When it comes to gathering and reporting the news, it is hard to beat the uncommon sense of legendary journalist Peter Kihss. I wrote several months ago that, as a young reporter, I learned from him that there are no such things as stupid questions to politicians, only stupid answers.
Now another Kihss gem applies, this time to the early media coverage of President Trump. More than three decades ago, Kihss and I were talking in the old newsroom of the New York Times when, after a frustrating day of seeing his story mangled by editors, he looked at me and said: Always remember, the job of the editor is to separate the wheat from the chaff — and publish the chaff in the newspaper.
I laughed, he didn’t, but his warning seemed especially prescient after Trump’s first Monday in the Oval Office. The new president delivered tons of wheat while most of the media was obsessed with the chaff.