Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Going Into The Final Month Before The Midterms, 65% Of Americans See Trump As Dishonest


Joseph Goebbels, Master of Propaganda by Nancy Ohanian

Trump has an astonishingly bad job approval rating. In the latest SSRS poll for CNN his overall approval was just 36% and disapproval had risen to 58%. Worse yet, just 32% of Americans perceive him as honest and trustworthy. 65% of Americans see him as dishonest and untrustworthy. The only people who still say they find him honest have been brain-washed by Hate Talk Radio and Fox News. Normal Americans see right through the bullshit and gas-lighting.

Lisa Brown, former chancellor of Washington State University, seems to get offended by the way so many Republicans have suddenly embraced Trump's penchant for creating his own "facts" out of thin air. "Ironically, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has made 'civility' a theme of her campaign," she told me yesterday. "Yet, she was silent when the President mocked Dr. Ford and when he called Senator Elizabeth Warren 'Pocahontas,' and she doesn’t object when he makes statements that are demonstrably false. Her well-publicized distortions of my record and hers speak to a capitulation to a Trump-style loose relationship with the facts that feeds voter distrust of her and desire for change after 14 years of party-line representation."

Monday Matt Gertz of Media Matters, penned an essay on how all the lying is being dealt with by the mass media, The press helped build Donald Trump's lie; now it has to reckon with that.

Donald Trump rose to prominence and the presidency on the strength of his self-proclaimed mastery of The Art of the Deal. It was that business acumen, Trump claimed, that allowed him to turn a paltry loan from his father into a vast empire. But last week, the New York Times revealed that Trump was not the self-made billionaire he had claimed to be but rather the recipient of at least $413 million from his father, in part through tax schemes the paper described as “outright fraud.”

The painstaking investigation by Times reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner is not just a skillful demolition of the origin story Trump told. It’s also a rebuke to generations of journalists who bolstered Trump’s tale. Trump provided the myth, but he needed the press to trumpet it out to the public. The result was a lie so durable that no single story, however brilliant, can unravel it.

As president, Trump has waged war on the “fake news” press. But long before he reached the Oval Office, he depended on overly trusting journalists to burnish his reputation. To their credit, The Times reporters are up front about the role their own paper played, noting early in the piece that his self-proclaimed narrative “was long amplified by often-credulous coverage from news organizations, including The Times.” In one particularly devastating example, they highlight a 1976 Times profile-- “a cornerstone of decades of mythmaking about his wealth”-- in which the then-30-year-old Trump simply passed off his father’s businesses as his own, claims the paper’s reporters obviously didn’t scrutinize at the time.

In the years that followed, media coverage would crystallize that image of Trump as a self-made success and deal-maker extraordinaire. Some pushed back on that story-- The Times article names four journalists and biographers whose work was particularly vital: Gwenda Blair, David Cay Johnston, Timothy L. O’Brien, and the late Wayne Barrett. But on balance, reporters were taken in by Trump’s skillful manipulation, vulnerable to his understanding that they were “always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better.” The early profiles of the 1970s would generate the magazine covers, tabloid frenzy, and talk show interviews of the 1980s. By the 1990s, Trump was a pop culture icon, a symbol of wealth and power. And in 2004, NBC launched the blockbuster reality show The Apprentice, bringing Trump’s preferred persona as a respected and ever-successful mogul into the homes of millions.

“Money is at the core of the brand Mr. Trump has so successfully sold to the world,” The Times’ reporters conclude. “Yet essential to that mythmaking has been keeping the truth of his money-- how much of it he actually has, where and whom it came from-- hidden or obscured. Across the decades, aided and abetted by less-than-aggressive journalism, Mr. Trump has made sure his financial history would be sensationalized far more than seen.”

Now Barstow, Craig, and Buettner have provided the aggressive journalism that had been lacking. But it remains to be seen whether the facts they have mustered can convince the public that the story so many of their colleagues helped Trump tell was a lie.

Trump has a built-in insurance policy against such reporting. No longer relying on the press to burnish his image, Trump has convinced his supporters that critical news outlets can’t be trusted. As the media critic and journalism professor Jay Rosen puts it, “Before journalists log on in the morning, one third of their potential public is gone.” Trump’s supporters instead tune in to sycophantic right-wing outlets like Fox News, where The Times story has been alternately ignored and spun as a good thing for the president. The network’s audience isn’t going to believe a story from what Trump terms the "failing New York Times" over the president himself.

And even audiences that might be open to learning new facts about Trump could simply miss them. The Times report was initially met with a flurry of secondary coverage by other media outlets. But that focus quickly dissipated in the face of the GOP push to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and by the end of the week, the story had largely faded from broadcast and cable news. On Saturday, The Times itself published an analysis finding that the previous week had been the best of Trump’s presidency. The piece did not mention the paper’s own bombshell report exposing how the president benefited from tax fraud.

The next day, perhaps in an effort to regain momentum, The Times republished its story in a separate section. But that morning, Meet the Press, This Week, Face the Nation, and Fox News Sunday-- weekly talk shows that focus on politics and historically set the news agenda for the week-- all completely ignored it. (The story was brought up in passing by a panelist on CNN's State of the Union.)

But for all that Trump has been the star and producer of his own long-running soap opera, he’s not its only author. And The Times report has brought new players onto the stage: New York City and state regulators plan to review the foundations of Trump’s fortune, while congressional Democrats are promising to force the release of the president’s tax returns if they regain power. If the Times investigation turns into a long-running storyline rather than a one-off episode, it might finally break through.

In yesterday's Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin weeped over the rotting carcass of her Republican Party, whining that the "Trumpization is complete. It’s not a conservative party, or a small government party or an anti-authoritarian party (to the contrary!)... no principle, dismissive of courtesy and reasoned persuasion. Anger, not ideas, is its animating force. We have a nativist party that views America not as a creedal nation, but as a white Christian nation that is diminished by immigrants and is threatened by outsiders. If it possesses any coherent philosophy, it is one of victimhood-- which in turn justifies any and all bad behavior... Any Republicans thinking of challenging President Trump because they recoil from the party of Trump is, I hate to break it to them, out of luck. The party wants the mocking cruelty, the attacks on the press and on women, the protectionism and the white nationalism. These things define it." What's shocking to Ms. Rubin, was apparent to normal people who abhor a huckster long ago. How could anyone possibly feel any affinity for a party that allowed itself-- with barely a gasp-- to be taken over by a lowlife crook like Trump? Michael Bloomberg warned them.

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At 6:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

trump isn't anything unusual in politics.

the entire Nazi party is based on nothing but lies: climate change is a hoax; tax cuts will balance the budget; god hates gays...

the entire democrap party is based on a single lie: 'we care and will fight for you'.

Since corporations' PR to keep the populace placated are mostly lies, it's no surprise they serve to perpetuate all the political lies.

In this cluster fuck of a shithole, there really isn't a lot of truth being purveyed.

Even DWT purveys lies: 'hold your nose and elect democraps to thwart trump'.

democraps aren't going to thwart anyone except their own voters. fortunately for DWT and their party, their voters can't think their way out of a room with no walls and open doors.

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go back to Russia you piece of shit. You contribute nothing to this discussion. Just the same tired one note.

At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what if 65% see Trump as dishonest? 35% still support the bastard, and too many state election systems remain under the control of corrupt Republicans. We do not have any way to verify if the reported results of Republican victories are accurate.

Dragging Russia into this mess now, but not in the way one might think. As Stalin once reportedly said, it isn't who votes, but who counts the votes that matters. It remains thus today with unverifiable electoral systems and corrupt election officials.

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:48, between the two of us, only one has offered facts, dates and plenty of examples to support his/her contentions. The other one just calls the other names.

Which of us contributes nothing? Pretty clear, eh?

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You haven't offered one god damn thing. All you're about is "fuck the Democrats." You're doing Trump's work for him. You're spreading Trump's message. You're a piece of shit.

At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama had control of all three branches of Gov't and instead of going after the bankers, Cheney, and the illegal Iraq war he told the nation to look forward. Well forward to now and you see a mutant carrot-top Cheney practicing a reality based political comedy show: where the rich benefit and the nation is the brunt of his jokes. Kavanaugh was a part of Bush's cabal as a inquisitor to the "constitutional" barriers to implement the patriot act. Obama and the `Dems did nothing to right these wrongs and also not allow discussion of single payer or medicare for all as the ACA was rammed through. If the Dems win then a reprieve of the forward looking march may be stopped in it's tracks for now, and people will think that's victory vs. a right wing time-out so they can catch their breath. note: the brave Obama now says he supports medicare for all.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, 2:51, and the teachers of Wisconsin are still waiting for Barry to find his comfy shoes and go picketing with them.

Many will die waiting for Barry to actually DO something to bring about Medicare For All. It's what any "moderate 1985 Reagan Republican" would do to save his corporatist masters.

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

see, 1:20? you're the troll. We have facts, data, examples, proof. You got dick except insults. Typical for a republican/Nazi.

I remind 4:14 that obamanation actually forbade his DOL from going to WI to help in any way. I'll wager his corporate donors were VEEEEEERY grateful, if you get my drift.

"Barry" headed off the MFA talk by VERBALLY advocating a PO after he already had vowed to the insurance lobby and PHRMA that no such thing would be included in ACA. He then insured that promise by giving the bill over to max Baucus and the insurance lobbyist he was fucking to write. They did their job well. No PO, no MFA and insurance was not encumbered from gouging to their heart's content. The symbolic concession was pre-existing conditions.. but that wouldn't last long. I'm quite sure that the 'craps gave them a promise of repeal or modification within a cycle should the Nazis not retake the senate.

The betrayals and all around pathetic performance of the 'craps led to the anti-blue tsunami of 2010 which still swamps most of the nation and led to trump.

just imagine if the 'craps had actually done what the Democrats did '32 - '36.

We'll have to just imagine. No such party exists today.

At 10:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do **ONLY** 65% of americans "see" trump as dishonest?

Because 35% of americans are brain dead?


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