Bob Woodward, one of the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Nixon-Watergate story wide open, said Wednesday that the "smug" news media are acting as though Donald Trump's presidency is a "try-out" and not reality.
The iconic journalist then suggested that, despite all of the Russia hysteria, Trump is president and likely will remain president for at least a full term — maybe even longer.
Woodward made the comments during an interview with Axios' Mike Allen. As recently as Sunday, Woodward called on his fellow journalists not to “binge drink the anti-Trump Kool-Aid" and "dial back" all the negative coverage of the president.
Woodward reiterated that message again Wednesday. "You have to have a presumption of good will," Woodward said, according to Axios.
He then described the current media landscape:
I think there's so many people treating the Trump presidency as if it's a try-out, as if it's provisional...odds are, he's probably going to be president for a full term, four years, maybe even more … there's hyperventilation, too many people writing things. When's the impeachment coming, how long's he gonna last, will he make it through the summer, and so forth.
"I worry," Woodward told Allen, "I worry for the business, for the perception of the business."
Woodward said that it's "not just Trump supporters" whom he fears the media's "smugness" may be alienating.
"I think you can ride both horses: intensive inquiry, investigation, not letting up. At the same time, realize that it's not our job to do an editorial on this," Woodward said.
The conservative Media Research Center did a roundup of some of the moments within the first four months of Trump's presidency in which media figures made extremely biased or presumptuous comments about how the administration could end.
Here are just a few, including one remark from Woodward's former Watergate colleague, Carl Bernstein:
- MSNBC’s Mika Bzrezinski: “I personally think it’s over."
- CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: “I have not seen anything like this since October 20, 1973.”
- MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “President Donald Trump now sits at the threshold of impeachment.”
- CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: “Our task is, quite simply, to keep alive the spirit of American democracy”
- ABC’s Joy Behar: “[T]his is treason to me. This is un-American. Unpatriotic.”
- Carl Bernstein: "I think this is a potentially more dangerous situation than Watergate, and we are at a very dangerous moment.”