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Narcissists don’t just prey on your weaknesses.

They prey on your hopes... and then turn them into weaknesses.


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Narcissists like Donald Trump don’t just home in on where you are most vulnerable.

No, they find your heartbeat. They find what you most want or need and then they exploit it.

If you are looking to feel loved, they’re loving. If you’re looking to feel admired, they’ll appear to look up to you.

They find that thing you most wish were true and they use it to asphyxiate you with your own hopes.

If you are looking for a savior from the slow decay of your rural town, they’ll save your jobs.

If you’re looking for a way to vent your fear and anger and resentment, they’ll find you a culprit.

Narcissists exploit what their prey most want...

...and then they tunnel away at their host until there is nothing left to rob from them.

Yesterday, in the infamous NYT interview, Trump said what may be the most chilling thing he has ever said... and it was about the press.

Essentially, he said he would win again in 2020 because the press would want him to.

The chilling part isn’t the plain meaning. The chilling part is the subtext.

What Trump was saying is that he had found the media’s heartbeat.

He had found the things the press - and the people in it - most desire.

He found the vein.

He was saying (in an almost gloating way) that he had found the pulse he could home in on and use to strangle the media with their own selfish interests.

I fear he is not wrong.

Trump was sitting in front of a reporter from one of the most prestigious papers in the world - a reporter who had spent his afternoon loitering around a Trump club hoping to be granted an audience with the king.

Trump saw his desire and preyed upon it.

Trump saw that the reporter would not press him. He saw that the reporter’s own neediness made him vulnerable... and he practically tainted him with it.

They say “a free press is the single greatest defense against tyrrany.”

It’s not. The single greatest defense is an EFFECTIVE press.

Trump has honed in on a weakness in modern media.

Access journalism.

It is the Reality TV of reporting and Trump knows it.

It substitutes cultivation of sources and research and hard work for proximity and a tape recorder.

Trump has sized up the entire industry we call journalism and found the thing he can use to choke the free press to death without ever limiting its freedom.

Today, I’m sure Mike Schmidt of the NYT got an absolute ton of texts about his amazing “get”.

In reality, Schmidt just got strangled right out of even attempting to do his job by a boa constrictor who turned his wishes into weakness.

We’re in trouble.

We need an effective press.

They play a critical role if we are to survive this...

...but as of right now, the snake is encircling the rabbits while the rabbits self-congratulate and back-slap for having played right into the predator’s hands.

Every time an outlet runs lies unchecked or conducts interviews without push back, the snake constricts.

Democracy isn’t murdered in an isolated alley by a single gunshot.

It is strangled in bright light in full view of a public unrealizing of the danger.

It is possible to both admire and respect people in the media while also holding them relentlessly accountable.

It is possible to watch a cable network while relentlessly railing against its mistakes.

If we are to survive this, the single measure to which we must hold the entire media accountable is truthfulness.


It is no longer enough to dislike the dishonest talking head spouting lies on the regular CNN panel.

It is no longer enough to merely be disappointed with uncorrected falsehoods in interviews.

If we are to survive this, we will need the help of a media unafraid to tell the unvarnished truth and deeply afraid of the pushback when they fail to.

We can’t take this anymore.

I’m sorry if this sounds grim or dire or dark but as someone who knows how narcissists prey upon victims inside and out, Trump’s comments yesterday were a dire warning.

We fight for what we need from the press or we lose.

It’s that simple. It’s that serious.

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