It’s come to this: President Trump performs a basic part of his job and the news media tell the public he’s turned it into an unbecoming Hollywood production.

At the White House this week Trump announced his pick to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat, as he’s required to do by the Constitution.

He let everyone know on Twitter last week that he was set to make his decision. Then on Monday, he said it would be “announced live on Tuesday at 8 p.m.”

He came out to a White House podium, delivered some remarks about his choice, Appellate Judge Neil Gorsuch, and then let the nominee speak.

The unremarkable series of standard constitutional events was described by the Daily Beast as Trump “in peak reality-TV form.”

CNN’s Dylan Byers said Trump had turned “one of the most consequential decisions of the presidency into a primetime television event.” (Incidentally, Byers’ own report undercut that assessment by citing an administration official who said the event was modeled after President George W. Bush’s announcement of John Roberts as his nomination for chief justice, though that announcement came during the morning.)

Mike Allen, at Axios, said the Gorsuch announcement had an “‘Apprentice’ aura,” a reference to the popular NBC reality TV game show formerly starring Trump.

Every one of Trump’s moves is depicted by the news media as a TV show, a belittling comparison intended to marginalize Trump’s big moments. And it comes with the implication that Trump is trivializing the presidency.

A Politico report acknowledged that Trump’s Gorsuch announcement was uneventful. Yet, the same report called Trump “a political P.T. Barnum” and said he “pulled off a plot twist of sorts … by conducting a low-key rollout rather than the prime-time reality television spectacle he and his advisers had been hyping for days.”

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Was it Trump’s plot twist or the media’s?

Trump packed the very early days of his presidency with meetings with business leaders, union heads and pharmaceutical executives. Like Barack Obama, and presidents before, Trump brought some of the press into the meeting for a “spray,” an opportunity for photos and video footage, and offered some remarks about the purpose of the gathering.

He has also signed a slew of executive orders and when he did, he let the press in so he could show his signature to the cameras and explain the order’s intent.

It’s an obvious way to show the public what he’s doing each day and it’s not a wild assumption that citizens would like to know how the government’s highest official is conducting business.

Otherwise, why are the cameras there?

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But Brian Stelter at CNN dubbed what he saw as “Donald Trump’s photo op presidency” and said Trump was “back in his element, hosting a show, this time not in the ‘Apprentice’ boardroom but in the Oval Office.”

An NPR headline read, “With Conflict And Drama, Trump Hooks You Like A Reality TV Show.”

Since when did the national media find itself so dazzled by “conflict and drama”?

It’s what the industry thrives on.

CNN promos for the Republican primary debates showed close-up mugshots of each of the candidates with a shadow phasing across their faces accompanied by a climaxing percussion soundtrack. Next to that, watching Trump sign executive orders is like staring at the Mona Lisa.

When Hillary Clinton arrived in Washington on Inauguration Day, an always helpful CNN put up a split-screen that showed her on one side and Trump on the other. The network described it as “a split-screen for the ages.”

On Jan. 5, NPR, in its usual staid manner, asked, “Are Trump And U.S. Intelligence Community Headed For A Showdown?”

Every time Jimmy Fallon does one of his awfully unfunny Trump impressions, MSNBC runs it the next day at the top of nearly every hour.

CNN starts a countdown clock for viewers whenever House Speaker Paul Ryan enters the restroom.

But the national media say it is Trump who has turned the presidency into “primetime television.”

The alternative is for Trump to hide. That would work for reporters who see it as their role to bring Trump down a notch. But they’re not the ones who elected him and expect to see results.

Eddie Scarry is a media reporter for the Washington Examiner. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.

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