Media Hand-Wringing Over Trump’s Lack of Appointments Lacks Credibility

By Dustin Siggins Published on November 17, 2016

For days, the press has been expressing serious concern about the difficulties of the Trump transition team. The transition was “stalled,” according to The Hill, there’s “turmoil” and “splintering” reported by NBC, “infighting” reported by CNN and “discord” from The New York Times. CNBC highlighted the “settling” of an alleged “score” by President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law against New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Yet for all of the hand-wringing over alleged delays in naming Cabinet members and other positions, a look at history makes it clear that the media is simply continuing its anti-Trump narrative into the post-election season. 

Take it away, Bret Baier and the “Special Report” panel:



In short, Baier notes that it took President-elect Barack Obama nearly three weeks to name his first Cabinet member. Every President-elect going back to Jimmy Carter has taken longer, with the exception of George H.W. Bush. Yet nine days after Trump’s election, the press is trying to say that we must be really worried because he hasn’t appointed anyone yet!

A few other outlets haven’t fully fallen into the trap. A Hollywood Reporter journalist told CNN’s Brian Stelter that the Times’ story was wrong. CBS has an article comparing different transition teams (though a video report at the same link says the transition isn’t smooth), and Politico has a succinct comparison to the Obama transition efforts.

But even Politico is going along with the narrative. An article published Thursday says Vice President-elect and Indiana Governor Mike Pence fulfilled a ban on lobbyists. According to Politico, the ban has “hobbled” the transition team. (On December 4, 2009, Politico published an article highlighting the “5 best jobs” left in the then-upcoming administration, though it has been one of the top media groups reporting on lobbyist ban violations and loopholes by the Obama administration.)

It may be that Trump’s team is in shambles, and that the reports are accurate. But without evidence of such, this reporting simply makes the mainstream press look desperately out of touch with what Americans care about, as well as full of self-indulgent naval-gazing.

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