Friday, May 25, 2018

The Media, Bumfuzzled By Trump's Lies

The media allow Trump's lies to dominate the national conversation. Click here for an article at The Washington Post entitled "Time to Stop Chasing Trump's Lies Down the Rabbit Hole," by Paul Waldman.

In reaction to Trump's preposterous claims about the farce he himself (but no one else) calls "Spygate," surprise! The day after the meeting with the FBI that Trump breathlessly claimed would blow the lid off Washington, no one is talking about the meeting at all. Why not? Because there was nothing there. It was all based on Trump's lies. Here are Trump's first tweets on the subject:
Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!

SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!
Waldman says:
This reveals the absurd pattern we’ve fallen into. It goes like this: President Trump makes a ridiculous accusation that almost everyone immediately understands to be false. Then we in the media, because it’s the president, treat that accusation as though it’s something that has to be taken seriously. Then governmental resources are mustered to deal with the accusation. Then Republicans try to twist the mobilization of those resources to give them the answer they’re seeking. But because it’s all based on a lie, they fail once Democrats force some measure of truth to be revealed.

Glenn Kessler and Meg Kelly run through some of the iterations of this maddening pattern. Barack Obama tapped my phones! The Obama administration illegally “unmasked” Americans caught up in surveillance of Russian targets! The Democrats colluded with Russia! The whole Russia investigation happened because of the Steele dossier!
How far can this go? I like Waldman's take on it:
No matter what ludicrous charge Trump makes, the entire political system reacts as though it might be true. If tomorrow the president said that “Robert Mueller” never existed and the person claiming to be him is actually Nancy Pelosi in elaborate makeup, we’d all find ourselves debating whether Mueller is a real person while House Republicans angrily demand that he produce a DNA sample.
He believes that Trump's lies "... should have been greeted with headlines reading, 'President Trump Lies to Public About Russia Investigation.'"

The North Korean propaganda machine regularly lies about the superhuman exploits of the Dear Leader:
So we should treat [Trump's] statements the way we do press releases from the North Korean state news agency. They may be newsworthy in that they show what the regime would like people to believe, but we don’t assume that they have any relationship to actual facts. When they claim that Kim Jong Un could drive at age 3 and win yacht races at age 9, or that his father Kim Jong Il wrote 1,500 books while at university and once sank 11 holes-in-one in a single round of golf, we don’t set about to determine whether they’re true.


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