Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Sunday, July 02, 2017

Fake, fake fakey

by digby

Trump's tweeting his silly wrestling footage and calling CNN fake. I guess he thinks that's clever. To me, it just exposes him as fake since he's the guy pretending to be a wrestler. But whatever. It's juvenile and stupid just like all of his statements. It's who he is.

Now watch this:

He was the youngest president in history but he was a hundred times wiser than the old one we have now.

Like every political pundit in the world, I wrote about Trump's love affair with wrestling many times during the campaign It the perfect metaphor for him: violent, phony and immature. This one was after the inauguration:

So President Donald Trump is taking his act on the road again. Apparently being president isn’t nearly as much fun as running for president and he needs to cut loose in front of an adoring crowd to charge up his batteries. So he’s having one of his victory rallies in Florida on Saturday. And yes, they’re calling it a campaign rally so stock up on the Stoli and Beluga caviar, because that means Trump is already running for re-election.

On Thursday he gave his followers a little teaser by holding his first real press conference since the inauguration. It was what professional presidential scholars refer to as “a doozy.” The press was more pungent in its criticism. CNN’s Jake Tapper called it “unhinged” and “wild” and a “Festivus airing of grievances.” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tweeted, “We can agree across all ideological, political and partisan divisions that this is a deranged performance, right?” Even Shep Smith of Fox News seemed shell-shocked, saying, “It is crazy what we are watching every day; it is absolutely crazy.” CBS News’ Scott Pelley said, “Today we learned the length of the president’s fuse.” (Which unfortunately brought to mind what my great-aunt used to say about her first husband: “He was a 6-foot, 3-inch stick of dynamite with a little bitty fuse.”)

That was just the tip of the iceberg. The Daily Beast reported:
[A]s the official White House press conference disintegrated further into unhinged criticism and belligerent sniping, reporters seated in the East Room could hardly contain themselves. There was an awkward mix of laughing with Trump, and chuckling at him as the president kept venting and sneering. The reporters present couldn’t stop quietly gossipping about Trump. “What is going on?” one journalist whispered to another. “This is insane” and “What the hell?” were other popular refrains in the room.

There have been dozens of articles and listicles already published about this inane and surreal event, so I won’t go through the whole litany again. If you’ve got the time, it’s worth watching the whole press conference just to bear witness to the wholesale destruction of what we used to call the dignity of the office. Trump makes George W. Bush look like George Washington by comparison, and Bush was the guy who spit a wad of chewing gum into his hand before signing the Treaty of Moscow.

Trump mostly concentrated on how much he loathed the lyin’ press and despised all the fake news, oddly insisting that it’s nothing more than a cover-up for Hillary Clinton’s “terrible loss.” In fact, he just can’t quit her, which presidential historians note is very odd:

I think there’s a good reason Trump does this and it’s related to why he needs to get in front of his cheering followers. He is obviously in over his head and cannot deal with the complexity of the task he has been elected to perform. If anyone watching the campaign thought he must have hidden depths he or she has been disabused of that by now. His full range of talents were on display on stage in those rallies.

Trump told us during the campaign, “I yam what I yam,” and so he is. He is a trash-talker. But unlike the trash-talking master of all time, boxer Muhammad Ali, who pretty much invented the form, Trump is a Wrestlemania political performance artist who unfortunately believed his own hype. Ali talked trash, but he also had the goods. Trump does not.

During the GOP primary he took out one rival after another by bestowing them with puerile nicknames and hurling nasty insults in their faces. They didn’t know what hit them. When he got to Hillary Clinton, it was also no holds barred. He said to her face that she was filled with hate, called her the devil and paraded women who had accused her husband of assaulting them in front of her. He made barely restrained cracks about her looks and insisted over and over again that she was weak and didn’t “look like a president.” He played the crude, aggressive wrestling “heel” throughout the campaign, and his supporters roared with pleasure as he took down his opponents one by one.

Trump participated in professional wrestling storylines for years. He loves it. Indeed, the press conference on Thursday showed that he’s lost without it. He needs a rival, a real opponent. He doesn’t have one at the moment, so his shtick just seems wild and unfocused, as if he were flailing at phantoms. Douglas Brinkley, a historian at Rice University, described it as “bizarre theater,” saying “he turned a presidential press conference into a reality TV show in which he can be the star and browbeat anyone who objects to him with the power of his office.”

Of course, Trump has always used “the media” as a foil, and since he assumed office and no longer has a specific opponent to spar with, consigliere Steve Bannon has tried to make the press corps into the rival at whom Trump can swing his bat and keep his show going. Bannon has called the media “the opposition” and clearly pumps up Trump, not that it’s hard to do that since the president spends inordinate amounts of time assessing his image on television and clearly doesn’t like what he sees.

But it won’t work. The press isn’t “the opposition” and the presidency isn’t a competition or even a phony wrestling match. If you want to compare it to a form of entertainment, it’s a drama — often a tragedy — and the press is the Greek chorus. It makes no sense to turn media commentators and reporters into key players, particularly when there are real political adversaries out there jockeying for position. But Trump seems to not be interested in fighting real battles or even engaging in genuine politics. It’s all a pageant to him, a fixed narrative, a rigged game in which he’s is supposed to be the big winner in the end, with the cheering and the booing just being all in good fun. But nobody’s having any fun, least of all him. And putting on a show is all he knows how to do.