Donald Trump at podium with gold curtain backdrop

Trump Riled As Media Attacks Achilles’ Heel: Head Counts, Including Busts? [Opinion]

President Donald Trump is furious over the alleged under-reporting of the numbers that made up his inauguration crowd. Within the first days of his presidency, he has relentlessly gone after the media for this “false report.” This is not the first time Trump has voiced his opinion over the media allegedly reporting the number of supporters in his crowds at a much lower number than the actual count. Has the media honed in on his Achilles’ heel, using these numbers like a stick to poke the newly elected President Trump?

Besides Trump complaining that the number count is being down-played, he was furious after a reporter said Trump removed a bust of Martin Luther King from the Oval Office, which was not true. Trump blasted the media for that false report and despite an apology from the reporter, this “false reporting” still has Trump in a peeved state. If Trump didn’t have immediate access to social media, this report could have built into much more than it did. You can only imagine how this could have quickly turned ill-fated if not squashed by Trump himself.

Some folks on the Sunday news shows didn’t understand why Trump doesn’t just move on after the apology. Corey Lewandowski, who is Trump’s former campaign manager, visited Fox News live on Sunday afternoon and said that this false report on the bust is part of the media setting the stage.

Trump was in office for just a few hours when it was reported that the bust of Martin Luther King was removed. While it originated with one reporter, Zeke Miller from Time Magazine, the story was also reported over and over again through the mainstream media. If the first hours of Trump’s administration are getting this kind dishonest reporting, what can the Trump administration expect for the next four years? This is the way Lewandowski explained how the administration sees the magnitude of this false report.

Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday afternoon asked if the country has ever seen a White House press secretary take to the podium to blast the press over their reports on crowd size? Sean Spicer used his very first appearance as the official White House press secretary to actually scold the press as they sat like sitting ducks to this reprimand in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.

The Hill calls Spicer’s speech a “blistering attack” aimed at the media after Donald Trump got wind of the many reports out there comparing his inaugural crowd attendance to that of Obama’s first inauguration crowd. Spicer was hot under the collar as he called the actions of the press members sitting before him “shameful and wrong.”

Along with the inauguration number reports a photo came out that seems to be eating at Trump. This picture shows a side-by-side comparison of both the 2017 inauguration crowds and Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Both pictures show the Washington Monument and the 2009 picture shows a much bigger crowd than the 2017 photo, but when was the 2017 picture taken? It is apparent the 2009 photo shows how crowded the area was at the height of the event, but the other picture could have been taken while the crowd was coming in or leaving the area. The picture comparison in question is seen below in a tweet.

The panel on Fox News live on Sunday afternoon found Spicer’s use of his time during his first official appearance perplexing. At the same time, they also felt the press put much effort in making Trump’s inauguration pale in comparison to Obama’s first inauguration event when it came to attendance.

Trump was notorious for complaining about the media refusing to pan the audience with their cameras during his campaign rallies to show the thousands of people in the audience. He frequently complained that the media reporting only “hundreds” of people at his rallies when the numbers were actually in the thousands, or tens of thousands. Some in the media did appear to have the tendency to underplay the amount of people who came out to the rallies to support Trump. The picture in the tweet below shows a different view of the crowd size, one that coincides with what Donald Trump is saying.

Has the media found that crowd size is somewhat of an Achilles’ heel to President Trump? They did their best during his campaign rally to keep their cameras focused straight ahead at Trump during his many campaign rallies. Even when Trump came right out and asked them to pan the audience, they didn’t comply, reports an archived article from Trump Stump. All through his campaign journey, the audience was seldom seen by the media, so when it was reported that “hundreds of people” showed up to see Trump, there was nothing by way of a visual to compare it to.

Trump called the media out on the reporting of the numbers then and he is continuing to do so today. With all that is on his plate as the incoming president, it was almost inconceivable to some that he would waste both his time, as well as Spicer’s time, by going after the false number reporting. Did the media foresee this and again, are they poking him with a stick to get him riled up over short-shooting the head count at the inauguration?

It almost seems as if they bait him and he takes the bait every time. For some reason, it is extremely important to Trump for the masses to know that he draws a crowd. In some cases, like the inauguration, it has almost turned into a competition to beat out Obama’s inauguration numbers. This may very well be his Achilles’ heel. But just like your mother said when you were a youngster, don’t let them get a rise out of you because they will keep coming back for more. Maybe what he needs to do is stop reacting to these reports so fiercely so they will go away?

[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]

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