During the last year, President Donald Trump has had one solo news conference. One.
No other president has ever had fewer in the modern era. Ronald Reagan, a man also notoriously known for trying to control the message by limiting his interaction with the press had about a half a dozen news conferences during the same time span.
Presidential supporters like to say the president has circumvented the press by talking directly to the public via his multitude of insulting, demeaning and error-ridden tweets. What he's really done is conducted a sermon through his twitter account and has avoided any accountability to the American people with that move.
For, let's be honest, it isn't just The New York Times and CNN in the press room, there are a variety of reporters from a multitude of media organizations around the world - some who view the president favorably - who are not getting to question the person they've been sent to cover.
Trump controls the message, and convinces his base he is being transparent by refusing to answer questions from the public. And, by only appearing at carefully controlled rallies, he makes it nearly impossible to speak truth to power.
Somewhere between “Covfefe” and “The Bowling Green Massacre,” probably right around the time Kellyanne Conway and others decided President Trump could reside in a nation of “alternative facts,” and definitely after Sean Spicer told us Trump’s inaugural audience was the largest in history, speaking truth to power became irrelevant to the president.
Mind you many of us still care about facts. Despite being labeled an “Enemy of the People,” and a supplier of “Fake News” most reporters I know do not gleefully attempt to manipulate reality the way the president does. If we get something wrong then we correct it. And that remains our greatest strength. That’s why you know we’re not wielding the red light sabers.