Tag Archives: fake news

How can this election be corrupt?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

All this yammering and blathering from Donald J. Trump about a “rigged election” and “rampant voter fraud” keeps bringing me back to a single question.

Which is this: How in the name of national security, after all this nation endured with Russian hacking of our electoral system in 2016, could there possibly be a more secure election than the one we have just had?

Donald Trump lost his re-election bid to President-elect Joe Biden. His insistence that Biden won only because the election was “rigged” to produce that outcome is far more than laughable on its face. It is dangerous and demeaning.

Trump’s refusal to concede the results of the election is dangerous because it gives comfort to despots around the world who run nations hostile to ours comfort. It well might embolden them to do things that could undermine our national confidence even further. We are taking our eyes off the threats abroad, concerning ourselves with phony allegations of voter fraud.

His refusal also is demeaning to the thousands of state and local election officials who are charged with conducting these elections. They hold the responsibility of protecting our electoral system against “rigging” or other forms of corruption that the president of the United States — our head of state for God’s sake! — keeps suggesting has occurred.

President-elect Biden has a difficult enough task ahead  of him without the idiocy being fomented by his immediate presidential predecessor. That is what this is. It is idiocy of the lowest order.

As President Obama said on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, a president must always put the nation’s interests ahead of his own ego. Donald Trump is being ruled by his fragile sense of self-worth and in the process is putting our entire system of government in potentially dire peril.

And to what end?

If there was any reason to have confidence in the integrity of this election, the foolishness that erupted in 2016 provided it in spades.

Dear folks, we are watching the cultivation by Donald Trump of fake news in real time.

Biden’s unity pitch hits roadblock … from Trump!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I always knew that President-elect Biden’s promise to unify the country after four years of Donald Trump’s tenure as president would be a heavy lift.

What I didn’t know,  until just recently, was that Trump himself would be piling on the weights to make that effort even more difficult.

Donald Trump keeps insisting that Biden’s victory is the result of a “rigged election.” It is no such thing. The problem for the president-elect, though, is that so many millions of Trumpkins have bought into the clap trap that Trump is offering, not to mention the vast majority of Republican members of both congressional chambers.

Therefore, you have a situation with a Democrat– that being Biden — scoring a significant vote-count and Electoral College victory over the Republican incumbent, but with Trump’s “base” of sycophantic voters and politicians buying into the phony charge of “widespread election fraud.”

Call me a cynic, but Donald Trump has zero interest in uniting the country. He has not a scintilla of care for the damage he is doing by fomenting yet another lie. He blathers about “fake news media” endorsing Biden while at the same time offering his own fake news by suggesting voter fraud where none exists.

I have harbored some glimmer of hope that Trump eventually will concede in some fashion to the president-elect; my sense is that it won’t be a traditional concession … if it comes.

The longer this ridiculous game goes on, the harder it might get for Donald Trump to say publicly what the rest of us know already.

Which is that he has been drummed out of office!

I now worry about the worsening of the difficulty of the task of unification that awaits President Biden. What’s more, I am enraged that the future former president is putting his own narcissism in front of the nation’s future.

So help me, Hanna. Donald Trump is a dangerous man.

‘Fake news’ from its originator

I continue to be astonished that Donald J. “Fake News Purveyor in Chief” Trump continues to hurl epithets at the media in that petulant fashion he has adopted.

He calls the media “fake news.” My ever-lovin’ goodness, the man has no shame, no self-awareness.

He did so again today during that campaign riff disguised as a “news conference” in Bedminster, N.J. He said the media don’t report the progress he supposedly is making against the pandemic, calling them “fake news.”

I feel the need to call Trump out because he, alone, is responsible for more than 20,000 reported instances of misleading statements and outright lies since becoming president, according to the Washington Post. He lies and lies some more. His “base” gives him a pass because, in their twisted view, he is “telling it like it is.”

The most egregious act of fake news, of course, came when Trump kept alive the lie that Barack Obama was born in Africa and wasn’t qualified to run for president. It was a blatantly racist attack on the first African-American ever elected president. He followed that up by questioning President Obama’s academic credentials at Harvard University.

Trump’s familiarity with fake news is well-known to everyone on Earth … except him. A certifiably pathological liar is prone to say things without any realization that he’s lying. That’s what Trump does. He blurts statements out. He gets fact-checked and he is told that what he says is untrue. He doesn’t care.

He recently told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that Democratic nominee-in-waiting Joe Biden wants to “defund the police,” which Wallace challenged on the spot. Trump ignored what Wallace said.

Fake news, anyone? Anyone?

The upshot of all this, maddeningly, is that those who continue to endorse Trump also continue to buy into his claptrap nonsense about “fake news.” They applaud the president for his declaration that the media are the “enemy of the people.” They, too, see the media as peddlers of “fake news.”

I never thought such idiocy would be contagious. Silly me. I was wrong.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump keeps peddling his own version of fake news. The difference between what he seeks to pawn off on us and what he accuses the media of peddling is that Trump is dealing in the real thing.

Donald Trump is a liar.

How will history judge this guy?

It is not too early to start wondering how historians are going to write the saga associated with Donald John Trump’s time as president.

I hope they can start their drafts soon, as in right after the November 2020 election. I am not a historian, although I’ve witnessed enough presidential history to see how some men have grown into more respected, if not revered, individuals in the years since they left office.

How will Trump fare? My goodness, I cannot fathom how this guy can redeem himself.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed for all the world to see clearly how this man is unprepared to lead a nation. He was elected in 2016 to “drain the swamp,” and to deploy his business executive’s skill to manage the massive government machinery. The pandemic struck at the beginning of this year and — boom!– just like, the nation collapsed.

Still, this clown keeps yapping about the “success” he has enjoyed. He tells us that he’s doing a “fantastic” job. My goodness gracious, he has done precisely the opposite .

This, though, is just the latest example of the trashing that has occurred on Trump’s watch as president. He has destroyed our alliances, he has turned us from the most indispensable nation into an international laughingstock. Trump has lied continually, incessantly, gratuitously. He is caught telling lies and then tells us he isn’t lying, that the “fake news” is reporting falsehoods.

How does a historian portray all of this? How do the men and women who write our history tell that story for generations that will come along and read about the aberration that occurred in 2016 and — I do hope — ends in just a few weeks from today.

I don’t envy historians the task that awaits them.

Trump sure to ramp up his war against ‘fake news media’

Donald Trump sought Monday to turn a White House “briefing” on the coronavirus pandemic into a campaign pitch for his re-election.

To their credit, two major cable news networks — CNN and MSNBC — decided that viewers did not need to see a propaganda video in place of what was supposed to be an analysis of the federal government’s response to the worldwide health crisis.

Fox News, of course, stayed with it, no doubt to Trump’s pleasure. That’s their call.

I want to applaud CNN and MSBNC for exhibiting sound news judgment in deciding that Trump’s self-aggrandization should not be part of a sober assessment of a health crisis that has killed more than 20,000 Americans and sickened more than a half-million of us; and be sure, those numbers might be far fewer than the reality, given the shocking shortage of testing equipment to determine the actual infection rate.

You can take this to the bank as well: Donald Trump is going to ramp up his war against what he labels falsely the “fake news media” outlets that refuse to pander to his every wish.

He doesn’t grasp — or refuses to grasp — the principle behind a “free press.” The principle that he ignores is that the media do not work for him; they work for the public.

That likely won’t stop the Imbecile in Chief from going ballistic against the media who, I hasten to add one more time, are just doing their job.

Trump uses health crisis as re-election campaign forum … disgusting

I caught a few minutes today of one of Donald Trump’s frequent White House press briefing/campaign rallies.

As before, I came away shaking my head wondering how in the world this guy gets away with this idiotic charade.

I watched Trump chide Joe Biden over a statement that came from the former vice president, who’s become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. I was astounded to listen to Trump actually question whether Biden wrote the statement, suggesting the text came from his campaign staff, which Trump managed to suggest comprised some “very smart” aides.

As usual, the president’s rambling was at best semi-coherent.

And this occurred before Trump opened the floor for questions from the media gathered in the White House press briefing room. I turned away from the Trump Show to take care of some household chores.

The more I see of Trump’s daily “briefings” on the coronavirus pandemic the more convinced I am that he performs not a scintilla of public service when he stands in front of the nation in this fashion.

You know what Trump needs to do … but he won’t. He needs to stand down and leave the actual information conveyance to the experts who comprise the White House pandemic response team headed by Vice President Mike Pence; for that matter, Pence should step into the shadows, too, for I am sickened by the sucking up he demonstrates whenever he talks about the “outstanding leadership” that Trump provides to deal with this crisis.

However, these so-called “briefings” become only a platform for Trump to campaign for re-election. He uses this venue to criticize the media, Democrats, previous presidents (and chiefly just his immediate predecessor) and everyone else not associated with his administration.

He keeps insisting he is unifying the nation. He accuses congressional Democrats of “politicizing” this national emergency while doing the very same thing himself. He calls out media for reporting “fake news” without ever recognizing the extreme irony that he — the “kind of fake news” — would accuse anyone else of doing the very thing he has turned into something of an art form.

Therein lies the reason I refuse to listen to what this clown has to say. I want to rely on the scientists, the doctors and assorted other emergency response experts to provide me with information I can use.

If only Donald Trump would shut his mouth.

What took so long to build has collapsed in virtually no time at all

It took print journalism, chiefly newspapers, nearly two centuries to attain what used to be a virtually exalted status among their consumers.

And yet, the craft has all but collapsed in virtually no time.

What took years to erect has all but vanished in the blink of an eye.

That observation came from a dear friend of mine with whom I used to have a professional relationship when I worked in Amarillo as editorial page editor of the Globe-News. My friend was a freelance columnist; he had a regular day job, but wrote for us because he was good at it. Our professional relationship ended when I left the newspaper in August 2012. Happily, our personal friendship remains intact.

We were visiting the other evening when he made that stunning observation. His point is that newspapers climbed for a long time up a proverbial mountain to attain an important status in people’s homes. Readers of newspapers depended on them for news of their community, of their state, nation and the world around them. If you wanted to know what was happening in the world, you collected your newspaper off the porch, opened it up and spent a good deal of time reading what it reported to you.

We believed what we read. I mean, if it’s in the daily newspaper then it had to be true. As my friend noted, it took a long time for newspapers to achieve that status.

Then it all changed. Rapidly! Dramatically! Newspapers fell with a loud thud!

The Internet arrived. I can’t remember when it happened, but suffice to say it was the equivalent to the “day before yesterday.” Cable TV exploded. Social media burst forth, too.

All of that media took huge bites out of newspapers’ influence in people’s lives. Has print journalism become less reliable, less believable, less credible than before? I do not believe that is the case. Americans are still reading some first-class reporting from major newspapers that remain important purveyors of vital information.

And yet, we hear the president of the United States refer to the media as “the enemy of the people.” Right-wingers blast what they call the “mainstream media.” They accuse newspapers and other legitimate media organizations of peddling “fake news.” The attacks have exacted a terrible toll on newspapers.

The smaller papers, those that tell us about our communities? They are struggling. Many of them — if not most of them — are losing the struggle. The Amarillo Globe-News, my final stop in a career that I loved pursuing, has been decimated by competing media forces and — in my view — by incompetence at the top of its management chain of command.

My friend’s analysis, though, rings so true. It saddens me beyond measure to realize that it has taken so little time for it all come crashing down.

Trump’s Twitter rampages are expanding … imagine that

Donald John “Tweeter in Chief” Trump keeps setting unofficial records via the Twitter device that he must sleep with at night.

He reportedly launched 60 or so tweets in a three-hour span to complain about impeachment, Democrats, the “fake news,” Time’s teenage “Person of the Year,” and whatever else got under his orange-tinted skin.

Think about this for a moment. This is the president of the United States. He vows to “make America great again.” He says that “I, alone” can cure the ills of the nation.

How does someone with all that heavy-duty responsibility find the time to pound out misspelled, mangled-syntax, incoherent messages via Twitter?

Oh, I get it. He’s not actually working as president of the United States. That explains it.

‘Fake News’ becomes part of the political vernacular

Donald Trump has done it. He has turned a ridiculous epithet into part of our national vernacular.

I refer to “Fake News,” the term he uses to describe any coverage he deems to be negative. He calls it “fake,” continuing the incessant mantra he began about the time he entered political life in June 2015.

He announced his presidential campaign and not long afterward began hurling the “Fake News” around.

It has stuck. Who knew?

You see, what makes this label so remarkable is its source. Donald Trump once called himself the “king of debt.” He’s actually the “king of fake news.”

He has lied so often, on so many levels that for this individual to accuse anyone in the media of peddling “fake” information simply defies logic.

However, he has gotten away with it!

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I mean, this carnival barker/huckster/charlatan/serial liar managed to get elected president of the United States in the first place.

He has defied every political norm known to most of us. Why, then, should it surprise anyone that he could turn “Fake News” into something ingrained in our national political vocabulary?

I offer a tip of the proverbial hat to a most unlikely recipient of this salute. You’ve done it, Mr. President. You have created a monster in your own image.

Fox to POTUS: We don’t work for you!

I’m in a shout-out frame of mind.

Thus, I want to say “good show!” to some of Fox News Channel’s top guns for firing back at Donald Trump’s bitching about what he seems to suggest is a growing “disloyalty” among Fox News’s talking heads.

Longtime journalist Brit Hume brusquely told Trump: “We don’t work for you.” Indeed, the network does not work for Trump, although a few of its commentators occasionally act as if they do.

Trump, though, is griping about the news coverage that Fox is providing.

As The Daily Beast reported about Trump’s recent Twitter-tantrum: The president concluded by complaining that Fox News was “letting millions of GREAT people down” and that he needs to “start looking for a new News Outlet” since the one-time channel “isn’t working for us anymore!”

Fox does have some hard-nosed reporters and news anchors on its staff. I continue to hold up Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday.” It also has Shep Smith and Brett Baier on anchor desks during the week day.

I won’t offer any commentary on the alleged “work” done by, oh, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, the “Fox & Friends” co-hosts, or Laura Ingraham. They all are full of opinions and express them regularly. They are entitled, certainly.

However, for Trump to suggest that a major news and opinion outlet should be “loyal” to him is disgusting and disgraceful beyond belief.

The pros at Fox are doing their job.

If only Donald Trump would realize the fundamental truth about Fox. The network might produce more “friendly” or “favorable” coverage than other news outlets, but it does not work for the president of the United States.

I’m glad to hear the Fox superstars pushing back on Donald Trump.