President Donald Trump delivered his first annual Address to Congress, a nationally televised event. The full text of the speech can be found here.
The speech was designed to appeal more to both sides of the aisle, a softened version of the speeches given in the last few weeks, minus the attacks on mainstream media and with no mention of the (fake news) Russia scandal.
The more notable feature of the speech was in fact the aftermath, with media coverage of people likely to praise Trump, which they indeed did. Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp said she supported all of the goals laid out in his speech (in fact, “how could one not?”).
Even the Democratic response from former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear was not as combative as it could have been. He seemed more to admonish the president to keep his promises rather than attempting to shame him for what he intended to do.
PBS’s coverage seemed to lack the vitriol in its cast of commentators. Even David Brooks of PBS said Trump would likely get a boost in polls because of this speech.
CNN, Washington Post, and NY Times had non-negative headlines (a radical departure on their part). Of the major outlets I monitor, only the tabloid left Huffington Post seemed to take a swipe at the President.
Is this a chance for Trump to soften media bias against him? Or is it only a temporary reprieve?
It will certainly make it more difficult for protesters to get traction against Trump. It is tough to maintain hate for someone who has a night of solemn respect from both Republicans and (some) Democrats.
In any event, it bolsters the President in the view of the American people and will make it easier to continue with his agenda.