Living Large In Carson City: Rocky Horror Donald Style Edition

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It’s astounding/Time is fleeting
Madness takes its toll/But listen closely  . . .
                                   (Not for very much longer)/I’ve got to keep control                                    Time Warp: Riff Raff (Rocky Horror Picture Show)

If you listen closely and sit very still, you will hear the inexorable winds of change blowing over the horizon. These are harsh winds that bring with them the caustic cleansing that the nation so badly wants and needs right now. The unsettling sound you detect is those same winds slamming into Trump’s sickly coiffed head like a California wild fire scraping over the landscape charring everything in its path. It’s been that kind of week, hell, month and year.

There is no better place to begin understanding the magnitude of this week’s revelations than in an article posted last weekend in the Washington Post. The article began with this statement,

“Two years after Donald Trump won the presidency, nearly every organization he has led in the past decade is under investigation.” Washington Post

The perennial optimist may ask just how bad can that be in the real world. Well, actually, pretty bad when Americans consider that the Trump and his privileged clan of hucksters are facing  17 ongoing criminal investigations. A betting person would give even odds that at some point due to at least one of these investigations Trump is going to catch it in the groin and be doubled over with pain and an indictment.

Then there was former FBI Director James Comey’s comments Monday as he emerged from yet another grilling by House Republicans over Hillary’s emails and the Steele dossier. Clearly perturbed and angry, Comey held nothing back as he lambasted the Republican Party as the spineless sycophants they have become under Trump’s reign.  MSNBC correspondent Steve Benen quoted Comey as saying,

“Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matters, and the truth matters. Where are those Republicans today?” he asked.

. . .

“At some point someone has to stand up and in the face of fear of Fox News, fear of their base, fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country and not slink away into retirement, but stand up and speak the truth.” MSNBC

Add to that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s wacko remarks this weekend to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. In a discussion about former Trump fixer, Michael Cohen, Giuliani stated that Cohen had changed his story four or five times to which Stephanopoulos replied so has the president. Giuliani’s come back was a classic misdirection and a response that normally intelligent people assign to liars and con artists. Giuliani   stated,

“The President’s not under oath. And the President tried to do the best he can to remember what happened back at a time when he was the busiest man in the world.” CNN 

So? He can lie with impunity and not be called out about his tarnished veracity.

In other comments, Giuliani claimed that discussion of the Trump Tower Moscow project with the president went on until November of 2016. This is problematic for several reasons. Trump has previously disavowed any communications with Russia during the 2016 campaign, and Giuliani’s revelation supports Cohen’s claims of a timeline that puts the president in jeopardy concerning collusion or at best emolument issues. Either way, Mueller must be having a field day high fiving his team of lawyers and thanking their lucky stars that Rudy Giuliani is a blabber mouth of the first order.

So, how is Trump holding up in this mine field of accusation, faux pas’, and damming innuendos? Typically, he made it all about him. He called for the courts to investigate Saturday Night Live’s programming choices. You can’t make this up. After last Saturday’s now famous cold open which parodied It’s a Wonderful Life (It’s a Wonderful Trump), Trump tweeted,

A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal? Only defame & belittle! Collusion? Elite Daily

A year and a half ago or even a year ago, a statement like this would have been met with hilarity and glee to think that a grown man would actually say these words aloud. Today, world weary and befuddled by this president’s lack of basic understanding about decorum and appropriateness of being circumspect in one’s speech, especially the most powerful man in the world, Americans can only shake their heads and wonder how we have sunk so low. The idea that a comedy skit is the equivalent with collusion, obstruction of justice, campaign finance allegations, misappropriation of inauguration monies, or supporting a despot who kills journalist in a bizarre Friday the 13th scenario has taken its toll.

Note that Trump is quick to point out networks that call him out on his misdeeds, lies, and corruption but panders to those sites that heap praise on him which is more than a little hypocritical. Fox News comes to mind. The website Media Bias/ Fact Check states that “Nearly half of consistent conservatives (47%) name it as their main source for government and political news.”  Skewed hard right, Fox is not above spreading lies, Republican and presidential talking points (often indistinguishable from lies), conspiracy theories, and employs a host of objectionable personalities who would rather suck up to the president than cultivate their journalistic bona fides. The website finds,

Fox News typically looks at the issues from a conservative perspective and also has a number of on air personalities that are strong supporters of Trump, such as Sean HannityTucker CarlsonLaura Ingraham, and Tomi Lahren. Fox News typically skews conservative as there is less criticism of Trump, therefore the majority of stories are pro-Trump.

In review, Fox News publishes stories with emotionally loaded headlines such as “’They Wanted It to Blow Up’: Limbaugh Says Success of Trump-Kim Summit Caught Media Off Guard” and “Tucker: 2016 Russia Collusion ‘Witch Hunt’ Now Extends to Jill Stein.” When it comes to sourcing they typically utilize pro-Trump pundits such as Rush Limbaugh who has a very poor record with fact checkers, as well as credible sources such as the Wall Street Journal. Fox News is also known to publish right wing conspiracy theories, although after being sued they retracted the story. Fox News has also been deemed the least accurate cable news source according to Politifact.

Overall, we rate Fox News strongly Right-Biased due to word and story selection that favors the right and Mixed factually based on poor sourcing and spreading conspiracy theories that later must be retracted. (7/19/2016) Updated (M. Huitsing 6/15/2018) Media Bias/Fact Check

Trump isn’t singling out Fox News as unfair, but this is the way of a bully operates. Turn the enemy into the bogeyman, ridicule and spread false narratives about them, and set up a pity party where he is the one harmed and place blame on others. The sheer obtuseness of Trump is breathtaking. On one hand, it is hard to believe a grown man could see the world through such false entitlement; yet, it’s hard not to believe it when we see this scenario played out day after day. Trump should be happy that the American journalism community holds it duty sacred and does not engage in the underhanded, slight of hand antics he is so fond of using on his perceived enemies.

Honestly, it’s exhausting watching the Trump Titanic super tanker sailing into unknown waters and knowing it is destined to run aground when the Democrats take over the House come January. Yet, the thought is heartening if not liberating. Trump’s ghost of Christmas past will be with us long after he is perp walked out of the White House and into some country club prison. The only hope America has is that that time will come soon.