A British reporter assigned to cover the White House admits he’s struggling to keep up with the chaotic Trump presidency.
When Jon Sopel was assigned as the BBC’s North American editor in spring 2014, he and his wife were most concerned about the weather conditions in Washington, D.C. — but now he’s starting to worry about his mental health.
“It is impossible to cover every single thing happening at the moment without going mad,” Sopel wrote for the Evening Standard. Or, as someone put it to me, reporting on this President is like trying to put your mouth over a fire hydrant and catching every drop of water.”
Sopel gained attention in February after he quipped, “good one,” after the president griped about his news organization during a press conference.
“Trump’s presidency is one like no other,” he wrote. “It’s not so much that the President plays by different rules; it’s as though there are no rules … If any journalist is about to come out to Washington to cover this story, my advice is this — work on strengthening your jaw muscles. Because your jaw will be hitting the floor daily.”
He said other reporters have compared the Trump presidency to African dictatorships, and Sopel was barely able to list all the mind-boggling developments he’s covered this summer alone.
“Can it carry on like this?” Sopel wondered. “I suspect it can. A former chief of staff to Obama said he was going to nominate this White House for a Tony award for most drama. Not best drama — just most. This often feels like being part of the maddest reality-TV show ever devised, and, as the promoters like to say, it’s going to run and run.