"January 6 was both unimaginable and 100% foreseeable"
I liked the interview, but there's something fishy about Baker. Or maybe he just isn't very good.
I have a similar reaction at Baker's anodyne way of characterizing Trump with such carefulness. This was the road to normalizing hateful aberrant presidential behavior, while being aware of it. Saying Trump had a "flirtation" with conspiracy theorists grossly distorts and minimizes in an absurd way his hateful conspirational mindset from birth certificates to the caravan and beyond-- and his superspreader tweets. Talking about his experience as limited to being CEO of a family business, avoids his predatory practices, as well as ignoring his personal behavior. As if becoming president, he earned the benefit of the doubt, and a relative forgetting of his offensive, racist past and present in business and politics.
When Peter Baker said “and that is what makes him appealing to many people, because he’s decisive and wants to get things done.” ...my toes curl. I’ve heard interviews with PB where he prides himself to be objective, but he’s not 100%. What frustrates me is he overcompensates. He often prefaces his analysis with “we can go to far” and “we have to be careful”... What? He can’t say Trump IS AN autocrat (it’s not instincts), that Trump lies and his ideology is “self”? That’s like saying we have to be careful when we (journalists) say climate change is real and racism is a driving force in our society. I had a colleague once when I worked in higher education who always backed out of conversations that were uncomfortable and strongly weighted. She was Catholic and another colleague would clap back and call her “Our Lady of Perpetual Denial”. As a respected and known journalist I wish Peter would shed what he sees as “caution” skin and call out the obvious. I’m not a journalist but know to achieve excellence much training goes into becoming a strong voice in reporting. But, we KNEW Barr egregiously and likely broke laws in covering for Trump. We knew Trump colluded and conspired with Russia and we’ll find out one day he was the puppet master for January 6th. We knew his cabinet, each and everyone was there for self and diminished those departments with their power. So, I don’t think journalists need to be careful about describing what would be in an alternative history if Trump’s insurrection had succeeded.