Tag Archives: Donald Trump

Trump’s Apology for ‘Killer Putin’ is Wrongheaded, by Finian Cunningham

Here’s the money quote: “As for the «moral equivalence» complaint, the truly objective answer is that there is no comparison between unfounded allegations against Putin as a «killer» and what US presidents actually do as a matter of routine.” From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.com:

US President Donald Trump has landed in hot water yet again when he told media that he respected Russian leader Vladimir Putin – in spite of (unfounded and sensationalist) accusations that the latter is responsible for killing journalists and political opponents.

Trump was being interviewed on Fox News by Bill O’Reilly, and while expressing respect for Putin as the president of Russia, his interlocutor interrupted with the terse assertion: «He’s [Putin] a killer, though. Putin’s a killer».

Unfazed, Trump replied: «We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?»

The program went on air Sunday ahead of the US Super Bowl football final, and so is sure to have drawn a record audience. Western media outlets also reported the interview in advance with outraged tone that Trump was offering an apology for the Russian leader, and equally as bad, that the president was making a moral equivalence with the misconduct of the US.

Britain’s Guardian headlined: «Donald Trump repeats his respect for ‘killer’ Putin».

The news outlet added: «Asked on Fox about the Kremlin chief’s bloody reputation, the US president said: ‘There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers’».

The Washington Post, among other outlets, noted that this was not the first time that Trump has appeared insouciant in front of interviewers who make claims about Putin’s alleged involvement in violent repression against opponents.

The Post recalled: «It wouldn’t be the first time Trump has brushed aside the topic of Putin’s political killings».

As with much of Western media coverage on Russia and its leader, there is an offending journalistic sloppiness that states allegations and even slander («Putin’s political killings») as if they are factual.

To continue reading: Trump’s Apology for ‘Killer Putin’ is Wrongheaded

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They Said That? 1/19/17

Revenge is sweet. Here’s a flashback compilations of quotes from journalists and pundits knocking Donald Trump when he announced his candidacy, from mrc NewsBusters, “Flashback: Journalists Mocked Trump’s Announcement as a Joke.”

When Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign on June 16, 2015, the savants in the news media weren’t just skeptical — they were openly disdainful of the man who will be sworn in as America’s 45th President at noon tomorrow.

Reporters sniffed that Trump’s campaign was a “carnival show” which threatened to turn the GOP primary race into “a joke.” CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin called Trump a “fool,” NBC’s Chuck Todd blasted him as “a political streaker,” and pundit after pundit insisted the real estate mogul had no chance of winning.

“Can we stipulate for the purposes of this conversation that Donald Trump will never be President of the United States?” Mike Barnicle proclaimed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe less than 24 hours after Trump’s campaign kick-off.

Trump’s candidacy was cast as more entertaining than important. NBC relegated it to the third slot on the June 16, 2015 Nightly News, after stories about a fatal balcony collapse and tropical storm. CBS pushed it down to the sixth slot, while ABC’s World News Tonight made it the ninth item of the night, 13 minutes into the 30-minute broadcast.

That night, Trump’s announcement merited less overall broadcast evening news airtime (4 minutes, 27 seconds) than an interview with Rachel Dolezal, a white Washington state NAACP official who sowed confusion by identifying herself as black (6 minutes, 29 seconds).

In contrast, when Barack Obama announced his presidential bid on February 10, 2007, both ABC and NBC led their evening broadcasts with the news, even though it had been anticipated for months. (CBS was pre-empted that Saturday night.)

Looking at the tone of coverage immediately after Trump’s announcement (June 16-17, 2015), correspondents and pundits alternated from laughing at Trump to declaring that he had no chance of winning. Minutes after Trump finished speaking, CNN commentator S. E. Cupp dismissed it “a rambling mess of a speech…I was howling. Howling.”

On MSNBC, host Andrea Mitchell snootily asked the former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell: “Do you have any doubt that this is anything more than a carnival show?”

Over on CNN, noontime anchor Ashleigh Banfield teased an upcoming segment on Trump’s announcement by asking if it was “hilarity run amuck,” while that night on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, GOP consultant Steve Schmidt admitted to “laughing out loud” while listening to clips of Trump’s speech.

The next day on CBS This Morning, an obviously amused Norah O’Donnell relayed that “some Republicans say they’re worried Trump will turn the campaign into a circus,” while the subsequent story by correspondent Nancy Cordes echoed how “party leaders worry Trump’s presence will turn the primary into a joke.”

On the June 16 edition of Bloomberg’s daily political show With All Due Respect, co-host John Heilemann announced: “I do not hate Donald Trump, but I do not take him seriously. I thought, you know, everything that was garish and ridiculous about him was fully on display….Will it get him anywhere close to becoming the nominee or the President of the United States? I think not.”

Many of the 2016 presidential candidates entered the race as long shots, but Trump was the only one to face an onslaught of immediate declarations that he would never win. “He can’t win, but he can get a lot of votes,” columnist E. J. Dionne, a former Washington Post and New York Times political reporter, predicted on MSNBC’s The Last Word.

Over on CNN, the Huffington Post’s Mark Lamont Hill agreed: “Of course he’s not going to win.” CBS correspondent Cordes echoed: “No one expects Trump to get close to winning the nomination.”

The morning after Trump’s announcement, NBC’s Today show relegated the news to a 23-second brief, but made sure to include this insulting sentence: “America’s largest Latino civil rights organization called Trump ‘an exceedingly silly man.’”

That night, NBC’s evening newscast featured a rare narrated piece by Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, who unloaded on Trump: “On the one hand, he’s a late-night joke….On the other, he’s the proverbial skunk at the garden party. How does the Republican Party handle a political streaker who knows how to get attention?”

Talking about the announcements one day apart of Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, CNN’s Carol Costello openly fretted how “sad” it was that the media were covering Trump. “Sadly, the biggest buzz surrounds Donald Trump,” Costello rued before displaying the New York Daily News cover showing Trump as a clown.

But in a fit of self-awareness on the June 17 edition of Bloomberg’s With All Due Respect, co-host Heilemann acknowledged the liberal media’s disdain for Trump: “For the national press corps and other elites, Donald Trump’s campaign is a pure vanity exercise, and a target ripe for outright mockery, or low-level derision.”

In fact, that’s exactly how the establishment viewed Trump 18 months ago, and why they felt so confident in their predictions that he couldn’t possibly win.

Trump’s victory in November, and his inauguration tomorrow, are just the latest reminders that the media’s political coverage is often seriously distorted by journalists’ smug confidence in a liberal world view that blinds them to the facts in front of them.

http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/rich-noyes/2017/01/19/flashback-journalists-mocked-trumps-announcement-joke

He’s Just Not That Into You, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

Donald Trump is not in a rush to meet the European leaders who insulted and dismissed him as a candidate. Imagine that. From  Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

I’m trying, I swear, to get into the fold, but I just can’t NOT find this hilarious. On the eve of his presidency, Donald Trump tells European leaders, by not telling them diddly-squat, that he doesn’t think they matter all that much. It’s not just that his vision of the EU, and its importance, is very different from theirs, he also remembers very well what many of them have said about him in the run-up to his election for the presidency.

Europe’s leaders, with the exception of Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen, have been ridiculing and outright demonizing Trump ever since he declared his candidacy. They’ve said similar things about him that they say about Vladimir Putin, and in the 2016 fake news avalanche they’ve thrown the two together in various ways and for reasons they claim are obvious, with quite a few Hitler quips thrown in for good measure.

Now, for some reason they all seem to think it’s important to meet with Trump before he meets with Putin, as if his view of the world, and that of his entire government, is so unbalanced it could be decided at the toss of a coin. Trump is having none of it. After having been compared to anything that’s considered worst under the sun, who’s going to blame him?

Donald Trump feels, and largely rightly so, that the principle of innocence before being proven guilty was abandoned with much fervor by many, and certainly across the EU. The result is that now he’s simply not that into them. He’s been shown no respect at all, and he has not forgotten that. And it leads to a situation that’s brilliantly entertaining.

To continue reading: He’s Just Not That Into You

 

Nothing Is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics, by John W. Whitehead

Garbage goes into people’s heads; garbage outcomes are the result. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“There are two ways by which the spirit of a culture may be shriveled. In the first—the Orwellian—culture becomes a prison. In the second—the Huxleyan—culture becomes a burlesque. No one needs to be reminded that our world is now marred by many prison-cultures…. it makes little difference if our wardens are inspired by right- or left-wing ideologies. The gates of the prison are equally impenetrable, surveillance equally rigorous, icon-worship pervasive…. Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours…. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”— Professor Neil Postman

Donald Trump no longer needs to launch Trump TV.

He’s already the star of his own political reality show.

Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment, and the Trump reality show—guest starring outraged Democrats with a newly awakened conscience for immigrants and the poor, power-hungry Republicans eager to take advantage of their return to power, and a hodgepodge of other special interest groups with dubious motives—feeds that appetite for titillating, soap opera drama.

After all, who needs the insults, narcissism and power plays that are hallmarks of reality shows such as Celebrity Apprentice or Keeping Up with the Kardashians when you can have all that and more delivered up by the likes of Donald Trump and his cohorts?

Yet as John Lennon reminds us, “nothing is real,” especially not in the world of politics.

Much like the fabricated universe in Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show, in which a man’s life is the basis for an elaborately staged television show aimed at selling products and procuring ratings, the political scene in the United States has devolved over the years into a carefully calibrated exercise in how to manipulate, polarize, propagandize and control a population.

To continue reading: Nothing Is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics

 

Trump vs. the CIA, Paul Craig Roberts

Trump needs to turn the tables on the intelligence agencies by highlighting and making an issue of their incompetence. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

When I read Trump’s defenders, such as Daniel Lazare, having to balance their defense with denunciations of Trump, I think the CIA’s propaganda is working. In his article, Lazare asks the rhetorical question, “Is a military coup in the works?” He then goes on to describe the CIA and presstitute coup against Trump unfolding before our eyes. https://consortiumnews.com/2017/01/14/the-scheme-to-take-down-trump/

Having described the unprecedented frame-up of the president-elect of the United States by the CIA and the Western media, Lazare has to square himself with those doing the frame-up:
“This is not to say that the so-called President-elect’s legitimacy is not open to question. . . . Trump is a rightwing blowhard whose absurd babblings about Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen reveal a man who is dangerously ignorant about how the world works.”

Note that Lazare goes beyond the CIA and the presstitutes by elevating Trump from someone not sufficiently suspicious of Vladimir Putin to “dangerously ignorant.” I suppose Lazare means dangerously ignorant like Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama. If this is what Lazare means, why is Trump any less qualified to be president than his three most recent predecessors and his opponent in the election?

Of course, Lazare has no idea what he means. He is simply afraid he will be called a “Trump deplorable,” and he stuck in some denuciatory words to ward off his dismissal as just another Russian agent.

At other times I conclude that the CIA is discrediting itself with its fierce and transparently false attack on the president elect. The attack on Trump from the CIA and its media agents at the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, the network TV channels, the BBC, the Guardian, and every other Western print and TV source with the exception of Fox News, is based on no evidence whatsoever. None of the US 16 intelligence agencies can produce a tiny scrap of evidence. The evidence consists of nothing but constant repetitions of blatant lies fed into the presstitute media by the CIA .

To continue reading; Trump vs. the CIA

Fire With Fire, by Raúl Ilargi Meijer

NATO has to go,Brexit was a good thing, the EU is an instrument for Germany’s domination of Europe, and Donald Trump was right to say all these things, to the consternation of American and European elites. From Raúl Ilargi Meijer at theautomaticearth.com:

Sometimes you best fight fire with fire. This knowledge goes back to the advent of agriculture. Australian aboriginees have used it since as long as their stories of dream time can remember. For Native Americans it was an essential part of their lives. These days, we need Trump to fight the fire of an elite class world power that is a threat to all of us.

Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
Threaten the threatener and outface the brow
Of bragging horror

Shapespeare: King John, 1595

Been greatly enjoying Donald Trump’s pair of interviews with the European press this weekend, in the shape of German scandal paper Bild’s chief, very-right Kai Diekmann, and disgraced Brexiteer Michael Gove for the Sunday Times. What a pair of choices, by the way, what’s next, a Russian interview conducted by Zhirinovsky?. Who picked those clowns? Let’s just hope it was the Trump campaign.

Enjoying it not in the least because Trump is right in just about everything he says. At least, as per what we at the Automatic Earth have been saying about some of the topics involved all along. And we’re not Trump fans, we just think the others are more wrong than he is, and that it’s high time to abolish the EU, and NATO, and sure, the CIA too.

Speaking of which: Chuck Shumer has made it all the way to Senate leader for the Democrats, right? And then he says about Trump’s criticism of US intel and the Steele ‘report’:

“Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. For a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Want to take any of that back, Chuck? While you still can? Because, you know, threatening the president-elect with the might of the CIA, what does that say about your view of who actually rules the country, Charlie? That’s not a gaffe, that’s what would in America’s better days have been a career buster, buster. But your own rudderless party won’t call you on it, and Trump would love for you to keep your seat; one less worry. Still, c’mon, you just can’t say sh*t like that. It’s beyond any pale. Or, you know, it once was.

To continue reading: Fire With Fire

Donald and the Dollar, by Antonius Aquinas

Great nations don’t generally have weak currencies. From Antonius Aquinas on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

John Connally, President Nixon’s Secretary of the Treasury, once remarked to the consternation of Europe’s financial elites over America’s inflationary monetary policy, that the dollar “is our currency, but your problem.” Times have certainly changed and it now appears that the dollar has become an American problem.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, the soon to be 45th President of the United States believes that the greenback’s strength – up some 25% against a broad basket of currencies since 2014 – is now “too strong,” “killing us,” and has hurt companies trying to compete overseas.* A top Trump economics advisor, Anthony Scaramucci, reinforced his boss’ sentiment adding that “we must be careful of a rising dollar.”

Apparently, making America great again does not include the nation’s monetary standard. Trump’s belief that the dollar is too strong also shows a distinct lack of historical understanding. Every great nation and empire (which Trump promises to restore America to) had a sound monetary system. It is no coincidence that the pound sterling was the world’s “reserve currency” at the time when the British Empire was at its height. Debasement of it to finance Britain’s insane decision to enter World War I led, in large part, to the eventual loss of its empire. If Trump truly seeks to restore American greatness at home and its prestige throughout the world, devaluating the currency is not the way to go.

To continue reading: Donald and the Dollar