WASHINGTON — Much has been made of Melania Trump’s absence from the capital.
But our new president’s most intense, primal, torrid relationship is in full “The War of the Roses” bloom here. And it is not with his beautiful, reserved wife. It’s with the press, the mirror for the First Narcissus.
President Trump thinks that the mirror is cracked and the coverage is “fake.” And many in the press, spanning the ideological spectrum, think that he is cracked and that a lot of his pronouncements are fake.
Can this strange, symbiotic relationship be saved? Probably not. It is too inflamed and enmeshed, too full of passionate accusations. It’s going to end like all those plays and movies — from “Othello” to “Endless Love” — where the mutual attraction is so powerful, it’s toxic.
Trump could not live without the press. It is his crack. He would be adrift and bereft without his sparring partners, lightning rods, scapegoats and amplifiers.
And while many in the press may disdain the way Trump uses them to rile up crowds and deflect from transgressions, they know they have a rare story and a tantalizing, antagonizing protagonist.
As the New York Times White House reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted in January: “Trump has frequently complained about my reporting,” yet, “He remains the most accessible politician I’ve ever covered.”