I began this post on October 12, 2019, by skimming Flipboard, a news app on my iPad. I like Flipboard because I can follow multiple news sources, rather than a single website or newspaper. Today I decided to aggregate just one day of negative headlines about President Trump, and then read the stories themselves to determine whether the headlines accurately reflected the story and the evidence. Here’s what I found. This is only a partial list–I ran out of energy before i ran out of headlines.
Bad impeachment move for Trump—GOP senators enraged by turkey’s invasion of Syria. Fox News. “There is rage over Trump’s decision. It is rage over a policy choice, not over high crimes and misdemeanors. Only the most blindly angry can doubt the lawfulness of the commander-in-chief’s movement of U.S. soldiers, even though it rendered inevitable the Turks’ rout of the Kurds. Ironically, though, the lack of an impeachable offense is not the relevant impeachment consideration. Nor does it matter much that, while excruciating, the president’s decision is defensible and will be applauded by Americans weary of entanglement in the Muslim Middle East’s wars.” Quoting this non-story, in which no senators were named or quoted, shows that Fox is hardly Trump’s mouthpiece.
Top military officers unload on Trump. The Atlantic. None of the “top military officers” were named or quoted. Rather, the writer summarized and editorialized. But the headline sure sounded good for impeachment, I guess, or simply to show that accusation without evidence can work in the United States, not just dictatorships.
Opinion: Trump Needs to be Brought to U.N. on Charges of Genocide. PoliticusUsa.com. “A review of the convention’s (1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide) salient articles makes clear that not only is Trump complicit in this current act of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds, but also his administration has repeatedly in its policies engaged in genocidal behavior, most blatantly in his immigration enforcement policies, his denial of asylum seekers, and his caging of children and separation of them from their parents.” So now Trump is to blame for what Turkey does, as well as Obama administration immigration policies.
Rudy Giuliani Just Got Trump Impeached By Admitting The President Directed Ukraine Operation. PoliticusUsa.com. “While defending himself in the criminal investigation, Rudy Giuliani admitted that he was acting at the direction of Trump in Ukraine.” So how does that “get Trump impeached”?
Anatomy of the phone call now imperiling Trump’s presidency. AP. They go into great detail comparing procedures of briefing the president. White House staffers did not brief the president on this call the way other presidents were briefed on phone calls to foreign leaders. So what? How does that tidbit “imperil Trump’s presidency?”
The Latest Hero Exposing Trump’s Corruption Has a Name, and She Is Not F*cking Around. Esquire. The article was about the ambassador to the Ukraine who was just replaced complaining about some anonymous person (the article suspects it was Rudy Giuliani) badmouthing her to Trump. I failed to find the promised expose of Trump’s corruption.
Trump’s losses mount in stunning day of setbacks. CNN. “Five federal courts dealt blows to President Donald Trump on Friday just as the limits of his legal strategy to block an impeachment inquiry became clear. It amounted to a challenging end of a challenging week for Trump, who remains consumed by an impeachment crisis that is clouding his presidency.” I read the court decisions. They were hardly stunning. Most had nothing to do with impeachment.
We could not “in good conscience” show parts of a Trump 2020 campaign rally. MSNBC. “Trump held a campaign rally in Minnesota last night. There are parts of it we can’t show you — or, rather — there are parts of it that we’re not gonna show you……the president consistently spews ‘red meat vitriol,’ but the he went further than he’s ever gone before, so, we are going further than we’ve ever gone before to say we aren’t going to play the sound. We aren’t going to repeat the president’s vicious attacks on Hunter Biden.” I for one would like to know specifically what he said about Hunter Biden (who couldn’t possibly be guilty of anything) and what constituted “red meat” vitriol, but I trust MSNBC implicitly to accurately assess and deliver judgment on Trump….LIKE HELL.
Whether you like President Donald Trump or not, agree with his policies or not, want him re-elected or not, do you understand what is happening here? In a dictatorship (ex. Syria, Somalia), or a totalitarian mock-democracy (ex. Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo), the national leader is usually replaced violently, by assassination. In most Communist countries (ex. Cuba, North Korea), the national leader usually isn’t replaced, except by purge or coup. In the United States, assassination has occurred, though without violent upheaval, and neither coup nor purge has replaced the president, nor are those methods likely to. Here, we are so “civilized”, character assassination by media is the preferred method, but rarely leads to replacement (Nixon being the sole example, by resignation). “Unprecedented” is a word that is almost always hyperbole, but it is my opinion that this degree of assassination by headline and soundbite IS unprecedented. When the headlines “scream” guilty and the text of the editorial or article doesn’t provide the substance to back up the headline, when Trump’s opposition voices opinions about what he “said” while rarely quoting (and letting the public decide what the words mean), when the New York Times creates an entire project devoted to distorting US history (1619 project) for the purpose of undermining Trump or when CNN and it’s ilk devotes 12 hours bashing Trump for every hour of actual news, does it not make you wonder?
They want us to think “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, which is not true in the case of a smoke grenade. I am dubious about some of Trump’s policies, many of his ideas and practically all of his tweets, but I intend to vote for him. My biggest single reason is this: He has obviously kicked over a hornet’s nest, stepped on a fire ant colony and started bulldozing a too-comfortable bureaucracy and entrenched establishment. A wrecking ball is needed.