Tuesday, October 22, 2019


This is chilling.

No, wait -- did I say "chilling"? I meant pathetic.
The White House said Tuesday it will not be renewing subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post, two papers the president frequently attacks as “fake” and which he suggested canceling the previous night in a TV appearance.

Monday on Fox News’ “Hannity,” President Donald Trump called the Times “a fake newspaper” and said “we don’t even want it in the White House anymore.”

“We’re going to probably terminate that and The Washington Post,” Trump said. “They’re fake.”

Trump’s “terminate” remarks were interpreted by journalists on Twitter as meaning canceling paper subscriptions, rather than kicking reporters out of the White House. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham confirmed to POLITICO that he was talking about subscriptions, “which we won’t be renewing.”’
He really doesn't know, does he? He doesn't understand that people can read the Times and the Post on their phones and computers, and that they can do this using their own personal subscriptions. Yes, even in the White House.

(He also doesn't know that staffers may be publicly announcing that the subscriptions won't be renewed in the hope that Trump will soon forget that he demanded their cancellation, which is probably a safe bet.)

Trump also said:
“Look, they give Pulitzer prizes to people who got it wrong, okay? ... They’re fake. You take a look at the New York Times and you take a look at the reporting they do– it turned out to be all wrong.”
There's a preposterous gloss on this from a site co-founded by Laura Ingraham, LifeZette.
Among other examples, the president is likely referring to the controversial 1920s-era New York Times reporter Walter Duranty, who ignored reports of massive and gruesome Soviet atrocities, and 1950s-era Times reporter Herbert Matthews, who made the glorification of Fidel Castro a journalistic campaign. Matthews refused to accept evidence Castro was a communist — and was himself a propaganda tool.
It's hilarious that LifeZette's David Kamioner believes that Trump has ever heard of either of these reporters.

Trump plans to cancel the White House's dead-tree copies of the Times and Post? It's moves like this that make me question recent mainstream-media stories about the Trump campaign's awe-inspiring online advertising campaign and its earth-shattering campaign rallies. We're told that the rallies and the Facebook ads are a mortal threat to the eventual Democratic nominee because they're motivating Trump loyalists to turn out -- but Trump motivates the loyalists, and only the loyalists, every day. The newspaper cancellations (or, strictly speaking, non-renewals) are part of today's daily motivation for the loyalists. The typical day's tweets and helicopter talk are motivation. Nearly everything Trump does is intended to motivate the base (and also make Trump feel better about himself and his life).

As I often say: How motivated can these people get? They can each only vote once. Meanwhile, the rest of the electorate is alienated by everything that motivates the base, as the recent PRRI poll notes:
Nearly three in four (73%) Americans say they wish Trump’s speech and behavior were more consistent with past presidents.... Less than half (46%) of Republicans say they wish Trump’s behavior was more consistent with past presidents, compared to 74% of independents and 88% of Democrats who say the same....

Almost two-thirds (65%) of Americans say that Trump has damaged the dignity of the presidency, while 35% say he has not. Democrats are in near-universal agreement (92%), and more than seven in ten (72%) of independents agree that the dignity of the office of the presidency has suffered under Trump.
So yes, Donnie, you just kep selling your product to people who've already agreed to buy it.

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