What Trump (or some designated flunky) tweeted this morning:
Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, â€œEnemy of the People.â€ Sad!
â€” Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2018
What A.G. Sulzberger says what happened:
My main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the presidentâ€™s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.
I told the president directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.
I told him that although the phrase â€œfake newsâ€ is untrue and harmful, I am far more concerned about his labeling journalists â€œthe enemy of the people.â€ I warned that this inflammatory language is contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.
I repeatedly stressed that this is particularly true abroad, where the presidentâ€™s rhetoric is being used by some regimes to justify sweeping crackdowns on journalists. I warned that it was putting lives at risk, that it was undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and that it was eroding one of our countryâ€™s greatest exports: a commitment to free speech and a free press.
Throughout the conversation I emphasized that if President Trump, like previous presidents, was upset with coverage of his administration he was of course free to tell the world. I made clear repeatedly that I was not asking forÂ him to soften his attacks on The Times if he felt our coverage was unfair. Instead, I implored him to reconsider his broader attacks on journalism, which I believe are dangerous and harmful to our country.
Really! I think it is a plot to exhaust us and look strong to his base. I cannot ascribe more serious political thought to Trump, just superficial power-grabbing that is resulting in serious destruction of this nation.
Sulzberger is the sad one. He should know by now that you can't get through to an NPD to just do the right thing. He'd have better luck telling David Miscavige to just do the right thing and disband Scientology.
Yes, send the editor of the town's newspaper to "begxplain (a combo-word I just created)" to the nasty malicious dragon – who, on a whim, burns down buildings, grabs the valley's maidens, and then, in his spare time, threatens other towns and valley's – how much harm he's doing to the whole dsmn country.
Dragon don't care.
Dragon just wanna have fun!
And this particular toupee-wearing dragon loves to stir-up conflict(s).
And he listens to no one.
Ok, maybe there is one:
A brain-damaged, deranged, moronic, mendacious, malignant, malicious, and rabid FOX, who is part mentor, part co-conspirator, part father-confessor.
Oh, and even more importantly of course, there is the dragon's boss.
The dragon's dragon himself: Vlad "The Assassin's Assassin" Putin.
The American Dragon not only listens, HE OBEY'S!
Bill, I am curious how Sulzberger will go forward. Will he let this statement be it? Contrasted against the tweet, there are two utterly different views and presentations of what went on. I am confident which one has credibility, but I am also confident that Trump's version is the operative one in Trumplandia. It has been so ever since the campaign. I wonder if the Democrats will now exert themselves to get votes from people who have been investing belief in Trump for so long. It will be futile. Also, I do not think "moderate" Republicans who voted for Trump and have remained silent, which seems to be all of them, will go against him in large numbers. I don't think they are really all that moderate. Young people are the best hope for the Democrats, but not if the corporate Dems continue being Republican Lite. Trump has a working relationship with the resentful, the racist, the hopeless, the easily fooled, the authoritarian followers and conspiracy theorists. And some, I assume, are good people. Mmmm, nope.
As I’ve said before, journalists need to start bringing along security tough enough to hurt any rent-a-thugs Trump might be bringing.
And I think the press needs to use appropriate messaging: no more â€œPresident Trump claimsâ€; something more like â€œTrump erroneously insistsâ€. The guy deserves NO respect; he never earned any, he’s been a cheat and a grifter his whole life.
Bill Bush, if I was to assume that Sulzberger knew exactly what he was dealing with, his statement may have been intended to highlight (or reconfirm) Trumps pathology to as many normal readers as possible, while presenting himself as an honest and reasonable American patriot who at least tried to reason with him. I’ll change my opinion about him if he will go forward. I’m hoping that he or his will skillfully yet firmly keep trying to convince us that we’re not dealing with a psychologically normal human being here, separate from all the usual folly found in Trumplandia.
Speaking of which… When it comes to a heroic figure who is beloved for his lying, cheating, and stealing for a cause, I usually think of Robin Hood. But Trump steals from the poor to give to the rich. Man, you’ve gotta be pretty messed up to be supporting that shit. And if you claim to be an evangelical, sweet creeping Jesus. Is that another pathology which needs to be addressed?
Fortunately, young people are registering to vote in droves.
I think it is giving him too much credit to say he is lying. Listen to tapes of how he sounded when he was younger. He was a scoundrel back then too, but a coherent one who could speak in complete sentences. I think what we are seeing now is full blown dementia. What horrifies me are the people around him who know this about him and want him in place anyway because it gives them cover to advance their own toxic agendas.
If public information is demonstrably false, yet keeps getting headlined, it is meant to function as a distraction. Someone used the great analogy of a laser pointer. If something in the news acts like a zombie and doesn't die even when proved false, it's a red dot. Continuing to follow the story is the human equivalent of chasing that red dot.
Also, I'm reminding myself not to let this story lull me into thinking that the folks at the NYT are victimized waifs. Their revenue stream has enjoyed a brisk uptick from covering Trump. I'm sure their concerns about him are sincere, but they are also complicit in creating the problem.
I really don't understand why Americans aren't fucking up his golf courses and hotels. What happened to the 60's spirit?