John Bolton’s start as national security adviser kicks off Monday — and that means the members of the mainstream media are prepping for the rash of stories on why the world is about to blow.
Already, the press has pounced on the announced departure of National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton as a sign of the continuing chaos of this President Donald Trump administration.
From CNN: “Anton’s departure comes amid a series of changes at the National Security Council, including … Bolton taking the helm on Monday after H.R. McMaster stepped down as Trump’s top national security adviser. … Anton, an at times acerbic communicator, was well liked by his White House colleagues and known as the rare conservative intellectual that joined the Trump administration.”
And from Time: “Anton is the latest official to leave the White House amid an ongoing shakeup of national security and foreign policy staffers … He earned plaudits as one of the few intellectuals on the Hill.”
As if the last of the brain power has just vanished from the Republican-dominated Capitol Hill, leaving only the circus people in charge.
But that’s how the media has painted the Trump-run White House from the get-go — from way back on the campaign trail, when he was being regularly mocked by media, Democrats and establishment Republicans alike as a less-than-steller, less-than-capable candidate.
Just wait for the moans and groans to come with Bolton at one of the foreign policy helms now.
“I look forward to starting as National Security Advisor,” Bolton tweeted out Sunday, “and working with President Trump and his team to keep America safe and secure in these challenging times.”
Those are fighting words to liberals.
“In John Bolton, Trump Finds a Fellow political Blowtorch,” blasted one headline from the New York Times. “Will Foreign Policy Burn?”
And CNN has already laid the groundwork for Bolton to come under angry Trump fire.
“The Syrian attack, which reportedly killed 70 people, will also test Bolton’s capacity to forge trust with the commander-in-chief himself, putting their relationship — which will be crucial to his prospects — under pressure in a life-or-death environment,” CNN wrote, referencing the Syrian suspected chemical attack that faces Bolton on Day One.
But really now, didn’t Bolton already get the job? Didn’t he already earn the trust of the president?
But CNN couldn’t resist, adding this, as well: “And it will represent a high-pressure examination of Bolton’s management style that alienated colleagues when he served as a senior State Department non-proliferation official and UN ambassador.”
Conservatives, of course, will remember Bolton’s prior government service a bit differently — as times of America First, Global Government Second, and as such, as times worthy of praise and cheer.
But so it goes. Staunch conservatives and unbending patriot types never get a back-pat in the mostly left-leaning press.
What’s sure about Bolton’s tenure is this: The media, already grinding the gears of discontent over his foreign policy-tied appointment, won’t be cutting him any breaks in office in the months to come. Look for all negative, all the time; prepare for the anti-Bolton onslaught.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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