I have a confession to make:
I have watched every episode of all seven seasons of The West Wing three times.
It’s an obsession.
Anyway, over the course of the Trump campaign, the transition, the inauguration, and the first month of the presidency, I have found myself, not a religious man by any means, praying for some cosmic event to happen, some time-space disruption that results in the Trump administration being replaced, wholesale, by the fictional West Wing Bartlet administration.
I know, Stephen Hawking, wherever he is, is laughing at me right now.
Well, while reading about President Trump’s
hissy fit press conference today, I thought about The West Wing once again, but for a very particular reason.
Anyone who watched much of the show is familiar with just how careful the administration felt they needed to be about any statements they made to the public and the press.
Whether it was C.J. Cregg, the Press Secretary, during her daily press briefings, or the president himself during a speaking engagement, whenever there was even the slightest remark that could be misconstrued, the rest of the administration would react as if they would all be out of a job, hearings initiated, or wars begun, as soon as the press took up the ball and ran with it.
By contrast, TrumpCo. (my favorite epithet for our current administration) does not appear to be governed by any such concern, with near daily statements coming from the White House and its surrogates that would have caused Toby Ziegler, The West Wing‘s Communications Director, to suffer a fatal heart attack.
There is a continuum, on one end of which is a commitment to the highest standards of governmental communications etiquette, exemplified by the fictional West Wing administration, and on the farthest possible opposite end of the continuum is TrumpCo.