Let me begin with a word of thanks to Stephen K. Bannon, the chief White House strategist. With a single interview, he dispelled any illusions that normal or productive relations with the media will even be possible under the Trump administration.
True, the new president's modern predecessors in both parties all tangled with the media. And the claim that traditional news outlets are "liberal" has long been a marker of conservative faith.
But where other chief executives saw the Fourth Estate as a legitimate institution to be dealt with (and, where possible, manipulated), Trump sees reporting purely in terms of his own power. "I want you to quote this," Bannon told The New York Times. "The media here is the opposition party."
Bannon went further still. In his ideal world, the media would remain silent, which is pretty much its posture under autocratic regimes.
"The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while," Bannon said.