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founding
Jul 16, 2020Liked by Eric Boehlert

Today the WaPo’s Greg Sargent criticizes the media for falling for the Trump administration’s pretense of mending fences with Fauci:

“ Don’t get snowed by this new scam.

What’s really going on here is a kind of two-step, a double game. Trump and his advisers want him to reap the political benefits of appearing to harbor general respect for Fauci’s expertise, while simultaneously continuing to undermine Fauci’s actual claims about the threat the novel coronavirus will continue to pose — because those claims badly undermine Trump’s reelection message.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/16/dont-get-fooled-by-trumps-cynical-new-scam-coronavirus/

We need many more journalists refusing to play along with Trump’s PR and willing to point out the deliberate deceptions Trump is trying to sell.

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Mr. Boehlert,

I suggest we are in a zone where the previous norms simply don't apply.

We have the President of the United States selling beans from the Oval Office.

We have Republican Senators demanding the Federal Government occupy States that do not pay sufficient deference to the President. (And yes, the similarities to the Civil War do not escape me, despite the radical differences in causes)

We have major Presidential Advisors attacking career Civil servants.

We have the White House seizing control of reports on deaths by disease that normally would go to the CDC.

What is the role of the Press here?

Should they refuse to cover statements by the President of the United States?

What about Presidential "infomercials"?

What about when the President veers into an "infomercial"?

Fact check presidential statements in real time?

Then there's the issue that the Republicans and the President actively are creating and/or supporting an alternative "Press" that encourages all their behaviour.

What is the answer?

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author

norms are totally out the window. one of the problem is the press is still clinging to its norms. i.e. Trump has ripped up every protocol but the press has taken no drastic action in response in terms of how it covers this radical president.

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Yes, but those steps taken by the press have resulted in the creation of the alternate press. So we’ve got the world and the world according to Fox.

Presenting both sides of an issue makes perfect sense. Or at least used to.

Because, any power to enforce “conformity” can be used against you someday.

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Abandon the pretense of "both side-ism" given your initial observation. Be factual and stop rationalizing idiocy. PS: what's with the Brit spelling of "behaviour"?

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Growing up with both Commonwealth and American books. I was the despair of my spelling teachers; wherever situate.

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founding

I was eliminated from a spelling bee for spelling “license“ the British way — “licence”

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"Erstwhile" means "former," as in it is no longer.

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The shocker is that I remember Navarro running for office as a liberal Democrat in San Diego!

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author

oh that's funny. i didn't know that. he seems like a complete huckster

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Speaking of Navarro claiming China weaponized the virus to wreck the US economy, Trump subscribes to that too. In an exclusive interview with Catherine Herridge (formerly with FOX, now on CBS), the question of trade deals with China came up. Herridge asked in Trump would be pursuing Phase 2. Here's what Trump said:

“I’m not interested right now in talking to China.

cross talk

Look, we made a great trade deal, but as soon as the deal was done, the ink wasn’t even dry, and they hit us with the plague. Okay? So right now I’m not interested in talking to China about another deal.”

Herridge heard Trump say China deliberately attacked us with the plague, and didn't follow up on that at all.

Roughly 3,000 Americans died on 911 and we went to war over that. Covid-19 has killed 137,000 Americans to date, Trump says it was an attack - and he does nothing? There are so many things wrong with that in so many ways, and the press can't connect the dots?

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author

that's a good point abt Trump claiming a Chinese attack....and doing nothing about.

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Did I expect anything else from Herridge? Nope.

Another reason why I gave up on CBS Snooze.

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If the press “connected the dots” it might very well force Trump into some action to prove his toughness. At that point 135,000 dead looks like an accounting error as the death toll has at least 8 figures.

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