White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci can be forgiven for succumbing to the same illusion that enchants almost every conservative with a moment in the media spotlight: that journalists might really like you.
Scaramucci won applause from the press for his tour de force at the White House briefing room last Friday, when he answered questions smoothly, confidently, and jovially. He presented a friendlier face than Sean Spicer, who was often defensive when facing questions from the press corps. Perhaps he expected the friendship to be reciprocated.
He was wrong.
Whatever agreement he may have had with Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker, there was no way a liberal reporter was going to sit on an explosive story like the new communications director trashing the president’s top aides. Lizza told CNN on Thursday night that he would not have published the interview if Scaramucci had told him explicitly that it was off the record. Perhaps not, but he would have found another way to release the same information.
But we conservatives fall for it all the time, because we are so bullied by the media that the moment they seem willing to offer us the spotlight, we think everything has changed.
How many on the right — President Donald Trump included — have been done in by the big interview with the New York Times, the hope of favorable treatment by CNN, the flattery of BuzzFeed? It always ends the same way — with Lucy swiping the football away from Charlie Brown. And for some reason, Charlie Brown is always surprised.
Jake Tapper is a case in point. A left-wing journalist who once wrote for Salon, he ingratiated himself with the right while he was at ABC News because he was the only reporter who dared to ask the Obama administration remotely challenging questions. Breitbart News, of all sites, cheered for Tapper when he moved to CNN and was given his own shows — first The Lead, then the State of the Union gig. And then he turned on us, viciously and emotionally.
It is generally good to be cordial to mainstream media journalists. It is almost impossible to be friends with them. They live to destroy conservatives, and they hate this president with a bloodthirsty passion. They obey no rules. There is no quarter asked and none given.
Scaramucci said it best: “What I don’t like about Washington is people do not let you know how they feel. They’re very nice to your face, and then they take a shiv or a machete and they stab it in your back.”
He thought he was just talking about the “leakers.” How much more so, those that print the leaks.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.