Appearing on Fox Business with Kennedy, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro ripped the media for criticizing President Trump’s visit to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Shapiro stated, “All of this stuff is so stupid for a wide variety of reasons, but what it really is, more than anything, is just the media attempting to distract from the fact Trump is doing a pretty good job here.”
The exchange began with Kennedy commenting:
So let’s talk a little bit about the president. Before he left for Texas, I said on this very show, “He’s damned if he does, and he’s damned if he doesn’t; if he doesn’t go down to the storm, he’s in a heartless bubble, and if he does, then he’s just an opportunist looking for likes.”
Shapiro responded that the entire perception of the president’s duties was off-kilter:
Yeah, that’s exactly right. This is one of the most annoying things about how people perceive the role of the president. I always liked the sort of Calvin Coolidge model of the presidency, where he does his job and leaves the rest of us alone. But the fact is everyone expects the president to be almost this royal figure, where he descends from on high and mingles with the commoners, or, if he doesn’t, then he’s Marie Antoinette. So when Trump was sort of dictated that he had to go to Texas by the media, that if he didn’t then he was just like George W. Bush during Katrina, flying around in his jet above the floodwater. So he shows up, and then he is Trump.
Shapiro pointed out Trump’s personality should have nothing to do with how his performance should be judged:
Trump is Trump; he talks about crowd size, he talks about how he’s glad everybody showed up; he says some nice words about the people of Texas, and then the media go nuts over that; they go nuts over Melania’s shoes and her hat.
Then he directly targeted the media:
All of this stuff is so stupid for a wide variety of reasons, but what it really is, more than anything, is just the media attempting to distract from the fact Trump is doing a pretty good job here; he’s obviously focused on the problem; his administration is doing what it’s supposed to be doing. Also, the amount of focus on what the federal government does during these situations to me seems slightly overblown, considering the vast majority of resources on the ground are local and state resources, not federal resources.
Then, a sly dig at the media’s perception of Trump’s predecessor:
And yet it’s always the president who’s deemed this sort of god-like figure by the media: “Why didn’t he stop the hurricane? or if it’s Barack Obama, “Why can he stop hurricanes? Why does he have that magic power?”