In the categories of “is this piece from @CNN for real?” and “@StCollinson is almost respectful to @realDonaldTrump” . . .

An amazing moment in history: Donald Trump’s press conference

I really don’t care whether you like the guy or not, whether you think he’s been a great President so far or not, whether you think he’ll ever become even a decent President or not—this is amazing stuff. This press conference seems to me a microcosm of Trump’s campaign, election, and presidency (thus far).

This is the opening paragraph from Stephen Collinson:

President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary denunciation Thursday of his critics, complaining he inherited a “mess” and slamming stories that his campaign was constantly in contact with Russia as “fake news.”

Collinson uses the word “extraordinary.” He talks about “complaining” and “slamming,” but even with that, it’s one of the most tame openings I can recall seeing from CNN. He goes on:

Trump held court during a news conference that lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, carving out a stunning moment in modern American political history. He displayed a sense of anger and grievance rarely vented by a President in public.

I don’t know if I would describe the article as respectful, but almost. Here’s what I think is the heart of the article:

That was the kind of message—directed at large numbers of voters disgruntled with the performance of Washington’s political establishment and delivered in a plainspoken, unvarnished manner—that helped Trump win the presidency against all odds.

But his manner is also likely to offend or alarm other voters and may do little to alleviate skepticism towards Trump among political elites in Washington. Trump in fact predicted how his animated and unorthodox news conference will be interpreted in the press.

”Tomorrow, they will say: ‘Donald Trump rants and raves at the press,’” Trump said. “I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you. You know, you’re dishonest people. But—but I’m not ranting and raving. I love this. I’m having a good time doing it.”

The general impression was of a president who is deeply frustrated at the way his new White House is being portrayed and who had decided to take matters into his own hands with a dramatic intervention.

I think I have it. I think that I would describe the tone of this article, not as respect, but as awe. It’s almost as if the author is at a loss, maybe stunned. President Trump beat the Republican presidential candidates at their own game. Then he beat the Democrats—Hillary and the entire Clinton Machine—at their own game. And all along he was beating the Mainstream Press—including Fox News—at their own game. And this week he took a beating from the Mainstream Press—and from the Deep State (CIA, NSA, FBI, Federal Bureaucracy in general). Just yesterday—just this morning, in fact—some were questioning whether this week’s events signal either the end of Trump’s efficacy or the end of his presidency altogether. And today, in the fashion that we have all come to associate most with Trump’s presidency—unexpectedness—he calls a press conference like this. Even if you don’t love Trump, you’ve got to love his openness, his bluntness in moments like these. Even if you think all this is a facade designed to hide his true self, the gumption, the grit he has to have to keep putting on that facade in this manner—it’s “amazing”—and at least one reporter seems to understand that.