43 Comments

I figured that by late March he was letting this virus spread intentionally, but it still felt like a gut punch to have my suspicions proven correctly.

All those people who cried on election night 2016 knew deep down we'd face frightening situations like this when they were preventable...

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author

Yep, I had same suspicion. for media though, it was unthinkable

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I think we need to admit that most of the media support Trump and his agenda and are willingly complicit in purveying propatainment for a wannabe Fascist dictator. It's very obvious and we need to not gaslight or do a Haberman on ourselves any longer.

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I must add there are still courageous dedicated reporters whose work is stellar.

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founding

In July Vanity Fair reported that Jared’s genius team had decided a nation plan wasn’t needed because the virus was hitting mainly blue states. That is why Trump didn’t care about letting it spread.

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founding

@eric how does the media get held accountable. The horse race narrative the willingness to give trump the benefit of the doubt etc.?

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founding

That’s the big question isn’t it? What has really disturbed me for a long time is how many Democrats get bamboozled by the games the mainstream media plays. Sure they know Fox News can’t be trusted it they are not skeptical enough when it comes to the supposedly liberal mainstream media. I spent a lot of time in 2000 convincing Democrats I knew that Al Gore had never claimed to have invented the internet, that he had actually played an influential role in its creation by working relentlessly to get his colleagues in Congress to fund it. The media knew these facts and knew this was just a typical Rove smear but they played along anyway because the found Bush “more fun to have a beer with”.

I am still hearing Democrats say that we should never have run a candidate as disliked as Hillary. They have no idea that when she started running she had very high approval ratings. That changed after dishonest right wing attacks that were aided and abetted by the mainstream media. Steve Bannon and his henchman Peter Schweitzer pushed dishonest smears about the Clinton Foundation that both the Times and WaPo echoed. The email issue reporting was deeply misleading, wildly overblown and often factually wrong. Any Democrat who gets that kind of treatment is going to become very unpopular if people are gullible enough to get sucked into the smears because the mainstream media backs up the right wing accusations.

Hopefully sites like this one will wake up enough Democrats that the MSM stops playing these games but I won’t hold my breath.

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I agree with you. And part of the dread I felt that night was that I knew the media would prop him and the Republicans up no matter what they did.

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Was anybody else struck by how measured Trump was in these private tapes where he admitted the dangers of COVID?

He acts completely different in press conferences, and I'm thinking that's all been intentional too.

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author

he’s just a stable person, it seems to me

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founding

He is measured when he feels he is controlling the situation. I just heard a report on MSNBC that said the reason he agreed to all those interviews was that he had hated Woodward’s first book about the Trump administration and blamed it on the fact that he hadn’t granted Woodward any interviews. He believed that he could control the narrative by bamboozling Woodward with his charm. Trump becomes erratic and says bizarre things when he feels he has lost control and his fake facade is crumbling. That is when he is most dangerous as is the case with narcissists.

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What can one say at this point. Trump is all the horrible things people say he is. All the negative attributes, all the negative behaviors, all the criminal and sociopathic activities - he is all of those. If there were something that was the polar opposite of hyperbole, it would describe all things people say about Donald Trump. In fact, critics likely temper their words because they come across as hyperbolic.

Bottom line is that I'm sure it's difficult for average people to believe that Trump literally does not care if someone else lives or dies. He notices that they are dead for a few seconds, but then he shrugs and moves on to the next self-absorbed thing he's thinking about.

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author

the press certainly resists the truth that clearly doesn’t care if people die

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It's profoundly sad that what you say is true.

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author

absolutely. He’s a narcissist and a psychopath

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Woodward chose to let this devastation increase for the sake of book sales.

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author

this is how the game is now played...everyday covering Trump gets a book deal, which means everyone desperately wants access. Then they sit on key revelations to sell their books

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That’s not entirely true. Writers like him check, double and triple check quotes with hundreds of sources and contacts and it all takes a lot of time. There is also the fact that there has to be a financial component when it comes to the investors/publisher. Focus on the real criminal in this story, Donald J.Trump along with his complicit Administration and members of the Congress in both Houses !

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Yes, that's what Woodward is saying. Then there's the moral and ethical thing to do.

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It's certainly fair to question Woodward's actions--and it isn't the first time. But that question is also of a piece with what Mr. Boehlert wrote for today: How journalists have failed. Woodward treated him like any other major source--consider when he talked with people in the Bush White House. Even THEY were less treasonous--note the qualifiers--than the current White House. Like the rest of the media, as Mr. Boehlert reminds us, Woodward really doesn't conceive that he is dealing with something different.

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Indeed, but this is much more egregious than possibly any other example.

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Agreed. Of course, egregious is the average for this crowd!

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Part of me hoped to wake to headlines calling for resignation. The call would be legitimately based on the single reporting and disclosure in his own voice of negligent homicide, or the overwhelming body of evidence at this point with the Woodward tapes being the "last straw."

And now another whistleblower steps forward again confirming the Russia allegiance.

Your assessments of the Beltway press are always dead on. But at this point it appears the press across the country has fallen into the same stupor.

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author

Sadly, that last straw does not exist

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It's just my opinion -- I don't think I've convinced you yet -- but there IS a last straw. It's to be found in Trump's complete medical records, which were stolen from Dr. Harold Bornstein's office 2/3/17, by Alan Garten, Keith Schiller and Matthew Calamari. The documentation to show that Trump has a prior diagnosis of mental illness EXISTS. Instead of destroying the records, Giuliani held onto them, to guarantee that he would stay in Trump's good graces, as he told Fox's Ed Henry here:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/giuliani-attacks-foes-claims-again-have-insurance-keep-trump-loyal-n1090171

My belief is that Putin has the same "insurance" as Giuliani, and thereby controls Trump's actions.

10/13/16 Trump blocked his own campaign's attempt to do self-opposition research on him, for fear that THEY would find out about what exists in those medical records, which could end Trump's Presidency via the 25th Amendment.

Giuliani, Garten, Schiller and Calamari owe this country an explanation . . . and THAT would be the "last straw."

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Not having the expertise or even the desire to plunge into the sludge that is Trump's brain; he down played it to give the appearance of strength? Really?

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author

completely irrational—but how on earth did he get entire federal govt to also bow down to pandemic?

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Easy. The entire GOP hierarchy is complicit, and has been since shortly after the 2016 election. Remember, once you have made one concession to a foreign entity such as Russia under Putin and gangsters like Mogilevich, they have you. And McConnell along with people like Graham had plenty of personal issues even before they took the money. Which they all did. Guys like Boehner, Ryan, Corker and Flake ran for the hills when the shit got entirely too real.

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founding

No the GOP has been complicit since newt Gingrich. The bush administration Allowed them to burrow “operatives” in the federal govt. Those are now dept heads. When trump was ready, they were ready.

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Mr. Walter has his half of it spot on.

The other half involves appointing political supporters to the leadership positions of the Govt. Have those political appointees seize full authority for making public statements. Have those statements only reflect the wishes of the Leader.

Quality scientists, attorneys in the DOJ, could be making a lot more money outside govt. They accept less money to “make a difference” or “serve the people”. Take both of those away & it’s easy to get the govt. to conform.

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I'd really like to believe that these revelations will give pause to some of his supporters.

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author

right? unfortunately it’s more of a cult

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Isn't it amazing how easily they rationalize everything?

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Eric:

Same subject, two vastly differing headlines:

THE HILL: Majority of voters don't see either Trump, Biden as mentally fit to be president: poll

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/515818-majority-of-voters-dont-see-either-trump-biden-as-mentally-fit-to-be

NEWSWEEK: Fox News Poll Shows Americans Saying Biden Is More Mentally Sound Than Trump to Serve as President

https://www.newsweek.com/fox-news-poll-shows-americans-saying-biden-more-mentally-sound-trump-serve-president-1531576

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The line of not inciting a panic is so thin, yet repeated all over the airwaves. It’s a defense that isn’t without logic, until you realize the scale of what was coming, and the fact that he’s still holding in person virus super spreader events...I mean rallies...

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Eric, just in case you don't get the NYT daily On Politics newsletter, boy do they have a pro-Trump / anti-Biden-like approach this morning (no surprise):

https://nyti.ms/35wxoaT

Also, in the above they discuss that in Florida, Biden and Trump are splitting Latinx voters 50/50 ... maybe .. but that's the polling they have. I simply do not understand that. After all the trash racial talk he's done the past 3.5 years.

Final note: it's Saturday morning, and why does it feel like Woodward's book is all of a sudden feeling less important than it should be? I hope I'm wrong about that. This administration and this media, unbelievable.

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Two quick points: You can’t criticize Trump’s response or reaction to the pandemic crises without criticizing his enabling party that has been equally bad in its own way.

The establishment press, by being establishment, per se frequently veers into misinformation. An extreme example of that is the dishonest reporting on the post-2008 recovery. But refusing to call a POTUS who has caused the death of over a hundred thousand Americans what he is — a killer — veers into disinformation. It’s irresponsible, to say the least.

I should add I’m writing this on 9/11 when the nation is honoring the ~4,000 victims of foreign, Saudi Arabia-backed terrorists. Somehow, I can’t see the nation honoring those killed by their own leader; indeed, I wouldn’t bet on either Trump or his party being removed from power.

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I’m so angry I don’t know what to

do with it. The man is a malignant stain and needs to be tried. I can’t believe we are dealing with a president who hates the country.

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The beltway press seems to think that they work for the administration. Perhaps that explains their often complacent reporting. The fear of losing access is greater than letting the public know the truth. This is an unfortunate side effect of news for profit. I doubt very much the Founders could have imagined that the local town newspapers would have morphed into huge industries owned by a handful of billionaires. Had they known, they would have realized that there would be a chance the Fourth Estate would fail in aiding in the checks and balances of power. And on another note, I'm sure the right wing press, specifically Fox News will attempt to spin this latest news cycle. (Remember way back when Trump said the military dead are losers?) Tucker Carlson has already thrown Lindsey Graham under the bus sighting that it was he who convinced Trump to talk to Woodward. Next they'll point out how Trump didn't want to panic America. Oh like when he said that caravans of migrants were storming our boarders. MS13 will be moving next door to you if Biden wins. The Deep State is rigging the election. The suburbs are going to be destroyed. Right Trump is always concerned about not creating a panic. And the sad truth is that as this shit show gets worse and worse, this guy might just pull off another win. God help us!

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The highlights of Woodward's book, like so many previous 'revelations' about Trump's character, strike us as being things we already knew. The revelations may have been better documented -- Woodward's has tapes -- but we already long knew that Trump claimed to be an important caretaker of Americans' feelings about COVID. He wanted us not to worry, he claimed. He wanted to be our cheerleader and avoid panic. Most of us also knew that Trump did not give a damn about us and our worrying. His motives were selfish.

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founding

But a lot of people didn’t believe it. At least some of them will be when they hear the tapes. That is what makes the difference. I can just see the Lincoln Project ads now. What Trump said to Woodward then him calling the pandemic a hoax and mocking people for wearing masks — which proves it wasn’t about not keeping people from panicking.

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