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With flood waters ravaging parts of Houston, first responders, local police, the National Guard, reporters, and citizens have shown their true colors. 

The images coming out of southeast Texas have been dramatic. Weekend warriors on recreational fishing boats have been rescuing people from rooftops of houses filled with water. Journalists have pulled people from flooded cars. Police officers have been shown passed out from exhaustion.

It’s the kind of situation where leaders also tend to show who they really are. Trump, after having traveled to Texas (though not to Houston), finally issued a statement on Wednesday that seemed to show some understanding of the situation.

The good will lasted all of 15 minutes. Trump then lobbed yet another attack at the media.

As attacks go, it’s not at the level of “enemies of the American people,” but the timing makes it among the most reprehensible. Reporters on the ground in Houston have been working tirelessly to provide crucial information to the public in some of the tough imaginable settings. 

Local media have been particularly impressive. One Houston TV affiliate saw their offices flooded—so they started broadcasting from the second floor. When they had to evacuate, they found a new way to stay on air. Reporters from the Houston Chronicle have worked almost nonstop, with some camping out at crucial locations for days at a time to continue their reporting.

It hasn’t been perfect. Blemishes include the chief national correspondent for ABC News calling the cops on people who were taking food from a supermarket. A CNN reporter ended up in a difficult position after a woman admonished her on live TV for conducting interviews. Fox News host Jesse Watters was tricked by a hoax image of a shark swimming in a highway.

Those small examples have been easily overshadowed by the work of dozens of reporters and punctuated by heroic acts of journalists forced into action by their circumstances. 

This, however, does not fit Donald Trump’s narrative, in which the media is just another hater/loser. In fact, it would seem Trump isn’t even aware that there’s media not solely dedicated to covering Donald Trump. And for Trump, anything not about Trump is essentially useless—a vestigial tail of the pre-Trump era.

It’s hard not to get caught up in that kind of mindset. Trump has so dominated the headlines for the past couple years that it can be easy to forget that a majority of the media is not dedicated to politics. Trump has effectively succeeded in making everything about him, leaving things not about him to toil in obscurity.

Houston is a brutal reminder of this, and of how anything that’s not about Trump won’t get more than 15 minutes in Trumpland. The flood isn’t about Trump, neither is the hard work of people on the ground in Texas, and so it’s a distraction. 

Another 15 minutes after his attack on the media, Texas was an even more distant memory. He’s moving on–mentally and geographically–to Missouri to talk about tax cuts that he will almost certainly benefit from. 

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