Donald Trump has declared war on the media, the latest salvoes being his denying major media outlets access to the White House "gaggle," or informal briefing, and pulling out of the White House Correspondents Dinner.
The question on the minds of both politicos and crisis managers about this adversarial strategy: Will it work?
Answering that question must be a non-partisan exercise and three and a half decades in the scandal racket has taught me that damage control strategies rarely either succeed or fail completely. They can succeed until they fail like Nixon's Watergate cover-up, which bought him a few more years than he would have had otherwise. Or they can fail until they succeed, which is what happened with the Clinton White House's strategy during the Lewinsky scandal.
While as a citizen, I am anxious about Trump's war on journalists, as a professional I think Trump is onto something. The strategy is called inoculation and the logic is simple: If you disparage the media, any narrative that flows from the press will be "fruit of the poisonous tree," or, in the lingo of the day, "fake news."