The Media Today

The media today: Trump’s immigration deal fractures right-wing media

September 15, 2017

For a president who campaigned on the wings of “build the wall” chants, Donald Trump seems uncertain about how to deliver on one of his signature promises. The on-again, off-again, on-again deal to protect “dreamers” without securing funding for the long-promised wall that emerged from Wednesday night’s dinner with Democratic leaders caused a revolt among many of his supporters.

CJR’s Jon Allsop writes that Trump’s apparent chumminess with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi “has left many of his media cheerleaders disgusted.” From Breitbart’s “Amnesty Don” splash to Ann Coulter’s about-face, Trump’s willingness to work with Democrats on immigration reform seems to be the final straw for some supporters. For others, like Sean Hannity, it’s always someone else’s fault.

Trump’s political rise has already caused a realignment of the conservative media world, and a retreat from his campaign promises concerning immigration threatens to do the same to its nascent pro-Trump contingent. Allsop’s piece quotes Commentary magazine’s Noah Rothman, whose analysis of the divide I found insightful. Rothman says that outlets like Breitbart “have a genuine valid policy prescription when it comes to immigration reform. Trump is a vehicle to achieve that, and to the extent he doesn’t achieve that he’s outlived his usefulness.” For those who twist themselves into knots defending Trump’s four-dimensional chess, the president is “a talisman, a victory in the culture wars, an investment.”

Below, more on immigration policy, Trump’s equivocation, and the media reaction.


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Pete Vernon is a former CJR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter @ByPeteVernon.