Friday, March 3, 2017

How The Press Should Confront And Tame Trump

Image result for trump the elephant in the room

Donald's Doozies: A Yuge (And Yugely Incomplete) Compendium Of Trump's "Pants On Fire" Lies

"As Trump Berates News Media, A New Strategy Is Needed To Cover Him," New York Times

It is no secret that there is an "elephant in the room." 

Never has America experienced a putative president -- partially elected with the help of Vladimir Putin -- so super-saturated with falsehood as Donald Trump.


Not even close.

It's "1984" all over again... Falsehood Is Truth.

Sought Presidency To Become Minister Of Truth | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
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This is the first time that a sociopath has been elected by a citizenry as easily seduced by Donald's "charms" as all the lovely young women who "lost their heads" over Ted Bundy.

The Despicable One has grabbed the entire nation by the pussy.

As a body politic, how do we grapple with the normalization of manifest lunacy?

How do we deal with a political milieu in which Trump's blizzard of bullshit simultaneously blinds and exhausts the populace.

Donald's Doozies: A Yuge (And Yugely Incomplete) Compendium Of Trump's "Pants On Fire" Lies

Allow me to blurt out my "solution."

Every time a reporter engages Trump -- or one of his spokespersons -- make a brief declaration at the outset (or soon thereafter). 

It would go something like this: 

"President Trump has no right to claim the moral high ground after winning The Oval Office through ceaseless falsehood, manipulation and deceit. Trump has proven himself a habitual liar -- in word and deed -- and it is my responsibility as a reporter to represent him for what he is until such time as he proves to be a dependable truth-teller. The American people deserve a president whose first response is to tell the truth, simultaneously relinquishing his self-designated role as an inflammatory provocateur who gets up in the morning wondering what group of outsiders to humiliate or threaten next." 

Here are two ways Trump could begin this transformation. 

1.)  Trump would release his tax returns. 

2.) Trump would call for an independent investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He would also declare, in no uncertain terms, that Vladimir Putin is a "bad actor" -- far worse than any "bad hombre" south of the border -- and that the United States will persistently portray Putin as a kleptocratic thug-murderer whose seizure of Crimea was an abominable breach of national sovereignty and, until Crimea is returned to the Ukranian people, the United States will apply palpably painful pressure to contain Russia and its unabashedly expansionist leader.   

Along with the above initiatives, every major news agency will maintain and promote an online "document-and-video repository," archiving and indexing Trump's " manglings, misrepresentations and whole-cloth lies." 

Such promotion of truth, transparency and democracy would be further enhanced if the proposed "document repository" were a joint enterprise shared by all major news outlets, with less-well-known agencies subscribing and contributing to the extent possible.

Keith Olbermann's "176 Reasons Trump Shouldn't Be President" serves as a template for what might be called: "The Trump Truth Vault."

Keith Olbermann's 176 Reasons Trump Shouldn't Be President
(Yes, It's All Here And Worth Hearing In One Relentless Torrent)

Trump must be continually reminded that he is a public servant employed by the American people, and that the nation deserves, at minimum, a president who speaks truth as the very warp-and-weft of his life, a president who does not only speak truth when his habitual falsehood accidentally lapses.

Whenever mainstream reporters embark a serious discussion with Trump, make clear that they will "pull the plug" - right then and there - unless the president adheres to fact-checkable truth.

There is nothing that Trump -- a textbook narcissist -- could hate more than being deprived of news cycle dominance.

So, until truth-telling becomes Trump's daily bread, let him rant as much as he likes. But let him rant in isolation.

Video: Jake Tapper Interviewed By Trevor Noah
(Tapper says CNN is "kicking ass" and Trump needs his network far more than CNN needs Trump.)

The sooner Devious Donald recognizes his madness, the better. 

A word about Donald's "Daily Twitter Zoo."

The press -- no longer reporting the liar's Twitter feed of lies, bilge, malice and nearly paranoid ill will -- will dedicate itself to the sustained pursuit of the Truth Donald disguises in floods of falsehood, persistently dredging real news about matters of consequence. 

No more reality TV.

No more Trump-strutting.

No more press-reflection-pool for Narcissus.

No more presidency modeled on the trumpery of professional wrestling.

Instead, the news will reveal the Truth about Trump, refusing to regurgitate his daily diet of bombast, bluster and bigotry, an endless carousel of malevolence that leads nowhere .

Instead, American reporters will acknowledge from the get-go that Trump is a proven liar whose bully pulpit will be shut down, whose plug will be pulled. 

And until such time as Donald demonstrates his rehabilitation, the press corps will dedicate itself to digging deep -- ignoring Trump's misdirection and misinformation, surrendering the White House press room to Faux News -- in order to reveal (to the extent possible) what's really going on and how responsible citizens can advance The Common Good and General Welfare.

Consider the following exchange between Anderson Cooper and Kellyanne Conway in which Ms. Conway tries to seize the "high moral ground" because a bit of mainstream "fake news" became the current news cycle's cause celebre.

Anderson Cooper, Trump Adviser Clash Over Russia Report

In this kind of encounter, people from the press should - with the tenacity of alpha dogs gnawing bloody bones -- turn the conversation to Trump's most salient characteristic, to wit his never-ending, self-serving mendacity. 

Without dependable touchstones of truth, all will be lost and the colluding sociopaths in Washington, Moscow and Manila will win.

Don't let them.

Be brazen in your quest for persistent identification of falsehood.

And lest we forget, there are times when a citizen's highest calling is to proclaim to people in positions of "public trust" that they are, in fact, liars.

It is hard to grapple with a problem until it is properly delineated and named.

As long as Trump's remains a bald-faced liar, he will also remain a clear and present danger to American democracy, to The Common Good, to The General Welfare and to Domestic Tranquility

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