Tag Archives: fake news

This guy knows self-inflicted wounds

APPALACHIAN TRAIL, Va. — I sometimes amaze myself at how certain references relate immediately to other — seemingly unrelated — matters.

Our friends were driving us along a winding, rural road and one of them mentioned that we were tooling next to the Appalachian Trail.

“Oh, you mean the trail that Mark Sanford told his staff to lie about when questions arose about his whereabouts?” I said in response. “Yeah, that’s the one,” our friend answered.

We chuckled in the car as we recalled how the former South Carolina governor, and current member of Congress from that state, told his staff to put out the lie that he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail” while in fact he was in Argentina cavorting with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

That scandal didn’t harm Sanford too badly. He ended up in another public office, Congress, which contains its share of fellow rascals.

Then I mentioned that Sanford actually has spoken the truth about Donald J. Trump and the assorted difficulties in which he has become entangled. I noted that Sanford has spoken truthfully about how the president’s troubles are self-inflicted and that Trump should stop resorting to the “fake news” dodge to divert attention away from the kerfuffle that is threatening his presidency.

“Yeah,” our friend responded, “Sanford knows plenty about which he speaks.”

So he does. With that I’ll give Rep. Sanford plenty of props for saying out loud what all of his fellow Republicans ought to be declaring to the president.

Even presidents need a ‘filter’

The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out.

OK, there you go. Donald J. Trump has tweeted — yet again! — in a rant that takes aim at the “mainstream media” because it is seeking to do something the president of the United States does not want to do.

The media are seeking to drum into the president’s thick skull that these tweets represent the statements of the head of state, head of government, the commander in chief of the world greatest military apparatus.

Thus, this individual — the president — must exercise some self-control, self-restraint, and even some self-awareness in sending these messages around the world.

George Conway, a lawyer of some repute — and the husband of Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway — has warned Trump about the danger of firing off these tweets.

Moreover, he is stripping away any claim of “executive authority” he might want to claim as he does battle with Congress, special counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI director James Comey over the “Russia thing” that continues to bedevil the Trump administration.

Does anyone consider U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to be a tool of the “fake media”? He isn’t. Even a Trump ally such as Sen. Cornyn has acknowledged the self-inflicted “problems” associated with Trump’s tweet storms.

The bottom line is this: Mr. President, the so-called “FAKE MSM” is issuing you a well-deserved warning about the trouble your own impulses can produce.

Get a bleeping grip!

Trump assails media yet again

Why is it that the Fake News rarely reports Ocare is on its last legs and that insurance companies are fleeing for their lives? It’s dead!

That, dear reader, is one of Donald J. Trump’s latest tweets in a Twitter tirade he launched late today against the national news media.

I find it fascinating.

The president accuses the media of failing to report that the Affordable Care Act is collapsing.

Excuse me, Mr. President?

Trump and his allies keep saying it. The media keep reporting it. It’s no longer a novel notion.

I happen to disagree with the president’s assertion about the ACA. Isn’t that fair enough? He’s entitled to his opinion, while others are entitled to theirs — even if they are at odds with what the president says or believes.

The road ahead for the bill that the House approved to replace the ACA remains full of land mines. The U.S. Senate isn’t likely to adopt the House’s version of health care overhaul.

The media’s job is to report the progress of that journey regardless of whether it’s positive news or negative news for the Trump administration.

You can bet your last nickel, though, that the media are reporting precisely what the president is saying, which includes pronouncements about the future of the Affordable Care Act.

‘Fake news,’ Mr. President? You, of all people, call it ‘fake’?

I have grown so very weary of hearing the president of the United States refer to the “mainstream media” as purveyors of what he calls “fake news.”

Imagine the stones that Donald John Trump seems to be packing around.

This is the guy who perpetuated the lie that Barack H. Obama was likely born in Kenya, that he wasn’t a “natural born” U.S. citizen and, thus, was ineligible to run for the presidency.

He also talked about how he witnessed “thousands of Muslims” cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Then he talked about how he read in the National Enquirer that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was seen having dinner with Lee Harvey Oswald, the guy who murdered President Kennedy; Trump wondered out loud whether Cruz Sr. was somehow complicit in the heinous crime.

He then accused the president of wiretapping his campaign offices at Trump Tower.

Those are just four examples of the fake news he has promoted. There are other instances, too, but you get the point … I hope.

Donald Trump has no business — none at all — accusing anyone in the media of promoting “fake news.” His definition of “fake news” is reporting that paints him in a negative light. However, the term “fake” carries with it an implication that the media are reporting falsehoods.

He has yet to provide any semblance, any inkling of evidence of what he keeps implying about the media.

He won’t stop. He won’t relent on this hideous attack on the media.

This president’s hubris plays well with those who support him, those who cheer him for “telling it like it is.” It simply makes me sick.

No one saw this ‘trainwreck’? Not … exactly

Donald J. Trump’s administration has demonstrated with amazing clarity what many of us believed all along: The president does not know how to govern.

The Los Angeles Times has just published the first of a series of editorials in which the newspaper proclaims that no one saw the trainwreck that would occur.

I beg to differ.

Dishonesty reigns in the White House

Here is part of what the Times wrote: “What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.”

The myriad problems that are plaguing the president — and the presidency — appear to be so much a result of self-inflicted ignorance and hubris.

At some levels, Trump is governing the way he said he would. He boasted that “I alone” can repair what he said was broken.

That is not how the founders structured this government of ours. Then again, the president doesn’t know about that, because he appears to demonstrate no interest in learning about what those great men envisioned for the government they created.

How will the president view the criticism that the LA Times has leveled at him? Oh, he’ll no doubt tweet something about how the paper is “failing,” or how it relies on “fake news,” apparently with no self-awareness that he became the king of fake news when he continued to promote the lie that Barack Obama was born overseas and wasn’t qualified constitutionally to serve as president.

The LA Times — if you’ll allow me to borrow a phrase — is “telling it like it is.”

Get ready for Trump’s ‘coming-out’ speech

No, I don’t mean that kind of “coming out.”

However, I do mean that the president of the United States will step onto a significantly larger stage than ever before. The podium will be of, oh, standard size, I guess. He’ll be standing tonight in front of a joint congressional session. The vice president and the speaker of the House of Representatives will sit behind him.

The speaker will declare that “it is my high honor and privilege to introduce the president of the United States.”

Applause will fill the room. Donald J. Trump will begin his speech.

That’s when the pomp and pageantry ends and when we get a look at just how much he’s been able to “unify” the body to which he is speaking, let alone the country.

I don’t know about you but I’m going to look at a few external factors as Trump speaks … assuming, of course, that I can power through the entire event.

The Supreme Court justices will be there. Who among them will sit this one out? When Trump’s immediate predecessor spoke to these joint sessions, a couple of the court’s conservative justices — the late Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — famously were no-shows. One or both of them said they disliked having to sit there while everyone around them were clapping and cheering.

President Obama famously scolded the court for its 2010 ruling enabling corporations to give unlimited amounts of money to political candidates. The justices had to take it. Personally, I thought the president was wrong to do so in that venue and it surely rankled the court majority that decided the infamous Citizens United case.

Who’s going to stay away from Trump’s speech? Will it be, say, one or two of the court’s liberal justices?

Who stands and claps and who sits? This is a fairly normal occurrence. Lawmakers of the president’s party usually clap and cheer at everything that comes out of the president’s mouth; those on the other side don’t.

Republicans didn’t much cheering for Barack Obama during the eight years he spoke to joint sessions. I rather doubt Democrats will, either, when Trump stands before them.

His defense-spending boost will be a big topic. He wants to spend $54 billion more on defense, ostensibly to “rebuild our military.” At what cost? Which domestic programs get the axe? Which Americans will feel the pain? Maintaining military strength usually is a non-partisan/bipartisan issue. Something tells me when the president gets around to that one, we won’t see much cheering from Democrats.

Will the president veer off topic? He’ll have a Teleprompter in front of him. He’ll be reading a prepared text. I have to wonder if Trump is going to be tempted to take off on one of his vaunted campaign-style riffs and rants about, oh, the size of his Electoral College victory, or about the “fake news” he says is being peddled by the “mainstream media.”

I don’t expect to hear the names “Michael Flynn” or “Vladimir Putin” come from the president’s mouth. I don’t expect either to hear him say the word “Russia.” Nor do I expect him to talk about things such as the difficulty he is having assembling his government; key appointees keep dropping out for one reason or another.

But let’s get ready — ladies and gents, boys and girls — for an interesting show this evening, shall we?

Pass the popcorn … and the Pepto.

Mr. President, now that you are talking about ‘fake news’ …

I would love to meet the reporter who stands in front of the president of the United States and asks him the following:

Thank you, Mr. President. You are complaining about “fake news,” which I take to mean is news with which you disagree.

I’m wondering, sir, how would you describe the “news” you kept promoting for about a half-dozen years that President Barack Obama was a foreign-born individual who wasn’t constitutionally qualified to serve in the office to which he was elected twice?

Was that news “fake,” sir? And how do you compare that outright lie with what you contend is taking place today?

***

I would bet the mortgage, the farm, my left leg that the president would go ballistic if he were to hear such a question from “the enemy of the American people.”

Trump has chosen the wrong ‘enemy’

Donald J. Trump’s war on what he calls the “enemy of the American people” has taken a seriously counterproductive and dangerous turn.

It’s also patently frightening. Outrageous. Un-American. Pick whatever negative description you prefer.

The president has ordered several major media organizations excluded from White House briefings. They include CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, The Hill, Buzzfeed, Politico and the BBC.

He calls them “fake news” outlets. He doesn’t like the tone of their coverage. He is limiting access to, um, more “friendly” media organizations.

So help me, I am running out of ways to express my utter outrage over this treatment of the media by the president of the United States. Not since the late Richard Nixon have we seen anything quite like this — and not even Tricky Dick managed to do what one of his successors has done.

If you think for a moment about this, you have to wonder: What in the world is Trump hoping to accomplish? White House press flack Sean Spicer will deliver his briefings to certain media outlets; meanwhile, those that are left out will be left to write about their being excluded. That reporting, then, might simply anger those Americans who understand the meaning of the First Amendment’s protection of a “free press.”

Trump’s bullying of the media is an outrageous act of a thin-skinned narcissist who doesn’t comprehend — seemingly at any level — what the nation’s founders envisioned when they provided for a press that should be free of government intimidation.

We now are hearing the president of the United States of American declaring that the media are the “enemy of the people.”

Are you kidding me?

The irony of this approach is mind-boggling in the extreme. It can be argued that Trump owes his ascent to the pinnacle of political power to the media, which covered his every utterance for months without ever challenging their veracity.

Now that they have done what they should have done from the beginning, the president has decided he doesn’t like being challenged.

Mr. President, that’s what the media do. It’s their job.

You, sir, do not get it.

Trump performs a one-80 on the press

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from dealing with politicians over the years, it’s that the only thing guaranteed to force them into action is the press, or more specifically, fear of the press.”

— Donald Trump, “The Art of the Deal”

Imagine that. The man who — at the time he made that statement — likely didn’t envision himself as the president of the United States of America.

It’s all different now for Trump the politician as he stumbles and bumbles his way past his first month in office as the Leader of the Free World.

The very same media upon which he has declared war are doing the very thing he seemingly praised in his talked-about book. They are seeking answers to difficult questions. They want all the information they can gather so they can inform the public — the folks to whom they and, oh yes, the president answer — about the performance of its most visible institution.

Let’s all consider just for a moment that the public and the president serve the same masters. That would be you and me. The public.

Yes, I understand that media companies are privately held, for-profit organizations. The public they serve, however, make it possible for them to earn the income they want.

Trump now has gone to war with the “fake news” media. Someone will have to explain to me what he means by that, although I think I have an inkling of an idea. He appears to refer to those media organizations that don’t report only the “good news” he says he deserves.

The rest of it is, well, fake. It’s phony. It’s bogus. It’s not real.

With all due respect, Mr. President, you are full of crap.

The man had it right in that book of his. The media are forcing the nation’s No. 1 politician “into action.”

‘Fake news’ now gets under Trump’s skin

Does anyone else see the irony of Donald J. Trump’s bitching about “fake news”?

This is the guy who for about a half-dozen years kept alive the bogus “news” about Barack Obama’s place of birth. He questioned whether the former president was qualified to serve in the office he held for eight years.

He kept harping on the rumor that Obama was born in Kenya, the birthplace of his father. He fomented the Mother of All Fake News Stories.

Now the president — the one-time bard of the birther movement —  calls anything he considers negative to be “fake news”?

Oh, the irony is rich. Isn’t it?