How to Cover Donald Trump Fairly: A Style Guide
Alexandra Petri offers helpful guidance in the Washington Post (whose press credentials Donald Trump just revoked because they ran a true report about him):
This Style Guide to Covering Trump Honestly and Fairly is too late for me, since I work at The Post, which has had its credentials revoked by the Trump campaign.
But it may not be too late for you, other members of the media! Please read and implement!
The Pillars of Covering Trump:
1. Donald Trump is never wrong.
Donald Trump is infallible — like the pope but with more raw sexual charisma. If Donald Trump appears to be wrong in a story, either because of a statement or an action, or some combination of the two, it should be rewritten so that he is not wrong. A good baseline for what is fair and honest coverage is that fair and honest coverage depicts Donald Trump as the shining, golden god he is, envied of men and beloved of women. Unfair, dishonest coverage does not depict Donald Trump this way.
2. Style is as important as substance. A good post about Donald Trump includes at least one of the following words: “huge,” “great,” “manly,” “terrific,” “incredible,” “fantastic,” “remarkable,” “big”/”bigly,” “immense,” “girthy,” “magisterial,” “gargantuan,” “tumescent.” Ideally, this word would be in the headline. A bad post about Donald Trump includes the words or phrases “puny,” “dangerous,” “Godwin’s law,” “cocktail shrimp in a toupee,” “husk of dead skin and hyperbole,” “garbage fart,” “what results if you accidentally leave Guy Fieri in a microwave.”
3. Does Donald Trump contradict himself? Very well; he contradicts himself. Donald Trump is large. Donald Trump contains multitudes.
4. Who among us has not been in the position where what he means to say is something wise and temperate and what actually comes out of his mouth is a garbage fart? Equipped with this knowledge, it is often best to take into account what Donald Trump should have said and to report that instead of what he actually did say. (The great historian Thucydides used to do this, which is why Pericles’s Funeral Oration is so lovely.)
5. Remember the transitive property of Trump: Whenever Donald Trump loves something, it loves him back. Donald Trump loves women. Therefore, women love Donald Trump. Donald Trump loves Hispanics. Therefore, Hispanics love Donald Trump. Any polls that obscure these truths should be disregarded.
6. Donald Trump’s hair is real. Well, no. “Real” is putting it too mildly. . .