Mike Allen is a savvy middle-of-the-road journalist of the age we live in. This means, unfortunately, that ethics takes a back seat to exuberance. The journalist falls in love with his or her drift and everything collapses from there. A poster child for this sort of betrayal of basic ethics is the initial piece in today's Axios.

Axios is a prime effort to move short-term Web content into the center of the race to own the future of news.

Crisp online reporting with email newsletters is Axios' mode of serving clients which include the Koch Brothers and Boeing.

I suppose by flagging these advertisers I have already discredited Axios. Perhaps so. But this is merely getting to the central dilemma of all journalism. If we are going to get paid, we need the big gun ads. The big gun ads come from the most ethically challenged entities.

Double bind

So this morning Axios sallies forth with another Mike Allen AM newsletter and it portrays Trump as a rising star. This on the eve of his possible downfall. Here it is.

I expect trump to be angrier and more beleaguered in December. I do not see him having months, much less years. And should he somehow escape Bob Mueller and pass his atrocious tax bill, I do not believe that this is cause for an Axios "ooh and ah".

I adhere to what I have thought for months and months. Trump will either be out quickly or become America's first dictator.

To be fair

Axios, on the heels of the piece I have embedded above, comes out with an obvious rejoinder.

This is from yesterday but it is of course filled with signs that Trump is in deep trouble.

Let me make my point. We do not need to take Trump's measure every day and write endless articles that show us both how cocksure and how vulnerable Trump is.

We need to examine why it is that those who are aware of what is happening are acting as they do. I say things are unfolding as they are because of the dynamic I have noted.

The real news is the fate of a dictatorial human being who will either survive and ruin our nation for good or leave and enable us to create a narrative we can live with.


Creating a narrative is not developing a fiction. We need somehow to explain why we tolerated this man, We need to express ethical consensus regarding his behavior. We need to know that we got him out because he was ethically unfit to champion the minimal values that might qualify him to be president. These would be tolerance, helpfulness, and democracy. These central values are all ignored by Trump.

Another weekend is on the way and I await the fall of the president. This should be the story. When we assume he might survive, we help him hold on. Journalists should ask why people like Lindsay Graham gush over Trump.