Thursday, February 28, 2019


Steve Inskeep on NPR's Morning Edition this morning:
In his books and speeches, President Trump has often promoted the power of walking away from a deal, and that is what he did in Vietnam today, ending a summit early with the leader of North Korea.

Sean Hannity on Fox News this morning:
... You know what's really funny -- and I see this about the news media all the time -- if they would just maybe take a little bit of time and try and understand President Trump a little bit more. Maybe they could read The Art of the Deal, because I think -- one of the best-selling business books in history, and what does he say in there? If you want to be a great businessperson, up to the last second in any deal, you gotta be able to stand up and walk away and not want it too much....

The brilliance of that line is that for decades it has enabled Trump to portray negotiating failures as successes, in a Pee-wee Herman way -- "I meant to do that." It's unsurprising that Hannity would reach for it after the collapse of negotiations with North Korea, and obviously the Fox audience is gullible enough to nod in agreement.

It would be nice if NPR didn't invoke the same self-serving rationalization. But I guess that's too much to ask.

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