Sunday, July 12, 2020

CNN Strikes Back At Trump and It’s A Hoot

I’m glad that this communique from CNN bears the blue check mark, which means it’s a verified Twitter account and not parody — because read the name of the attorney who signed this letter. Official response from CNN General Counsel to @TeamTrump‘s letter demanding CNN apologize for a poll that shows @JoeBiden leading. — CNN Communications (@CNNPR) June 10, 2020 David C. Vigilante? D.C. Vigilante? You see that too, right? Because there are times since the election of Donald Trump, and this is one of them, that I begin to question whether I’m dreaming all of this. Maybe we all are, who knows? Maybe this is an experiment in mass hypnosis. In all events, now the ball is back in Trump’s court and we’ll see where it goes from here. But if I had to hazard a guess, I would say that Trump not only hasn’t got a leg to stand on, all he’s doing is running up legal bills, along with pollster bills. But then Trump doesn’t pay his bills, so I guess it’s all moot. One thing to consider though: Trump might sue each and every one of us for voting for Joe Biden. This is just the warm up. Don’t say you weren’t warned.  

Trump Campaign Ordering Media to Retract Statements About Trump Using Tear Gas Before Bible...

Donald Trump’s Bible thumping photo-op has turned into a public relations catastrophe. The New York Times reported that it was the brain child of Hope Hicks, now back at the White House after her brief sabbatical at Fox News. To do the photo op setting the stage for Project Themis, where divine law and order is restored, it was necessary to clear Lafayette Park of protesters and somebody in Trump world made the decision to use tear gas — and now the Trump campaign is all over media outlets getting them to print retractions and say it didn’t happen, even though live broadcasts clearly showed that it did. INBOX: Trump campaign orders the media to “correct or retract” reporting that accurately described yesterday’s protests, live footage of which plainly showed viewers what happened. — Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) June 2, 2020 That was followed up by the Trump campaign sending out this note to media outlets. This was received by Media Matters, who told them “no,” they weren’t going to turn into Sean Spicer. Hope you all are doing well, staying healthy and safe. Saw your piece this morning on the use of tear gas at Lafayette Square. Wanted to make sure you saw our official statement on the false reports and would appreciate it if you would retract and correct your piece. As always, happy to be a resource for you. And this is Media Matters’ rationale. Our response: No. The Trump campaign is currently pressuring journalists and news outlets, demanding they issue retractions and corrections. None of them should cave to the pressure to deny well-established reporting. One day after Trump’s inauguration in 2017, we warned, “Journalists need to recognize that they are dealing with proto-fascist conditions. Accordingly, they must stiffen their spines and stand up for their profession and the truth.” That warning echoes even louder in this moment. Any journalist or media outlet that revises their original reporting based on nothing more than Trump’s assertions will have essentially morphed themselves into a cog in Trump’s authoritarian propaganda wheel — no better off than Sean Spicer the night he infamously lied about Trump’s inauguration crowd size. Here are some facts about the government’s actions at Lafayette Square on June 1 and the U.S. Park Police’s absurd statement on June 2 that the Trump campaign is citing. On the Park Police statement: 1. They admit using pepper agents to disperse protesters 2. Witness accounts, including from journalists on-scene, indicated protesters were peaceful until the police attacked without warning — Alex Wayne (@aawayne) June 2, 2020 This clip is a good synopsis of this story. In particular, go to 1:54 and watch the White House’s version of Donald Trump, Man of God, making his pilgrimage to the church, complete with organ music. Sweet Jesus. This belongs in a remake of The Exorcist. “You could hear the flash-bangs from inside the White House as they were going off.” @kwelkernbc reports on police in D.C. firing tear gas and pepper spray at peaceful protesters just moments before President Trump walked across the area to take a photo at St. John’s Church. — TODAY (@TODAYshow) June 2, 2020 This next clip is good as well, because the reporter says that while he’s listening to Trump talking in his ear about law and order, “I was watching people […]
Esther Vargas / Flickr Twitter...

Twitter Takes A Stand, Hides Trump’s Minneapolis Tweet For ‘Glorifying Violence’

I have to say that I am impressed with Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. He appears to have taken a stance and he’s not backing down. He is apparently not intimidated by Donald Trump’s horse and pony show in the Oval Office Thursday, when he signed an executive order, with an eye to removing legal protections from social media. Trump made an appearance on Twitter shortly after midnight his time Friday morning and posted two tweets regarding protests in Minneapolis, after citizen George Floyd, a black man, died after a police officer held his knee to Floyd’s neck for seven minutes. Trump said he would “send in the National Guard,” apparently unaware that the Guard had already been deployed half a day earlier, and Trump quoted a now-deceased Miami cop, who said in 1967, “When the looting starts, that’s when the shooting starts.” That quote was promptly hidden, because it violates a Twitter rule against “glorifying violence.” I believe it is safe to say that Trump will resent Twitter enforcing this rule, or moderating his account in any way, shape, or form. Trump doesn’t seem to be a person who is used to being treated like any other user of social media platforms. He expects to use the platform as he sees fit and rules are for other people. This is how Trump’s tweets appear now. Twitter hides one of the two Trump tweets from tonight for “glorifying violence.” — Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) May 29, 2020 The move prevents replying to or liking the “looting … shooting” tweet, engagement numbers are gone, and people can only quote RT it now. — Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) May 29, 2020 This is responsible behavior. Trump’s words are still there, if somebody wants to know what he said. However, Twitter has made it clear that they don’t want people advocating violence, certainly not “glorifying” it. In removing the ability of other users to just automatically “like” the violent prose, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” it gives time for people to pause and reflect upon what’s on the screen. I find it admirable that Dorsey has taken this action. It will be interesting to see how Trump reacts to it. Again, I think it is a reasonable speculation that Trump will resent the action and feel persecuted by it. I also think it’s too much to expect that Trump might find the move sobering, and perhaps reflect a bit upon his own actions and what he might do better in the future. Trump has lived a consequence free life, in part because he’s been able to bully people into doing what he wants, or pay them off in some fashion for ignoring his bad behavior. This is probably a rare moment in his 73 years, coming up against another businessman who is powerful in his own right and who is enforcing the rules of the road on his own platform — which he has every right to do and had the right to do so sooner. Dorsey’s forebearance has been duly noted, by others, but not by Trump. Fpr Trump, this is somewhat of a unique moment, I would imagine. Many thousands of people have written millions of words about Trump’s foibles, but if I had to pick one which […]

Another Presidential Moment, Trump Storms Out Of Presser ‘Don’t Ask Me Ask China’

A few short days ago the daily coronavirus press conferences ceased for a short time, because Donald Trump couldn’t stop attacking the press, even though he was informed that he was making himself look bad. When the briefings resumed, Trump went out of his way to be cordial to reporters for a few days, even telling Jim Acosta on one occasion that he “appreciated” a question. That all went up in flames today, as Trump once again reverted to type and lashed out at a reporter for asking a “nasty” question. " Very, very ugly ending to that one hour appearance by the President in the Rose Garden" — Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) May 11, 2020 The question that was posed was, “Why is this a global competition to you if every day Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?” “Well they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China,” Trump replied. His emphasis on the word “China” was practically a snarl. Then of course he repeated it. “Don’t ask me, ask China that question.” The reporter in question was Weijia Jiang of CBS who describes herself as a “Chinese born West Virginian.” Who knows why Trump lost it? Ask his shrink. Or maybe Ivanka can explain it. But to the rest of the world, Trump comes across like the crotchety elder that nobody wants to offend because he may revise his will and disinherit them, and so they all humor him. It will be nice when the functions of government can get back to being handled by adults, because this is nothing more than another black eye for this country. The office of president has been nothing but systematically disgraced since Trump assumed it and today was yet another low.  

Trump Plays Martyr in Whining Afternoon Tweet Scapegoating Media Nemesis

The mind of a child is a fascinating thing, but not when it’s housed in a 73-year-old corpulent orange body, with major psychological problems. Saturday morning Donald was on a manic high and touting the “Miracle end!” to COVID-19. Whee, the teeter totter was up! Saturday afternoon Donald is on a depressive low, kvetching about what good is it anyway to be perfect and wonderful, when the Evil Media doesn’t appreciate me and twists everything I say and I’m going to put bleach in my Diet Coke and French fries up my nose and you’ll be sorry, so there! What is the purpose of having White House News Conferences when the Lamestream Media asks nothing but hostile questions, & then refuses to report the truth or facts accurately. They get record ratings, & the American people get nothing but Fake News. Not worth the time & effort! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2020 “Hostile questions” = anything that asks for an explanation of Trump’s most recent epic gaffe; “Truth” = what Trump wants you to believe, regardless of empirical evidence to the contrary; “Facts” see, “truth” “Ratings” = the only reason to exist, what’s wrong with you, don’t you get it? “Fake News = anything reported anywhere by anybody that is insufficiently flattering to Donald Trump. What’s the use, oh what’s the use, when the conferences go out live and every stupid word I utter is out there for the entire world to hear and then there’s nobody nice to go in and agree with me and clean it up after the fact — and even Mike complains that he can’t work a miracle every week on the Sunday shows, and that’s tomorrow. Now I don’t have a coronavirus briefing to go to anymore, the reporters broke it and the doctors took it away and now I have to watch other people on television instead of being on television myself and it’s no fair.  And why is Andrew Cuomo getting all the attention, anyway? If it wasn’t for me, he wouldn’t have any stuff to play with at all. And he doesn’t even thank me like he should, nobody does and I deserve it! Hey, I even got the Governor of California to play nice and he can’t stand the sight of me, like all of California, I wish it would go drop in the ocean! Right now! The mind of a child is fascinating, except when the child is delusional, batshit, and 73 years old.

Matt Drudge Says Trump’s Wrong About Him, He’s Never Had It So Good

The handwriting has been on the wall since October, that Matt Drudge and Donald Trump are not seeing eye to eye. In October Drudge was running impeachment commentary which was critical of Trump, featuring the likes of Andrew Napolitano. Trump saw that as disloyal, needless to say, and so has turned on Drudge, for not playing ball. I gave up on Drudge (a really nice guy) long ago, as have many others. People are dropping off like flies! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2020 It’s new information to Drudge that “people are dropping off like flies.” He responded to Trump’s taunt with a fact check and the fact is, the Drudge Report is doing more business now than it ever has. Trump did not provide any evidence to support his assertion that people are abandoning @DRUDGE's website en masse. Page view data directly from the Drudge Report's server actually shows a significant traffic surge in March amid the pandemic. — Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) April 18, 2020 Matt Drudge is a power broker in the right wing media world. He has been characterized as the “de facto assignment editor of the conservative media” and Mediaite writer John Ziegler says, “He’s one of the dominoes that would have to fall for the right wing media to allow Trump to be removed from office.” The domino looked wobbly in October and now in April it’s not looking any steadier. Just one more sign of the times for Donald Trump. He may have bought Limbaugh off with the Medal of Honor, but the fact remains that Limbaugh has been in the game a lot longer than Trump and if you had to take a guess on which one of them would be left standing, the smart money would be on Limbaugh. The times, they are a’changin’ and Trump is going to be out on his orange tush before too much longer.
Fox News / YouTube Tucker Carlson speaks out on Trump...

Well, well. Look Who’s Inciting Civil Unrest

Honestly, none of us should be amazed by the news. As a species we don’t take direction very well, and as a society, we pretty much do as we damn well please. And after more than a month in many cases of pretty much solitary confinement, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that a few sore heads are acting out their displeasure in public. But sadly this may just be the tip of the iceberg. If you haven’t already done so, you should consider it your civic duty to suffer through 10 minutes per hour of FUX News during the prime time viewing window. Moronic slobs like Fucker Carlson, Sean Manatee, and Laura Ingraham are scouring the gutters and sewers for a very particular kind of guest. They are looking for the kind of inbred morons who are willing to go on national television and claim that the stay-at-home orders are literally destroying the American way of life! They stare earnestly into the camera that there is no empirical proof that social distancing has slowed the spread of the virus, maliciously laying a charge knowing gull well that it’s impossible to disprove a negative. One muddle headed toad actually passionately proclaimed that If it comes down to a choice between the life of the nation, and the life of its citizens, the latter must always take precedence, but only up to a certain point! This is a vicious, self repeating game of table tennis between congenital idiots. His Lowness stands there every day behind the podium and serves this nonsensical tripe over the net, only to have the ghoulish propaganda trolls at FUX News serve it right back to him 3 hours a night. Both Trump and the ghouls at Cluster Fux are playing on the fears and insecurities of the gullible. Right now, the protests in Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio are small and pretty much self contained. But as the sequestration continues, and it will, more anger, fear, and frustration will build. And a combination of news coverage of the small local protests, fueled by a constant indoctrination of bullshit from FUX, will only serve to drive more of the gullible into the streets. And at some point, Mayors and Governors are going to take steps to ensure public safety. And that’s when it will get messy, which is exactly what FUX is drooling over the prospect of covering live. There is no longer any salient argument about the legitimacy of FUX News as a legitimate news organization. It has all of the legitimacy of Vladimir Putin, and the moral integrity of a street corner 3 card monte dealer. Throughout this crisis, FUX has enabled a public health crisis by constantly underplaying the severity of the crisis. And now, left unchecked, FUX will be happy to fuel a public safety crisis by inciting opposition to the very restrictions that are keeping people safe. Gee, I wonder if Trump and FUX will blame the Governors? To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch […]

Trump’s Bat$hit Monday Presser Showcased the Worst of Trump and May End TV Coverage

Much has been written about Donald Trump’s psychological foibles, but as the COVID-19 crisis rages on, one defect of his character stands out above all the rest: He.Cannot.Accept.Blame.For.Anything.Ever. This is not a good trait in anybody but in a purported leader, it is anathema. Monday’s White House presser was truly a surreal experience. Here’s a description by The Guardian (and a tip of the hat to our fellow Zoomer Concinnity, for sharing this source.) A toddler threw a self-pitying tantrum on live television on Monday night. Unfortunately he was 73 years old, wearing a long red tie and running the world’s most powerful country. Donald Trump, starved of campaign rallies, Mar-a-Lago weekends and golf, and goaded by a bombshell newspaper report, couldn’t take it any more. Years of accreted grievance and resentment towards the media came gushing out in a torrent. He ranted, he raved, he melted down and he blew up the internet with one of the most jaw-dropping performances of his presidency. This was, as he likes to put it, “a 10”. If mental instability was measured on the Richter scale, this presser would indeed be a ten, or perhaps just fall off the graph altogether. It is a tenet of Trumpian behavior to “never blame yourself.” Don’t know where he got that from, but it wasn’t out of any leadership handbook that the rest of the world reads. If anything, a true leader acknowledges fault and swiftly figures out a way to redress the situation. It is written nowhere, by generals, politicians or captains of industry — except Trump, who fancies himself to be one of each of these categories — that “when you screw up, double down and pout.” No, that does not fly in the world of adults. His attack on CBS News correspondent Paula Reid was vintage Trump, and actually provides a good pointer for Joe Biden in debating the clown. Pro Tip: When Trump is boxed in, he resorts to attacking his attacker, because he has no facts to defend himself with.        Trump was on his usual broken-record recital of how he saved so many lives by banning some flights from China in late January, bla bla. The CBS News correspondent Paula Reid was having none of it and cut to the chase. “The argument is that you bought yourself some time,” she said “You didn’t use it to prepare hospitals. You didn’t use it to ramp up testing. Right now, nearly 20m people are unemployed. Tens of thousands of Americans are dead.” Trump talked over her: “You’re so disgraceful. It’s so disgraceful the way you say that.” Reid demanded: “How is this newsreel or this rant supposed to make people feel confident in an unprecedented crisis?” Trump reverted to his China travel restrictions but Reid continued to push him on his inaction in February. Trump was unable to muster a reasonable response. It was a case study in how, when he loses an argument, his instinct is to attack the accuser. He trotted out his frayed, timeworn insult: “You know you’re a fake, your whole network the way you cover it is fake … That’s why you have a lower approval rating than probably you’ve ever had before times three.” Trump’s mental midgetry has always been appalling, but never more […]

Trump Uses COVID-19 Presser to Declare His ‘Total Authority’ To Reopen Country ‘That’s the...

Monday’s White House coronavirus press conference has already gone down in the books as “batshit” and other superlatives. Donald Trump saw fit to use the occasion to regale viewers with a campaign reelection ad, and tell reporters, “Now I’m going to question you, because you’re so guilty.” Fox News aired it, of course. I couldn’t obtain an embeddable clip of it but hit this link to Mediate and see a White House propaganda production which rivals anything that North Korean television comes up with. All we need is Trump on a white horse and the sun racing across the sky, and Trump’s conversion to Kim Jong Un-esque stature will be complete. “So we could give you hundreds of clips like that from governors,” the president said, at the conclusion of the bizarre, anti-media hit that could have doubled as a Trump re-election campaign ad. “We can give you hundreds of clips just like that. We have them. We didn’t want this to go on too long, but I just want to say it’s very sad when people write false stories, like in that case I guess it was mostly from the New York Times which is a highly — I mean, if you had libel laws, they would have been out of business even before they will end up going out of business. It’s too bad.” Trump once again predicted the imminent doom of all media outlets, not just the New York Times, when he leaves office. “They’ll all be out of business when I leave in five years. They would have already been out of business but they write about me.” In addition to telling off the press, Trump strutted his stuff and let us know how all powerful he is. Daily Beast: The president, meanwhile, went on to insist he has absolute power when it comes to governors’ stay-at-home orders during the crisis. Asked on Monday how he would respond if a governor issued a stay-at-home order in conflict of his national wishes, Trump insisted his power as president is “total.” “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that is the way it’s gonna be,” Trump bellowed. “It’s total. It’s total. And the governors know that.” The president reiterated that assertion throughout the rest of the marathon briefing. After CNN’s Kaitlan Collins pushed back, saying it wasn’t true that Trump’s authority is total, the president said they were “going to write papers on this” but that it won’t be necessary because the governors “need us one way or the other because ultimately it comes with the federal government.” When further asked if any governors had agreed that he has the authority to force them to reopen, Trump said that he didn’t ask anybody because, “I don’t need to.” No, King Donald, you’re right, you have total authority, you are totally above the law, in fact, you are the law. Now if you’ll just take this nice dose of thorazine and go with the lovely gentlemen in the white coats, they’ll show you to your castle, where you can continue to make proclamations day and night, to your heart’s content. Here’s how the Democratic party bottom lined it. “More than 20,000 Americans have died, hospitals and states still can’t get the supplies they need, testing is failing, and […]
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Donald Trump...

Note To The Media. Stop Feeding The Dog From The Kitchen Table!

Look guys, I don’t get it. Why is it that we seem to keep having this same Come-to-Jesus moment over and over again. After all, it’s not like this is your first ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl. But just like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Still they persisted. We’ve all been through this before. First it was Sean Spicer, and then “The Mooch,” and then Blarah Flackabee Slanders, standing behind the podium day after day, spouting out free association, unadulterated bullshit. It’s funny, but I don’t remember CNN and  MSNBC dropping everything in their plate to flash to the White House briefing room to watch Josh Ernst spit out facts and figures, and explain government working properly. We got canned snippets at night. It took forever to get you guys to stop peddling pure propaganda, and wean yourselves from the daily briefings. NEWS FLASH! These daily corona-virus briefings are nothing more than the same shit in a different pile. Day after day His Lowness gets up there, throws superlatives around like frisbees in a desperate attempt to lionize his administrations truly pathetic efforts, and spouts conspiracy theories about the press, the states and Governors, and the medical professionals fighting this epidemic on the front lines. And when he finally shuts up and lets the actual healthcare professionals dispense acts, figures, and sage advice, the instant they’re done he immediately steps back in front of the microphone and belittles everything that they just said. BREAKING! This insane situation is absolutely no different form the wasted daily briefings from days past. But this time is even worse. Because by allowing him to arbitrarily control both the news as well as the airwaves, you are giving him free rein to purposely mislead the public, with no appropriate time for a dissenting response. In the next few days, I understand that Joe Biden is going to be unveiling his first full month of digital campaigning. If you’re going to give Emperor Gluteus Maximus an hour and a half a day for brainless propaganda, then you had damn well better be willing to afford Biden, and if necessary Sanders equal time. Never forget how your shameless pandering to El Pendejo Presidente altered the entire arc of the 2016 GOP primaries. Look, I know covering this is hard for you, but it’s hard on us too. It gets old real quick seeing the same faces of the same healthcare experts popping up on screen every other hour to say the exact same thing, but at least that is in the public interest. These daily briefings are nothing but pure propaganda, and if you continue to broadcast it unabated, and with no allowance for a dissenting opinion, you are doing the country a grave disservice. Tape the damn things, air the advice from the professionals, and air Trump’s truly inspired stupidity so we can all get a good laugh about it, but stop covering these things whole hog. It just ain’t news. To know the future, look to the past.before the insanity of the 2020 election, relive the insanity of the 2016 GOP primary campaign, and the general election, to see how we got to where we are. Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange are available as e-books on Amazon, at the links above. Catch […]

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