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TRUMP AND HIS REPORTER BUDDIES

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BOB FRANKEN
FOR RELEASE TUESDAY, APRIL 2, 2019

TRUMP AND HIS REPORTER BUDDIES
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Do you know what’s fake about the expression “fake news”? It’s bogus. Donald Trump, who famously deflects any unflattering story as “fake news” and who incites his followers against media, is really just being phony, in that he is really friendly with many newspeople, the very ones he condemns as “enemies of the people.”
We have so much in common: He knows full well that any story about him is better than no story. At the same time, we shrivel up without stories to report. We also are alike in that any reporter worth his or her salt is insecure and he is clearly motivated by insecurity. The more outlandish his behavior and rhetoric, the more he demonstrates a deep psychological need to always be the center of attention.
That incessant focus on himself works by the way. The scared little rabbit has had huge financial success by his buffoonish distractions from one failure after another. Before you scoff at my lack of professional credentials to make such a judgment, the truth is you don’t need any expertise to figure that out. So he obviously can relate to us.


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Additionally, he knows that attacking the media is a sure-fire way to rile up not only his base, but just about anyone who is normal enough to have personal opinions about the issues of the day, as opposed to us journalist-weirdos who look at the debates merely as stories.
The stories, in Donald Trump’s case, deny him the continuous human validation he requires. So he views them as personal attacks and throws constant tantrums when they appear, particularly if one is prepared by a reporter with whom he schmoozes. His latest tirades have involved the failure of Robert Mueller’s special prosecutor investigation to document the charges that he had engaged in some active conspiracy with the Russians to steal the U.S. election.
The media have been filled with coverage of his campaign and business dealings. The best won top awards. So now that Trump is claiming the Mueller effort “exonerated” him (which it did not), he is seeking his ton of flesh from the news organizations that dared to question him or the legitimacy of his election: “So funny,” he tweeted, “that The New York Times & The Washington Post got a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage (100% NEGATIVE and FAKE!) of Collusion with Russia - And there was No Collusion! So, they were either duped or corrupt? In any event, their prizes should be taken away by the Committee!”
We might see just how much he was cleared of collusion if Attorney General William Barr keeps his word and releases most of the 380-page Mueller report, and the depth of the underlying evidence is made available to the public. The Democrats who control the House are demanding that all of it be provided, unredacted (which is hardly a surprise). If it is published with minimal censorship, we can determine for ourselves how Trump and his people have conducted themselves.
In the meantime, President Trump will continue to spew his fake facts every chance he gets, and those of us in media will cover whatever he says -- he is the president of the United States, after all. And he will scream bloody murder at any news organization that asks skeptical questions.
Trump is certainly not the first president to hate the press. Richard Nixon’s antics, particularly in response to the Watergate reporting, are well-documented. President Bill Clinton was known to despise the news process and those who made it operate. So did his wife. So did President Barack Obama, who considered most of us to be unthinking riffraff. In my case, they were totally accurate, but many of my colleagues are incredibly bright, enough so to see through presidential bluster and expose inconvenient facts. As for this president, he’s taken his love-hate relationship with us to new heights, or more accurately, to new depths.

© 2019 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 2, 2019 8:44 AM.

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