FAKE NEWS vs. REAL JOURNALISM

Trump’s Attempt to Muddy the Waters

Back in February, 2017 Trump tweeted: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Then he deleted that tweet and posted something similar, but took ABC off his enemies list. Trump, obviously not a student of history, missed this fact: Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin used the term “enemy of the nation/people” to refer to those who disagreed with the Bolshevik government. Did you write that one, Steve Bannon?

Trump went on a rant July 1, 2017, after receiving heavy criticism from both sides of the political spectrum due to his attacks on MSNBC talk show hosts, “The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media – but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #FakeNews, and did. We will continue to WIN!”

And on that same day, Mr. President continued, “My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!”  Along with his jingoistic rhetoric, Donald Trump, like so many other power-hungry leaders around the world, wants to control the media. He attempts to distort whatever truth is left and brands his lies as official doctrine. And the term Modern Day rings like “Modern Day Prophet” for those following along in church.

For those of us who were schooled in the trade of journalism, we take the responsibility of our craft seriously. The Fourth Estate is usually reserved for the printed press and credible broadcast news teams. The Fifth Estate, the newer term, stands for groupings of outlier viewpoints in contemporary society, such as bloggers and journalists publishing in non-mainstream media outlets and social media. The right of center to Alt-Right people use the term “mainstream media” as a pejorative term, whereas, Breitbart represents what was called “Yellow Journalism” in the 1950s.

The “fourth estate” comes from the European concept of the three estates of the realm: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. The Press was supposed to hold the three other estates to a standard with information gathering, storytelling based on truth and distribution to everyone equally. Yes, the King could read that he had no pants.

We know that Donald Trump has tapped into a raw exposed nerve in the disadvantaged and struggling middle class. With much of America moving away from reading the newspaper and getting their news from the internet, the line of what is credible or legit has become extremely blurred.

The price of entry into the newspaper business in most cities is so great that even large companies attempting to bring a new paper to market have an uphill, if not impossible, climb. With the internet providing more outlets than needles on a porcupine’s back there are plenty of free opinions and micro-targeted sites that can sanction what consumers think.

This tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories even has its own term: Confirmation Bias. It is so important to be right in today’s society that many people spend hours of every day watching a news channel that corroborates their baseline beliefs. Fox News leans to the right, while MSNBC leans to the left. That is their branding positions and, depending on who is in power, they will have better ratings.

CNN, the new Trump target, has decided like many channels and programs that there are millions of people who don’t like Trump, so that is a built-in audience. The sad part of all of this is that I haven’t mentioned journalistic integrity or award-winning writing. Those are less important in this instant gratification world. Trump produces ratings and it doesn’t seem to make a difference if you are building him up or beating him down.

THE LATE SHOW with STEPHEN COLBERT on CBS-TV has increased almost 30% according to TV News Desk (7-6-2017) and you can chart his increases with his direct aim at Trump. The Donald, whether he likes it or not, is easy to parody because of what he says and how his administration attempts to govern. Writing jokes and monologues about Trump has a built-in benefit, because if you manage to get under his thin skin he mentions you. Better yet, if he attacks you, your ratings go up even more.

I may be in the minority but I think the “news” that the President maligns is less news than fake. To our great Orange Leader, when confronted with anything that makes fun of him, or puts him down, or (can I say this?) bullies him, he launches into an overly emotional rebuttal.

The people doing the real investigative journalism are at the newspapers. Think about it, every major break or leak has come from the newspapers. The Michael Flynn lies came from the newspapers. The Comey meetings with Trump came from the newspapers. And the ethics conflicts of Kushner and the Trumps all come from the print medium.

The TV journalists at CNN are hampered by the overload of trying fit real journalism into a small box of endless talking heads and opinionated “experts” who, at times, do more harm than good. Stop and think about it, do we need Rick Santorum giving his opinion on what the news means?  He’s a failed neo-conservative right-winged politician spewing nothing by RNC talking points. What about Sean Hannity? Well he couldn’t write a lead to save his life.  Then, of course, we know what happened to poor old Brian Williams. These are the people most Americans would say represent the “news” business.? Really?

The one investigative reporter I want to hear from isn’t a journalist at all. His name is Robert Mueller. I would like to hear his story, in fact, now that would be BREAKING NEWS!


FAKE NEWS OR FAKE PRESIDENT?

Trump’s War on the Constitution

Occasionally I see, hear or read a journalist saying that Donald Trump has some grand strategy. And when pressed, the author says that this latest move was pure genius, or the tweet did exactly what he designed it to do, as if the Donald is some intelligent media designer.

There’s not much difference between Trump and a 9-year-old boy grapping the microphone at Walmart and yelling stupid kid-things into the store’s PA system. The kid’s grand plan is to get attention, same as the “leader” of the free world.

In the President’s latest tweet (7-2-2017), he proclaimed, “The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media – but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #FakeNews, and did. We will continue to WIN! My use of social media is not Presidential – it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!”

When I read this my mind heard a spoiled 9-year-old brat saying, “Mommy made me president. I’m the president. I get to be president and do whatever I want!”

This over complaining and endless whining about news coverage in the media isn’t new to presidents. Trump has decided, however, that anyone who disagrees with him, critiques him or attempts to cover his achievements or lack of them, is the enemy. One could change the term “Fake News” to “People who hate me” and it would fit perfectly in all contexts.

Steve Bannon, the administration’s dark, Spiro Agnew evil twin, has said openly that the media is the “opposition party.”  He, along with Trump surrogates, Miller, Conway and that overtly obnoxious, fake intellectual Sebastian Gorka, have crafted a White House position that is obstinate and cantankerous. Any thinking America hearing them speak can clearly see through the pretentious, defensive droning of their propaganda.

Richard M. Nixon did the same thing when he was president, even using the same terms about the media.  However, Trump is no Nixon. The 37th President had to resign in disgrace. This president, when the time comes, will have to be removed from his current residence by the Secret Service, Capitol Hill Police or maybe the Army.

Even Trump’s slogan is not new. It is a total rip-off of Ronald Reagan’s campaign motto, demonstrating that Trump is an even better actor than Ronald Reagan. An actor takes the stage and plays a part while not being the real thing. We now have a fake President and everything he does is directed to making his character likeable, rather than forging policy and decisions that are right and good for the country. #FakePresident

Trump bellyaches that his achievements are not covered in the “fake news” but he broadcasts his tirades on the very same “fake” mainstream media he continually slams. His complaints about not being covered are total lies. The media covers every speech, every signing, every tweet. His “key promises,” such as reforming healthcare, getting a better, fairer, tax code and creating jobs, have become fake, rally fodder rather than reality.

Months ago, President Trump and VP Mike Pence rode their white horses into the Carrier furnace plant in Indianapolis to announce they had convinced the company to abandon a plan to move to Mexico.  They stated publicly that this would save hundreds of jobs.  Update: many employees will soon be losing their jobs at the plant.  CNBC reports (6-22-2017) that Carrier’s plant in Indianapolis is scheduled to lay off about 600 workers by the end of the year. The jobs are going to Mexico. Nice work, little boys.

Donald J. Trump will probably write that off as “FAKE NEWS,” but the road to success for this president has to go through the media. You cannot be a great president in a vacuum. You cannot guard so dearly the Second Amendment and spit in the face of those who employ the First Amendment to keep democracy strong. Without the First Amendment, we don’t need the Second Amendment.

Fake means fraudulent, and the usage of that term by our president in the context of media coverage is troublesome on many levels. When something is fraudulent it is obtained, done by, or has involved deception – especially criminal deception. The American public, the Congress and the courts must be on-guard with this president. There’s a very small step from complaining to outlawing and, in this case, the outlawing would be executed by an elected outlaw.

At this date, the Fake President may not like the Fake Media, but if all the media outlets stopped talking about Trump, he would probably melt into a damp pool of man tan and makeup.  Sad.


THE CYBER BULLY-IN-CHIEF

Trump: Unhappy in His Own Skin

Donald Trump has once again demonstrated his thin skin and relentless mean streak. In a morning tweet, the President of the United States decided to do a silly immature, cruel and misogynistic post deriding MSNBC morning host Mika Brzezinski.

The tweet read as follows:

“I heard poorly rated @Morning Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

Now, I could have simply chalked it up to his M.O. and how Trump shows us his true colors through Twitter, but there is a problem here that is not going to go away. There is no respect for the office of the President of the United States with Trump and all his men and women.

Melania Trump, the first lady of this country, through a spokesperson said, “When her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder.” I know that English is not Melania’s first language and I hope we didn’t miss anything in translation, but I have to say, there goes that whole bullshit concept of her being the titular head of some anti-cyber bullying campaign. Now, zero credibility.

If that was not bad enough, the protectors of the drunk uncle president were out in full force today. Sarah Huckabee Sanders commented, “I don’t think that the president’s ever been someone who gets attack and doesn’t push back. There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just to him, but to frankly everyone around him. This is a president who fights fire with fire. And certainly, will not be allowed to be bullied by a liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.”

I’m not sure that the president of a country with a 1st Amendment can allow or disallow what others say about him. We have now seen the real enemy of the state and they are, indeed, those who work for the state. We are all getting burned by Trump’s fire and disregard for human beings.

The people around our president are soulless. They lie and disregard common decency to show their love for this power-hungry tyrant, Donald J. Trump. How do they sleep at night?

Whether you like Joe Scarborough or Mika or not, you have to consider that the imagery battles between the free press and the oppressive regime of Trump are now, in fact, real. The media, be it liberal, conservative, or far right, has a duty to find facts, write stories, conduct broadcasts and inform the American people.

Some talk show hosts do live in glass houses, but this president doesn’t care about anyone but himself. Those who support his abuse of power will be tried not only in the court of public opinion, but perhaps even called to testify in real court about whether they were instructed to lie to the American people. If lying to the citizens is not an impeachable offense, then what is?

 

 


NOT ALL TWEETS ARE EQUAL

Trump’s Newspeak Man: Jay Sekulow

In the brilliant classic 1984, a book by George Orwell, the term “newspeak” was introduced. This noun is defined as ambiguous euphemistic language used chiefly in political propaganda. The Wikipedia page on it says: Newspeak is a controlled language, of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, a linguistic design meant to limit the freedom of thought—personal identity, self-expression, free will—that ideologically threatens the régime of Big Brother.

While there are those in the Trump administration who hold a belief in some “deep state” that is controlling everything, there are those Americans who believe that if our President was given more power he would become Big Brother.

It is a fact that Steve Bannon, Trump’s right brain, declared his desire to destroy the “Administrative State”, whatever that is. But now we have a new dance partner in this affair. His name is Jay Sekulow and his job is that of personal lawyer for Donald Trump. Good luck, Jay.

While the multiple personalities in Trump’s head appear then disappear, it will be Sekulow’s responsibility to explain and defend the Donald. His role is already off to a rocky start with the tweet that was heard around the world.

Jay Sekulow went on all the Sunday morning talk shows to say to make it “crystal clear” that the President is not, and has never been, under investigation. And the attorney attempted to dismiss the tweet in which the President actually says he is under investigation. Jay also said that the tweet was only acknowledging the Washington Post article. Huh?

In the tweet, Trump didn’t use a question mark.  He used an exclamation mark, which meant he wasn’t questioning the Washington Post story.  He was saying exactly what he wrote. The lame claim by Sekulow that his client was limited by 140 characters is complete BS. Anyone familiar with how Twitter works, including Trump, can create a short string of words to add more meaning. In fact, the candidate and President has many times done precisely that.

If Trump doesn’t know the facts then why are his lawyers saying he does know. How can he not be under investigation? You can’t declare a known when you’ve never been told what it is either way. I could say Donald Trump is a woman, but I have no proof he’s a man or a woman. I just know that he says he’s a man.

The best question on the issue came from Chris Cuomo on CNN (6-19-2017) when he confronted Sekulow with the simple question: You are his attorney of record, why not just pick up the phone and ask Robert Mueller if your client is under investigation? Chris, who has a law degree from Fordham University, asked the right question, a question that all those talking heads on TV who would preface their comments with, “I’m not an attorney but…” but never knew to ask.

Trump and his legal team have a right to ask that question and no prosecutor has to tell a citizen if they are under investigation, but it would be proper for an attorney to, at least, ask the question.

One of my friends over the weekend claimed I was being “hysterical” about all of this political stuff, which seems to be the new go-to word when trying to explain why people forcefully disagree with something. I told my friend, I just want to make sure when the smoke clears, and we really understand all this, that I can be counted with those who spoke out against a President who is wasting time, acting guilty and becoming so untrusted in the world.  Surely our country will suffer.

Newspeak, with its linguistic design meant to limit the freedom of thought, is what Donald Trump is all about. His lawyers will try to bend the meaning of his words by saying things like, “Oh, he is very good at using social media.” Perhaps, but he’s an abysmal writer. If someone else has to explain what his Tweets mean, then he didn’t write them very well.

When a surrogate then says, “The Tweets stand on their own,” then we must take them at face value. But you cannot Newspeak your way around this. The worst thing Trump does is using Twitter as his psychological vomiting tool. He should invest in a shrink who can come by at 3:30 AM to help him over these emotional mole hills.

If I was his shrink, my first question would be, “Why do you obsess about whether or not you are under investigation?” That comes with the job description. Now you know, Mr. Trump, how Obama felt when every action he made was questioned with a law suit or an investigation of congressional blockade. You wanted the job and you go it. Now, do your job and stop bitching!


LEAKER vs LIAR

Trump Plays Defense

Now everyone must take a stand: Do you believe Jim Comey or Donald Trump? And the biggest question remaining is whether Donald Trump is fit to be the President of the United States.

People will cherry pick the things they heard in the Comey testimony that they liked and that they didn’t like, but the damage has been done. Reasonable doubt has been established here and we have to look beyond the pundits to find the real truth.

One of the fallout items of what the internet called “Comey Day” (6-8-2017) was some people saying that Trump has no experience as a politician or the knowledge of the legal boundaries associated with being President. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, said, “The president wasn’t trying to obstruct justice, but just doesn’t know enough about political protocol.” Oh, I guess Trump missed the orientation class for being President, Sad!

If you thought 24 hours of no tweeting set the new tone, all that evaporated with new tweets today and the post hearing statement from Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. In that statement, Marc Kasowitz made the following points:

1.The President was not under investigation as part of any probe into Russian interference and there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.

  1. The President never sought to impede the investigation into attempted Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  2. The President never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone, including suggesting that that Mr. Comey “let Flynn go.”
  3. The President also never told Mr. Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty” in form or substance.
  4. The President feels completely vindicated and is eager to continue moving forward with his agenda with this public cloud removed.

The use of the word “cloud” in Mr. Kasowitz’s statement is quite interesting. This was the word James Comey used in describing the conversation he had with Donald Trump. So we do have imprinting here, and a key to Donald Trump being the author of his own defense.

The quest ion one might ask is why, in almost every conversation, does Trump seem to be obsessed with clearing his name from some investigation that no one ever said he was under? He is doing a pre-emptive denial.

If in fact Michael Flynn talked to the Russians and took money from a Russian news service and his company was highly compensated by the Turkish government, then Michael Flynn is part of the investigation into Russian tampering. Therefore, any defense of Flynn after his firing would seem to say that, at least, Trump was offering a character testimony for his “good guy” Michael Flynn. Using the presidential podium to argue Flynn’s innocence is, in effect, attempting tom affect the outcome of charges and a mild form of obstruction.

The idea of vindication seems to be a bit premature. Assuming that things are moving forward with Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel, there is now an additional element to his investigation: obstruction.

And the next point is that Jim Comey admitted, under oath, that he leaked the facts of the memos he had written after each meeting with Trump to the New York Times through a professor “friend” at Columbia University. He also said that the reason he leaked the information was based on a tweet from Donald J. Trump, typed on May 12, 2017: James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

Kasowitz also claimed in his statement that Comey leaked before that tweet. This is a major mistake in the timeline. The New York Times never quoted the Comey memos prior to Trump’s 5/12/17 tweet and the first time the story ran was 5/16/17. That fact was from Julie Hirschfeld Davis from the New York Times.

Acting out of a sense of loyalty to his country, the FBI and, I am sure, his own reputation, he wanted to get the word out so that the Department of Justice would appointed a special prosecutor, or counsel. And like a great chess player, James Comey got just what he wanted.

The Trump machine has started to accuse Comey of being part of the deep state and they will try to sue its way out of this mess. One would think that after being in office for 4 1/2 months, they would have found the deep state already. This legal action will only make it worse. I don’t think Trump is naive about the job, I think he is just plain dumb.

The UK has now rejected the politics of Theresa May. The French rejected the dark politics of Marine LePen. And now it’s time for America to figure out how to get rid of the liars and start to listen to the leakers.

Donald Trump may be a leaker and a liar. There are web sites dedicated to his lies, but now we know that his twitter account leaks his personal inner thoughts. And if you look through 35,000 tweets, you can find all the leaks in his logic.

 

 


Twitter, Terrorism and Timing

Trump Shows His Trigger Finger

Imagine if the President of the United States was addicted to crack cocaine. All the responsible parties would be meeting to work on an intervention before he would either hurt himself, or hurt other people.

In this case, the social media platform Twitter has given Donald Trump the love that he maybe hasn’t been able to get in real life. The instantaneous high from his tweet “fans” is the drug he needs every day. The first thing those who care would attempt is separating the addicted from their drug.

To date, Donald Trump has tweeted more than 35,000 messages to his 31.8 million followers. To put that in perspective, if we assume they are all truly “fans,” that is only 10.2% of the population of the country. And we now know that besides the thousands of bots that have electronically attached themselves to the Donald wagon, people who actually hate him also follow him to see what the great one will tweet next. Just numbers.

Social media platforms are designed for a generation of people who are seeking instant gratification and the reward of believing that people like them. These narcissistic platforms reinforce viewpoints by showing a member only those things the service’s algorithm thinks are compatible with their likes, dislikes and responses. So, Trump only sees what he wants to see, just like a twelve-year-old middle schooler.

If the President used Twitter strategically to dispense his views on issues and to help explain the why behind some of his policies, one could argue that it wasn’t an addiction, but rather a tool in his multi-media box. At 35,000 tweets, however, we have a problem.

And we saw what happened when his reading comprehension didn’t sync up with the power of the presidential tweet when he attacked the Mayor of London. And we see him declare an incident as a terror attack, even before the smoke clears. His irresponsible actions move our country closer to the brink of a possible disaster.

His addiction, as he rightly says, doesn’t have the mainstream media filter and, in fact, has no filter whatsoever. The account @RealDonaldTrump has no official connection to the government and is a direct link to the brain of the President. And his tweeting late at night and early in the morning just might be downfall of this “great” man.

We saw the #Covfefe moment and his quick to the trigger to take credit for the Arab states declaration of Qatar blockade, when some believe the whole affair was motivated by a Russian hack of their news service; a fact that Mr. Know-It-All could have learned from his own intelligence services. By the way, the United States of America has a very important Air Force base in Qatar, a good reason to do your research before you broadcast your thoughts on the matter.

And then there is the matter of Trump’s “TRAVEL BAN” that the Supreme Court is considering. Why would the central figure in the case be on social media putting down his Justice Department and the ban itself? This lack of maturity is something we would reference to a person fifty-years younger.

The only way to deal with this kind of addiction is to take the phone away and send the boy to his room. If there was a legal way to take Trump’s Twitter account away, I would surely sign on to that law suit. As I have stated on these pages previously, a tweet is a legal document. A legal document with all the weight of something the President has signed or decreed.

Someone has to act on this issue, or we should remove the man from office.


DYSFUNCTIONAL DISTRUST

Trump’s Family Flaw

Did it ever dawn on anyone that the reason Donald Trump ran for President was because he doesn’t trust anyone? Because he distrusts government and holds a penchant for conspiracy theories, like the government cooked up the case against the Trump Organization about housing discrimination in 1973, he lives in a world where everyone is out to get him.

His thin skin and quick to the defense behavior is linked to some kind of disorder that he has to be the bully in order to feel good. Without a fight, without controversy, without tons of press, he is a frightened little boy making sure there is nothing under the bed.

Perhaps this was how his father viewed the world but most likely the silver spoon that has been in his mouth since birth has leached just enough metal in his brain to deliver permanent damage.

With the theme of distrust here, I might advance some of my own theories of how things work in our government and Washington. Let’s start with a basic truth: the power structure of our nation is powered by tons of lawyers. Being an attorney is a valid and important profession, but when things get tough they will be quick to tell their clients to shut up and stay away from cavalier statements.

Next, we have the history of Nixon, who kept saying he was not a crook then ended up being the kingpin in a cover-up and conspiracy to obstruct justice. We had Bill Clinton saying on TV, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” when indeed he did. So, who can we trust? I’m sure the reason Bill Clinton told Hillary to have a private server is because he knew how much the NSA stores in their servers.

George W. Bush told us Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction,” and then we found out that was a trumped-up charge which ended up costing America thousands of lives, wounding one million soldiers and wasting a trillion dollars; much more damaging than sex with an intern.

When America welcomes back President Donald Trump from his 9-day trip to the Middle East and Europe, he will be greeted with the weight of the Russian controversy and the ego trip of being on the world stage will melt away quickly.

Trump focuses on leaks, while the free American press is focused on Russian intervention in our election. Would it surprise anyone that the source of the leaks might be the White House itself? One conspiracy theory is that Steve Bannon is the leaker, using his back-channel press connections. Leaks keep Trump angry and pliable by a world-class manipulator like Bannon. If his main goal is disruption, he would be able to do more disruption and keep the base angry, as well but making it seem like the world is against Trump.

Clearly Bannon is smarter than Trump and has so many allies in the administration that he has surrounded the President with more enablers than thinkers. The latest leak about son-in-law Jared Kushner makes him radioactive and this is just what Bannon wants. Jared has been forcing Bannon into a lesser level in the Trump circle. This leak might be the payback.

Okay, those are all just theories but do they make sense? That is what you are supposed to say right after you utter such outrageous claims. It starts the elevation of a rumor on the journey to plausibility, and the most gullible don’t have to chew too much before they swallow it.

Maybe the attack on Kushner is coming from the Russians in retaliation for the floated comment that sanctions against Russia might get worse. That is how they have been playing Trump through this whole election cycle. Again, that is just a theory.

You shouldn’t have your family work for you when you are President. You shouldn’t own things that would suggest you are in violation of the Emoluments Clause, which states you may not take money from foreign governments for your personal benefit.

Clearly, when people in power don’t admit that something happened until the press points it out, how are we possibly going to trust these liars and deceivers? They are all part of a debilitating, dysfunctional family we elected. Well, we didn’t elect the rest of the family, we just get them for free. And as they say, there is a good reason something is free. They will take their profit on the back end and you will be no better off. You cannot trust someone who Donald Trump can’t fire. Think about it.

 

 


BODY-SLAMMING IN MONTANA

Trump Bad Mouths Media

The state slogan of Montana is Oro y Plata, which means Gold and Silver. Perhaps, their recent political headline will set the gold standard on how a Republican should handle the press. Tomorrow we will learn whether the alleged man-handling of a reporter, who just asked a question, had any effect on the special election for their sole member for the House of Representatives. (Because of massive mail-in votes in Montana that were cast before the incident and the fact that the state is primarily Republican, Greg Gianforte won the election and will take the vacant seat).

From Fox News web site (5-25-2017):

Ben Jacobs of The Guardian — walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte’s face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. … I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, “I’m sick and tired of this!”

Nixon, the first president to regularly refer to reporters as “the media” and stayed away from the more Constitutionally acceptable term, “the press”, lives on in the Trump Administration.

From the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

I have long believed that activities of some people are usually based on some kind of whisper or permission slip from someone else higher up in power. In this case, perhaps Gianforte was just having a bad multi-millionaire day. Poor Baby!

The “press” says that Gianforte and his wife founded the customer relationship management software company called RightNow Technologies. They certainly must have a grasp of helping customers be successful, or in this case the voter, for positive gains and results. What positives can come from a body slam?

Trump is the source of the negative energy toward the press and the “mainstream media.” A very dear friend of mine just said, “I don’t know what to believe anymore.” Deep inside that sentence is the dogmatic doubt and disingenuous evaluation of our press as all evil, all wrong, all uninformed. How can one TV news network keep belittling all the other media outlets, when they themselves are a “Media” outlet? No brotherhood, no defense when you do wrong. Read: sexual harassment.

When the President focuses on the leaks rather than the truth, he drives a wedge between the purpose of the press in a democracy and the responsibility of any administration to manage its information.

Trump’s team is horrible at messaging and their boss is worse. With all the golf Donald plays, he certainly should understand what a wedge does. Certainly, he knows the difference between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge.

Instead of thoughtfully using a wedge to get himself out of the sand trap of anti-press philosophy, he generally pulls a driver and whacks the press with it. Instead of making the press wither, it makes them stronger. His harangue makes the media motivated to work harder. The greater the number of shots the press takes the more they will find even more things you are doing; right or wrong.

There is no physical contact in Golf and shouldn’t be any in politics. During the campaign, Donald Trump said it’s very appropriate for his supporters to beat protesters at his rallies. Candidate Trump added as a protester was being escorted away, “The guards are being very gentle with him… I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell you that.”

Now that Donald J. Trump is President of the United States many seem to disregard what the “candidate” said compared to what the President utters. But really folks, the damage is already done. Trump said it was okay, he won the election, therefore those activities are okay. He has already declared war on the press. The media armies are not going away. They are marching toward him. Even Fox News (above) is forced to tell the truth.

Any fool can launch a web site and blast out their true feelings and thoughts. We are all THE PRESS. We are all THE MEDIA.


THE DEFENSIVE FOOL IS BACK

“I never said the word Israel.”

There is a great term that many have used to describe people who either act or speak inappropriately. They say the person is being “tone-deaf” to demonstrate the feelings of those who are affected by the statement.

When the President’s travel ban was rolled out (1-28-2017) and confusion reigned at the major airports, instant protests popped up at airports all over the country, Trump was in the movie room at the White House watching Finding Dory. Albert Brooks, one of the voiceover actors in that drama summed it up best, “Odd that Trump is watching Finding Dory today, a movie about reuniting with family when he’s preventing it in real life.”

Another tone-deaf moment came that same weekend when Ivanka Trump tweeted out her “Date Night” picture of her and Jared dressed to the nines. Many critics of the royal family were quick to point out the insensitive nature of the tweet. What was the big deal? She has always been rich and will always be rich. That’s what rich folks do while others suffer.

After an optically enticing visit to Saudi Arabia, Trump traveled to Israel and was greeted warmly by that country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Everything was going great, until the Donald couldn’t resist the screaming press after the hand-shake photo opportunity. He had to talk. He had to defend himself. He has no discipline.

The look on Netanyahu’s face said it all. While Bebe smiled and repeated his stock answer to the controversy, Trump hushed the reporters so they could all hear his words, “I never mentioned the word or the name Israel during that conversation!”

Once again, Mr. Know-It-All opened his mouth and put his foot in it. It was beyond “tone-deaf.” It was disrespectful to the leader of our ally and a totally uncouth remark to throw out. While he denied that a conversation about Israeli intelligence took place with the Russians, he confirmed there was a conversation about the ISIS plot. His lawyers were groaning out loud.

While he may think that declassifying intelligence at will is his prerogative, he should remember that what he claims he doesn’t know is in direct conflict with all his previous statements about knowing everything about ISIS.

And low and behold, just as he makes the short trip to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the State of Palestine, he is greeted with another terrorist attack. This time in Manchester, UK. (5-22-2017)

As he stood there and declared the terrorists “Evil Losers” he demonstrated his knack for being “tone-deaf” on the global stage. That word “loser” might connote that those suffering through the attack are the winners. What?

Knowing that President Trump is not manageable, by the large entourage he brought with him, doesn’t lessen the hindrance of poor communication. Just as he is pointing out how the perpetrators of such a horrific act are such losers, he throws in, “It will happen again.” Maybe when the teenage girls in Manchester hear his warning of the terrorists returning he achieves his goal of spreading fear with no empathy.

He may think he is the King of deals, but still gets low grades for seeming uncaring and wanting to be more “right” than compassionate. He declares what people think. He pronounces what people should feel. But what he will find out painfully is that his words matter. Laws are based on words.

Donald J. Trump’s great presidential scam continues, but in this show he doesn’t control the final scene. He can’t fire public opinion. He cannot declare winners or losers like in reality TV. Twenty-two people lost their lives. That is the reality for their families.

Real reality is so much more difficult than he ever imagined.


TRUMP SIDES WITH SUNNIS

Presidential Gunrunner Changes Tune

Mohammed was able to unite the tribes of Arabia through religious doctrine and force, while Donald Trump, no Mohammed indeed, was able to drive a firmer wedge between the Sunni and Shia believers with one trip to the Middle East.

His vitriol against Iran deployed the old philosophy, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. To the tune of billions of dollars in armaments and technology, the Royal Saud family secured Donald Trump’s loyalty.

To be fair, this is no different than what the former CIA Director and President George H.W. Bush saw was the method to have “normal” relations with most of the Arabs in the area. The US President has always had to deal with kings and dictators to keep the wheels of diplomacy and industry rolling. Stated more directly, Saudi Arabia has oil and we have weapons and great software.

In Donald Trump’s speech to the gathered tribes and countries of the Muslim faith, he failed to comprehend the nature of Islamic banking. For someone who has spread his footprint around the world, Trump’s naïveté on the way the money flows from legitimate sources to the terror groups is astounding. His state department experts could have told him that the men listening to his speech Sunday in Riyadh have no idea what the Islamic banks do with their money because those banks are under no government’s reach. This is how Mohammed wanted it.

Hats off, no pun intended, to the First Lady and Daughter Ivanka for not covering their heads while in a Muslim country, but then, First Lady Obama already blazed that trail. It was interesting how Trump’s daughter might have made a statement in Saudi Arabia, but then covered her head in Israel. So, noted.

Donald J. Trump, who called for the ban on all people coming from Muslim nations, was much more tempered when facing the force of dozens of Islamic nations sitting before him. He didn’t use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” out of respect for the religion. Wow, how he adjusts his act to his audience. When he gets to Israel he will don a yarmulke so not to offend. When did he become so politically and socially correct? What will his base think?

The trip to Saudi Arabia will no doubt improve Trump’s ratings, but while he is away, the plot against him continues in the States. Watching him look so presidential, with no damaging tweets this week, will he learn from this trip? Like someone on vacation without a care and with loads of procedural respect dished out and obviously patronizing anointment from the hosting countries, he shouldn’t let it go to his head. Trump will find the trip less positive toward the end.

He has to face the holy pontiff in the Vatican. The Pope will not kiss his ring or give him a gold necklace. He will ask hard questions about South Americans, walls and what have you done for the poor?

With the big NATO meeting and the G7 Economic Summit in Italy, Trump will find less adoration and more hard questions. For now, he leaves Saudi Arabia with the feeling of success, but with a hard road ahead.

People in America don’t care about whether the Sunnis and Shia hate each other; that has been going on for 1,400 years. What America sees on TV this week will probably fool some into believing that this man of orange has a plan for America.

Peace in the Middle East and deals for bombs won’t give the US a better healthcare system. Trump having lavish banquets abroad will not produce a fairer tax plan for the citizens of this country. But he did say we would get tired of winning. The hype is painful.