WATCH: Everyone on Morning Joe Agrees That Donald Trump’s ‘Behavior is Crazy’

It doesn’t take a professional psychiatrist to observe that Donald Trump has a severe personality disorder. Although dozens of such professionals have already weighed in on the matter and regard him as both sick and dangerous. The symptoms of what some are calling malignant narcissism have become painfully obvious.

Donald Trump

Trump’s recent behavior has done little to mitigate those warnings. He can’t seem to recall from one day to the next what he has said about critical issues. He is sabotaging his own agenda with tweets that contradict prior statements or chastise his own administration. He insults our international allies and praises hostile adversaries.

The mental condition of a president is something that is rarely discussed publicly. While partisans often mock political opponents as “nuts,” that’s generally a snide put-down that isn’t meant literally. But what makes the Trump presidency so extraordinary is that these observations are now being made by prominent people in the media. And they mean it. For example, a discussion took place Tuesday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that encapsulated this trend:

Joe Scarborough: How you can tell that somebody is not well and that there’s a serious issue, is when they continually do things against self-interest. […]
Donny Deutsch: As to why he does things that seem to be self-destructive and seem to go against him, I think he clearly has a personality disorder. […]
Elise Jordan: The behavior pattern that he’s demonstrating right now is not normal. And I kind of want to dispense with political correctness for a bit and just say what everyone is thinking. This behavior is crazy. […]
Eugene Robinson: We must wonder about his emotional stability, his grasp of reality, or both.

These commentaries cannot be characterized as partisan attacks by anti-Trump activists. Scarborough is a conservative Republican and a longtime personal friend of Trump. Jordan is a right-winger and a was a Rand Paul staffer. Robinson is a liberal columnist, but he’s also a Pulitzer Prize winner, which speaks to his credentials. And they are only the tip of the iceberg.

The fact that so many people are willing to speak so openly about Trump’s mental health is telling in itself. The only historical parallel to this would be the insider talk about Ronald Reagan’s progressing Alzheimer’s. But that was all behind the scenes while he was in office and never addressed on a network news program. Donald Trump has changed all of that. And for good reason.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

More Consensus On The Fox Opinion Channel

It’s only been a little more than a week since Anita Dunn made her initial remarks about Fox News being “the communications arm of the Republican Party.” At the time I regarded it is a purely positive development that exhibited courage and honesty. It seemed to me that inciting a discussion of Fox’s journalistic legitimacy could only do harm to Fox. Their unprofessionalism and ingrained biases would do them in and the formerly reluctant media would find their spine:

“For some reason, the targets of Fox’s attacks never seem to fight back. Well now they have an opening to do so in the form of addressing the allegations from the White House. If they miss this opportunity they are either incompetent or have a death wish.”

Much of the reaction by media pros to Dunn’s comments were a kneejerk condemnation of the White House for expressing what is a fairly non-controversial observation. Rather than conceding the obvious, they appeared to be taking a position that protected their own interests in some future administration when they may be on the outs. But so long as your reporting is honest, you have nothing to worry about. That’s where Fox goes off the rails – they lie.

Well, now some of the Conventional Media stalwarts have re-thought their original assessments:

Eugene Robinson (Washington Post): [I]t bothered me that virtually everyone I knew felt the same way. And then I came across a piece by media writer Michael Wolff in which he posits an interesting theory: That this might be a shrewd gambit to draw bright lines around the Fox ‘no to everything’ line. If the ideological struggle can be defined as Fox viewers vs. everybody else, the White House wins.

Michael Wolff (Newser): So I am revising my theory of what the Obama administration is doing in its frontal assault on Fox: I think they want us to take sides. Are you a Fox person or not a Fox person? And I think they want to identify Fox as the standard bearer of American conservatism. If you’re a conservative, you’re for Fox (ie, is that who you want to be?).

Peter Roff (US News): Now the White House is drawing conservative attention off onto other things […] And now, thanks to the White House’s provocation, there are those who are spending time trying to motivate the public to act in defense of Fox.

Each of these views recognize that by having a discussion about the proposition that Fox is not a news organization inures to the detriment of Fox. A network whose anchors air doctored video clips, read RNC talking points complete with the original typos, and take every opportunity to disparage their ideological opposites, is going to lose that argument every time.