innocent until proven guilty.
Donald Trump may last; he may go away. But the influence of his revolutionary approach to American politics will endure. What he learned and taught about campaigning will be studied and emulated for years to come. Social media matters. In 2016, his free Twitter feed defeated Hillary Clinton's $1.2 billion fundraising juggernaut.
What is wrong with us? Specifically: What is wrong with liberal Democrats?
Liberal Democrats are out to get Brett Kavanaugh. They are right to be; he is dangerous. Confirming Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court would lock in a right-wing majority for a generation. Abortion rights would be imperiled, true, but his rulings would also impact us in countless ways no one can predict: privacy, technology, balance of powers, corporate influence.
Christine Blasey Ford has accused Brett Kavanaugh of trying to rape her during a party while they were teenagers. The political stakes are high: If Kavanaugh's confirmation vote fails in the Senate and Democrats win the body back in November, conservatives will watch their dream of a solidly reliable 5-4 majority go up in smoke.
The most disturbing aspect of The New York Times op-ed by an anonymous "senior official in the Trump Administration" isn't its content.
The content isn't significant enough to make an impression.
Imagine a store that makes its customers miserable. The interior is ugly and uncomfortable. The staff members range from indifferent and slow to rude and incompetent. You pay sky-high prices for inferior goods. Often you pay full price yet leave the place empty-handed.
This past week, more than 300 American newspapers colluded -- if the word fits -- to simultaneously publish editorials declaring themselves, contra Trump, not "the enemy of the people." Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring that it, too, did not consider the press to be, in a phrase that evokes the rhetoric of the former Soviet Union, state enemies.