Trump’s Rules For Radicals

President Donald J. Trump participates in a tax reform kickoff event at the Loren Cook Company, Wednesday, August 30, 2017, in Springfield, Missouri. Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

President Trump told Chris Wallace in an interview on Fox that his administration is coming up with new “rules and regulations” for reporter conduct during White House press briefings after the White House was ordered to restore the press credentials of CNN’s Jim Acosta by US District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed by Trump in 2017, late last week. 

Allow me to save his staff some time. Based on actual events, I have come up with President Trump’s Rules of Decorum, guaranteed to ensure that White House briefings are run just as smoothly as the rest of this administration.

White Press Corps Members Must:

Refer to the President as “Mr. President” or “Sir” at all times.

Refrain from speaking disrespectfully of Mr. President at all times.

Avoid characterizing Mr. President’s motives or intent as anything other than patriotism.

Refrain from asking questions that may create violence at all times.

Avoid shouting out questions after the briefing has concluded. This is considered disrespectful to Mr. President and will result in your possible exclusion from future White House events.

Refrain from asking more than one question. Any attempt to get further clarification by asking a second question is to be avoided at all times. If you cannot yield to Mr. President, your microphone will be forcibly removed.

Refrain from asking Mr. President inappropriate, stupid, or racist questions. Any questions that are deemed as undesirable by Mr. President are to be avoided at all times. 

Ensure that you are not a rude or terrible person. If Mr. President determines that you are one, you will be escorted from the briefing room immediately and your hard pass shall be revoked.

President Trump and his enablers in the right-wing media have attempted to paint members of the White House press corps and the “mainstream” media as radical leftists who are seeking to destroy him and his administration. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it” is one of Saul Alinsky’s rules in his book, Rules For Radicals. I doubt that President Trump has read it; he is simply doing what comes naturally to him. However, his attempts to target and freeze out any member of the media who “misbehaves” should not be ignored or excused. 

Yes, people have to behave. That includes you, Mr. President. 

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