Tag Archives: fake news

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!

Trump lacks any semblance of decency

When a conservative columnist writes that Donald John Trump will have blood on his hands if more harm comes to journalists, then you might be able to start thinking that the president is on the verge of losing his mind.

Bret Stephens writes for the New York Times. He states: “Donald Trump’s more sophisticated defenders have long since mastered the art of pretending that the only thing that matters with his presidency is what it does, not what he says. But not all of the president’s defenders are quite as sophisticated. Some of them didn’t get the memo about taking Trump seriously but not literally. A few hear the phrase ‘enemy of the people’ and are prepared to take the words to their logical conclusion.”

Read Stephens’s column here

Let’s ponder something for just a moment.

Trump stood before a rally in Pennsylvania this week and hollered hysterically yet again about the “fake, disgusting” media.

I don’t believe the 70-something president suffers from short-term memory loss or dementia. Surely he must remember the recent massacre that killed five people at the Annapolis, Md., newspaper. Certainly he must recall that he sent his “thoughts and prayers” to the victims’ families.

Can he not connect the dots that tie his fiery anti-media rhetoric to the actions of the shooter in Maryland? Sure, the shooter had a specific beef with the Capital Gazette. Would he have acted so violently without the kind of vitriol that’s been flying out of the president’s mouth for the past couple of years? I’m just wondering out loud, man.

I think it’s time I resurrect the time-honored question: Have you no sense of decency, Mr. President?

Media have become part of ‘the story’

I long have hated the notion of the media becoming part of the story they are covering. Yet that’s what is happening in the current tumult involving Donald J. Trump, the “enemy of the people” and those in the media who love taking pot shots at each other.

CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta, a frequent target of the president’s barbs, fired off this tweet aimed at competitor Sean Hannity, a commentator at Fox News:

Hannity is a propagandist for profit, peddling lies every night. He says he’s just a talk show host, not a journalist. But he’s injecting poison into the nation’s political bloodstream warping public attitudes about the press. I’m confident in the long run the truth will prevail.

Never mind that I happen to agree with Acosta. Hannity is every bit the “propagandist” that Acosta calls him. He is riddled with conflicts of interest, given his professional relationship with Trump’s former confidant, Michael Cohen, and his continuing personal friendship with the president himself.

But, I digress. No need to rehash what you know to be the obvious, which is that I detest Hannity.

Still, I do not like the notion of the media becoming the story in and of themselves. I am a rather old-fashioned sort of guy. I prefer the media simply cover the story to which they are assigned. Report the news. If the subject of their coverage objects to the tone, the tenor or the timing of the story, let ’em rant. Don’t respond. Don’t fire back.

Of course, Trump has ratcheted up the criticism to an unacceptable level. This idiotic mantra about the media being the “enemy of the people” is unhealthy, unAmerican, unpatriotic and totally unacceptable. And for this president, the purveyor in chief of lies and prevarication, to blame others for reporting “fake news” gives hypocrisy a bad name.

That all said, the nature of the media’s role as watchdogs for the public has evolved to a form that makes me quite uncomfortable.

‘Very unpatriotic’ media? Really, Mr. President?

Donald J. Trump fired off a series of tweets in which he tears into the media, the so-called “enemy of the people.”

They say in part:

When the media – driven insane by their Trump Derangement Syndrome – reveals internal deliberations of our government, it truly puts the lives of many, not just journalists, at risk! Very unpatriotic! Freedom of the press also comes with a responsibility to report the news … accurately. 90% of media coverage of my Administration is negative, despite the tremendously positive results we are achieving, it’s no surprise that confidence in the media is at an all time low! I will not allow our great country to be sold out by anti-Trump haters …”

I want to focus briefly on the “very unpatriotic” label he has hung on the media.

It is quite “patriotic,” actually, for the media to report fully, critically and analytically about the government. For the president, moreover, to suggest that the media doing their job jeopardizes the lives and safety of Americans is an absolutely insane — not to mention idiotic — assertion.

The jeopardy stems from the president’s incessant attack on a “free press” that constitutes bullying and coercion in the extreme of the only private business offered specific protection from government interference in the U.S. Constitution.

The only “enemy of the people” I can find in this context occupies the chair behind the big desk in the Oval Office. Yes, I know that millions of Americans bristle at the criticism launched at Trump. Millions of other Americans, however, remain committed to understanding what the government is doing to us — or for us.

Those Americans depend on an unfettered and patriotic “free press” to tell them.

Liar in Chief: the real enemy of the people

Of all the hypocritical utterances that have poured out of Donald J. Trump’s mouth since he became a politician, the one that continues to gall me in the extreme is his ongoing epithet that the media comprise “fake news” and are the “enemy of the people.”

The very idea that the president of the United States, one of the godfathers of the “birther” movement, would use the term “fake news” to reporters who are doing their job.

And for the president to describe the media as the “enemy of the people” is dangerous on its face, and not just to individual reporters, but to one of the bedrocks of our democratic system.

Trump and the New York Times’s publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, met recently to talk about the president’s ongoing bullying of the media. Trump tweeted out yet another irrational tirade against “fake news.”

My goodness. How in the world does this individual look at himself in the mirror?

He has lied continually. The birther movement was intended to question whether Barack Obama was born in the United States; he was, but that didn’t stop Trump from continuing the lie. Fake news? There you have it.

He lied about witnessing “thousands of Muslims cheering” the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Trump lied about Obama ordering the bugging of his campaign office in 2016. He lied about millions of illegal immigrants voting for Hillary Clinton, giving her the 3 million popular vote margin over Trump.

He lies and lies some more.

To think that this individual has the unmitigated gall, therefore, to accuse the media of promulgating “fake news.”

Just who, I must ask, is the real “enemy of the people”?

It’s someone in power who would promote the lies that we have heard repeatedly since he began seeking the nation’s highest office.

Donald Trump is the enemy of the people he was elected to lead.

NY Times boss tells Trump what he needs to hear

Getting an earful of what one needs to hear often differs from what one wants to hear. A recent meeting between the president of the United States and the publisher of the New York Times offers a clear example of such a circumstance.

Donald J. Trump met with A.G. Sulzberger and got a snootful from the publisher about the president’s harmful and dangerous labeling of media as purveyors of “fake news.”

Are you listening — for once! — Mr. President.

Not surprisingly, the two men reported the meeting in dramatically different tones. Trump wrote this via Twitter: “Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times,” Trump wrote. “Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’ Sad!”

Sulzberger’s take was different. I think I’ll go with the publisher’s account of what transpired.

He issued a statement that declared, in part: “I told him that although the phrase ‘fake news’ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists ‘the enemy of the people.’ I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence,” Sulzberger said.

“I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the president’s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our country’s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.

“Throughout the conversation I emphasized that if President Trump, like previous presidents, was upset with coverage of his administration he was of course free to tell the world. I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking for him to soften his attacks on The Times if he felt our coverage was unfair. Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country,” he continued.

Donald Trump is guilty as charged of lying about the media, just as he lies about damn everything else that flies out of his mouth. And the NY Times publisher has laid it on the line, that the attacks on the media thrust reporters and editors who are merely doing their job into harm’s way.

These attacks cannot stand.

POTUS turns VFW speech into partisan, anti-media tirade

Leave it to Donald John Trump Sr. to turn a speech before the Veterans of Foreign Wars into a cheap, partisan, insult-laden stump speech.

Yes, the president turned a potentially noble event into a sideshow.

The president ventured to Kansas City, Mo., stood on the podium at the VFW meeting and laid into the media, the so-called “fake news” outlets.

Why, I must ask, couldn’t he limit his remarks exclusively to paying tribute to the men and women who served this country in time of conflict? They went to war to defend American ideals.

Oh, wait! I almost forgot that the young Donald Trump avoided such service during the Vietnam War. Bone spurs, wasn’t that it?

Whatever, the president couldn’t resist going after the media, Democrats and anyone who opposes his loony policies.

He also chose to take aim at who he refers to as his “low-IQ” opponents in Congress. Classy, yes? Um, no!

To its credit, the VFW issued a statement via Twitter that reads:

Today, we were disappointed to hear some of our members boo the press during President Trump’s remarks. We rely on the media to spread the VFW message, and @CNN, @NBCNews, @ABC, @FoxNews, @CBSNews, & others on site today, were our invited guests. We were happy to have them there.

You see? The VFW showed the kind of class that its featured speaker, the president of the United States, is incapable of showing.

Disgraceful … yet again!

No ‘reporting’ necessary on this spectacle

Donald John “Stable Genius” Trump Sr. today posted this item via Twitter: While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way – the Fake News is going Crazy!

Let’s see. I need to catch my breath.

There. Breath caught.

I wish to to take note of something that’s been lost on the president of the United States.

Many of us witnessed in real time the president’s astonishing defense of Vladimir Putin. He took the U.S. intelligence community to task for determining that Russia attacked our electoral process in 2016.

There is no “reporting” necessary to tell viewers what they saw in the moment. The president groveled at Putin’s feet. He elevated the leader of a declining power to his own level as the leader of the world’s greatest nation. He gave comfort to an adversarial state.

Donald Trump has the gall, the stones to lay all this on what he calls “fake news”?

Mr. President, many of us watched this unfold before our eyes.

Donald Trump has delivered to Americans yet another shameful demonstration of ignorance.