Tag Archives: fake news

Trump vs. Bezos; Fake News vs. Real News

I am trying to wrap my arms around what I believe is one of the richest ironies I can find in today’s political discourse. Follow me for a moment.

Donald Trump despises Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon and the Washington Post. He has denigrated Bezos, bastardizing the mega-billionaire’s name by referring to him via Twitter as “Jeff Bozo.” He hates the reporting that comes from the Post, which to many of us is one of the premier newspapers in the world.

Bezos — reportedly the world’s richest human being — has filed a complaint against the National Enquirer, the world’s pre-eminent supermarket tabloid and purveyor of tawdry, juicy and occasionally defamatory gossip. The owner of the Enquirer also is a big-time friend and ally of Donald J. Trump. Bezos alleges that the Enquirer is blackmailing him by threatening to publish salacious pictures of the Amazon/media magnate with a woman who is not his wife.

The irony? Try this on for size: Trump hates what he calls “fake news,” which in reality is merely news that casts him and the presidency in a negative light. Donald Trump’s supporters stand with him, yet many of them — I will presume — continue to support the world’s No. 1 platform for “fake news” by purchasing the Enquirer from supermarket shelves while they are buying their groceries.

Donald Trump’s friendship with David Pecker — whose company AMI purchased the Enquirer in 1999 — has been in the news of late, given the tabloid’s involvement with the Stormy Daniels (the adult film actress) and Karen McDougal (the former Playboy model) stories involving the women’s alleged relationships with the future president of the United States . . . yep, Donald John Trump Sr.

“Fake news” or real news? Salacious gossip or quality journalism? Donald Trump or Jeff Bezos?

I believe the juxtaposition of it all is, well, more than just a little weird, don’t you think?

Intel chiefs providing ‘fake news’? Are you serious, Mr. POTUS?

Donald J. Trump’s penchant for prevarication has taken a stunning new turn. Yes, it’s stunning even for this president of the United States.

He now says that his intelligence brain trust — three individuals he appointed to their posts — are providing “fake news” while challenging his own (false) assertions about the U.S. effort at combating terrorism around the world.

Trump’s handpicked appointees — Gina Haspel at CIA, Christopher Wray at FBI and Dan Coats as director of national intelligence — all say that North Korea still poses a nuclear threat, that ISIS is not defeated, that Russia interfered in our 2016 election and is planning to do the same thing in 2020.

Trump now says they were quoted “out of context” and that the media twisted their comments.

Huh? What the . . . ? Is this clown for real?

Good, ever-lovin’ grief! I’ve heard their complete comments given this week during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. They weren’t taken out of context. There was nothing to dispute.

They have spoken, as the saying goes, “truth to power.” They are challenging Trump’s assertion that “ISIS is defeated,” that North Korea is “no longer a threat” and that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has “denied” Russian interference in our election.

Simply astonishing!

Twitter use? Sure, why not? ‘Fake News’ epithet? Unacceptable

I have learned to accept that Donald Trump is going to use Twitter to express himself whenever he wants. I don’t like it, but that’s his way of communicating, so I’ll let that aspect ride.

What I cannot let stand is his continual use of the term “fake news” to describe media with which he disagrees.

He said this regarding the Davos economic summit, which he decided to skip  because of the partial government shutdown:

Last time I went to Davos, the Fake News said I should not go there. This year, because of the Shutdown, I decided not to go, and the Fake News said I should be there. The fact is that the people understand the media better than the media understands them!

C’mon, Mr. President! Knock off the “fake news” epithet.

He throws that term out whenever he describes media outlets that report news he finds objectionable, which is another way of saying he dislikes media that report the news accurately.

Moreover, the president of the United States is the uncrowned king of fake news. He foments lies continually. He has continued to speak untruths about current events, about his political foes, about the media. He promotes “fakes news” whenever he opens his trap and says things such as:

Barack Obama was ineligible to run for president because he wasn’t a U.S. citizen; he witnessed thousands of Muslims cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11; millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016; the “caravan” of refugees fleeing Central America contained many “Middle Eastern” terrorists intent on killing Americans.

That’s just a sample of what I am talking about. The president is the master of “fake news.” For him to accuse the media of promoting “fake news” is just, well, another example of Donald Trump’s penchant for prevarication.

Happy new year, in all CAPS!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA! 2019 WILL BE A FANTASTIC YEAR FOR THOSE NOT SUFFERING FROM TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME. JUST CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE, GREAT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR OUR COUNTRY!

That, right there, is Donald Trump’s new year’s message to the country he was elected to govern.

A couple of things strike me about the tweet that came off the president’s cell phone.

One is the use of all capital letters, which a tweet sender usually employees to express excitement, agitation or angst. Yet he tells us to “CALM DOWN AND ENJOY THE RIDE.”

Go figure.

The other thing is the apparent attempt at sounding magnanimous.

Trump offers new year’s greetings to the “HATERS AND THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA!”

I know he intends to aim that message at others, such as his critics and those who work for various media organizations. When I think just a little bit about it, though, I cannot get over the notion that the president himself is a “hater” and is the nation’s supreme purveyor of “fake news.”

Whatever. Happy new year to the president. I am betting that 2019 is going to ruffle a few more feathers.

As for “GREAT THINGS” happening, I must say that the greatest thing I can imagine for our great country will occur when Donald John Trump exits the Oval Office for the final time.

Is this one of ‘the best people’?

Remember this name: Heather Nauert.

She is Donald J. Trump’s latest incarnation of the “best people” he has vowed to hire to help him “make America great again.”

Oh, but who is she? She is the president’s nominee to be our nation’s ambassador to the United Nations. Nauert will succeed Nikki Haley, who is leaving government at the end of the year, possibly to pursue other political ambitions.

OK, what about her credentials to speak for the United States of America in the body aimed at keeping the worldwide peace and working around the globe?

She has zero foreign policy experience. Nauert has limited government experience of any kind; she joined the Trump administration in April 2017, becoming a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who then slammed the door shut on Nauert. Tillerson managed to get fired and his successor, Mike Pompeo, has welcomed Nauert into State’s inner circle.

But . . . this must be what put Nauert into the hunt for the UN job: She was a top news correspondent for Fox News and served for a time as a co-host on the president’s favorite “news” and gab show, “Fox & Friends.” These are the folks who never ask him tough questions, fearing, I suppose, that they would be lumped in with those other “fake news” outlets. We can’t have it, right, ladies and gents?

So, there you have it. The president of the United States has handed the UN envoy job to someone who has not a single thing to show her fellow diplomats that she knows anything about the world around us. Indeed, she has only a little less government experience than the man who nominated her, Donald Trump.

Hey, she appears to be the perfect pick for the president, who defines “best people” in ways I cannot possibly fathom.

Return the press pass to CNN’s White House reporter

I’ll concede that Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, is a show-off who brims with misplaced self-importance.

He also is a journalist who works for a legitimate news-gathering organization — who has been singled out unfairly by the president of the United States.

The White House yanked Acosta’s press credentials. Why? It said initially he put his hands on a young intern who sought to grab a microphone out of Acosta’s hands while he was asking the president a question.

I watch the incident live as it happened. Then I saw it again, and again. He didn’t do anything of the sort. Now the White House is yammering a different line, that Acosta was too persistent in his questioning.

Give me a break!

The White House, let alone the president of the United States, cannot put government pressure on a media organization by this kind of bullying. That’s what they’re doing in the White House. They are trying to bully and intimidate the media, which seek to get answers on all manner of government policy.

CNN has sued the White House, protesting the decision to rescind the reporter’s press pass.

Acosta is known as an aggressive reporter. He is far from the first or even the worst. Do you remember how Sam Donaldson would tangle with President Reagan? Or how about when Dan Rather would get under President Nixon’s thin skin? Did either of those presidents yank their press credentials? No. They sucked it up. They answered their questions and let the reporters and their employers chronicle their answers.

Trump talks like some kind of tough guy. He isn’t. He demonstrates profound weakness by banishing an aggressive reporter, whose job is to ask difficult questions.

The president’s job requires him to provide answers.

By all means, purge ‘fake news’

Our nation’s “liar in chief” has asked whether a Facebook plan to purge itself of “fake news” means that CNN could be going out of business.

Donald John Trump asked this on Twitter: Facebook has just stated that they are setting up a system to “purge” themselves of Fake News. Does that mean CNN will finally be put out of business?

The president of the United States just cannot help himself, he cannot stop tossing around “fake news” epithets at media outlets whose only “sin” is to report news he deems to be “negative.”

More galling than that, of course, is that the president himself is the nation’s — if not the world’s — most egregious purveyor of actual fake news.

I mean, he makes things up. He pulls assertions out of thin air — or perhaps out of a certain body orifice — and blurts ’em out. He flings accusations at foes without any evidence; he makes claims of fraud where none exist; he foments falsehoods  (such as the birther lies regarding his immediate presidential predecessor).

And then he has the temerity to assert that media outlets — except for his “friends” at Fox News — spread fake news all around the world.

He stands behind campaign rally lecterns and bellows this and that about “fake news” and his faithful believers cheer him on.

Every single mention of “fake news” that flies out of this president’s pie hole only ratifies what millions of Americans know already.

Donald Trump is unfit for the office he holds.

Trump keeps playing to his rabid, er, fervent base

Call him whatever you like — or maybe whatever I like.

Liar in Chief. Purveryor of Fake News in Chief. Prevaricator in Chief.

Donald J. Trump is continuing a sustained attack on the media, calling them — and yes, this man has some stones — merchants of “fake news.” This, coming from the man who promoted the lie that Barack Obama was not qualified to serve as president because, according to Trump, he was born abroad.

As The Hill reported: “I just cannot state strongly enough how totally dishonest much of the Media is. Truth doesn’t matter to them, they only have their hatred & agenda,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

Trump believes this attack-the-media strategy is a winner. He is mistaken.

He comes off in my mind — and in the minds of millions of other patriotic Americans — as a goon seeking to intimidate those who work in a craft protected specifically by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Trump has gone after CNN and NBC. Occasionally he rails against The New York Times and The Washington Post. Damn, I wish he would say something about High Plains Blogger … but I fear he doesn’t see this blog from little ol’ me way out here in the heartland.

Oh, well.

But the president is treading on some dangerous turf as he continues to disparage the media, whose function includes a duty to hold government accountable. That means those who run the government, and that means the president of the United States.

Every one of Trump’s presidential predecessors has understood that necessity; some understood it more fully than others, to be sure.

This clown, this carnival barker, this unethical and corrupt-to-the-core wanna-be tyrant doesn’t get it.

He is a disgrace to his office.

Media ‘not supposed to be the story’

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta is a man to whom I can relate. More or less.

He made an appearance last night on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and asserted that the media aren’t supposed to be the story they are covering. Indeed, Acosta has become a media “celebrity” because of his frequent public clashes with White House press officials — notably press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Plus, Donald J. Trump continues to single out Acosta and CNN as purveyors of what he calls “fake news.”

The Hill reports: “Do you worry that the president points at y’all so much and there’s a natural need to respond as a human being that you end up being the story when that’s not really the goal of your journalism?” Colbert asked Acosta on the CBS “Late Show” host Wednesday night.

“We’re not supposed to be the story, you know. That’s not why I’m out there,” Acosta responded. “I get accused of that from time to time, and my attitude is ‘Listen, I’m allowed to care about this country as much as anybody else.'”

I, too, lament the way the media have become part of the story. In a perfect world — and this one has never been perfect — the media would report the news and remain in the shadows. I liken it to the sports referee who no one notices, until the ref does something stupid or otherwise noteworthy.

The president chooses to make the media the story by continuing to hammer them over the way they cover his administration.

He won’t simply allow the media to do their job. He won’t accept that not all news is positive. He doesn’t recognize the media’s role in holding public officials accountable. Therefore, he ratchets up the volume whenever he fires off those tweets accusing the media of being the “enemy of the people.”

That all said, the notion that Acosta would agree to appear on a late-night TV show with a host who has been notably critical of the president suggests that he isn’t exactly walking the walk in terms of seeking anonymity.

His message about the media’s role — as the chronicler of events — is on point. The media mustn’t become “the story,” and that precludes CNN’s chief White House reporter from appearing on a national TV show.

‘What wars have we started?’

Allow me to throw a bouquet at Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” who this morning asked national security adviser John Bolton a most pertinent question.

“What wars have we (the media) started,” Wallace asked Bolton, who — quite expectedly — dodged the question, avoided giving a direct answer.

The question came from a tweet fired off this morning by Donald J. Trump, who said the following:

The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!

The danger and sickness, allow me to respond, are coming from the president of the United States, whose Twitter messages are sounding increasingly hysterical and detached from reality.

According to The Hill: “That’s the president’s view, based on the attacks the media has made,” Bolton responded, citing past administrations that have clashed with the media.

“I think this kind of adversarial relationship is typical,” he added.

What is not typical is for the president of the United States to accuse the media of potentially causing “war” by offering critical analysis and commentary of public policy.

Scary, man!