Dear President Trump,
Aw, I’m bummed you’ve chosen not to re-subscribe to The Washington Post; or, it looks like, The New York Times! And not just for yourself, but for federal agencies, too! Would you mind giving us some feedback? The Post is a paper for and about Washington, with a lot of good content and a very metal slogan, Democracy Dies in Darkness.
Look, I get it, though. It stinks that all the news is bad. It’s like, surely the administration must be doing something right? Just by random chance, an administration could not be getting so many things wrong on so many fronts, to the point that the Wall Street Journal’s editorial defense of its approach to Ukraine policy is that, sure, Donald Trump was trying to do a quid pro quo, but he was too incompetent and therefore does not deserve to face consequences. That’s from people who are rooting for you to succeed! That’s rough, man.
It can’t be that everything you do is malicious, venal or just downright goofy, can it? It can’t be that a Trump-era definition of a good day is one when the only bad news is that the secretary of Housing and Urban Development has gotten stuck in an elevator?
I know it can feel as though your news choices are pretty bleak. You can either not hear any news at all, except that maybe there is either too much or not enough bacon (Fox News is on it, whichever it is), or hear that “everything is going wrong, spectacularly wrong, and potentially the faintest whiff of accountability might be coming soon.” Conservative outlets seem to have become confused by the dazzling array of arguments being marshaled in the administration’s defense (Is it that there was no quid pro quo, or is it that quid pro quo is good now?) and, when I last checked, were just running footage of … places in America where they think someone is mad at math?
But getting rid of newspapers just because they keep trying their best to describe the job you are doing? This seems like cutting off your mirror to spite your face.
That is why, before you unsubscribe, I wanted to offer you a farewell promotion. For a limited time, I am happy to rewrite all the news so that it is better but you still get vaguely a sense of what is going on, so that when Sean Hannity yells something at you through the phone or television, you can follow along and don’t have to cobble together the day’s events from context clues alone, which could lead to embarrassment at rallies where you refer vaguely to “the two lovers” to the bewilderment of all.
Here’s today’s headlines, just to show you how this would go:
A group of Republicans did something very brave that made a lot of sense: On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida., led a glorious phalanx of more than 30 of his colleagues into a secure place to protest the nothing-hearings. This was as unshowy as it was productive. Also, they ordered pizza, which was an act of breathtaking courage and logic. They also smelled nice, and a grateful nation wept to see them.
(This would go on for several paragraphs!)
In Syria cease-fire, Trump sees a victory, because there is one: (For Turkey.) Some people are devastated, but they’re wrong. Nothing bad is happening. Certainly no blood is on your hands, and this is actually the way to lasting peace. It’s good. It’s not a deep betrayal of anything fundamental.
(This might not go on for as many paragraphs, but that would be the gist of it.)
Mitt Romney says something, but nobody listens
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gets some silly prize you’ve never heard of, wouldn’t want even if you’d heard of it
President wisely and correctly decides to unsubscribe from newspaper, will proceed entirely on instinct, without any facts or information whatsoever, since facts just made him look bad and information only clouded his thinking and rendered him indecisive! Everything will be better now!
Look, I get it, OK? You want good news. You could also try doing things better or different than this. But in the interim, I’m happy to step up.
Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter @petridishes.