Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lawrence O'Donnell On Donald Trump

Once on this blog I referred to Lawrence O'Donnell as a dingbat, and I stand by that, but keep in mind: I have high standards. O'Donnell is far from the worst of the current crop of turnips passing themselves off as Amurrkin journalists, and he has a healthy contempt for Donald Trump, and a very refreshing lack of inhibition when it comes to showing that contempt on the air. (Wonder how O'Donnell would weigh in on the question of journalistic objectivity?) Dingbat or not, O'Donnell would make an infinitely better President of the United States than Donald Trump, just as most of us would.

It's good that O'Donnell goes right after Trump, because 1) It's so important that Trump be stopped that even a big movement within Trump's own party has named itself after that very cause; and 2) Trump is such an easy target that it's hard even for a dingbat like O'Donnell to screw it up. And yesterday, reporting on Trump's news conference about the money raised for veterans' groups -- and hastily given to those groups only after the press has discovered that Trump had been lying about it -- O'Donnell got in a good shot: at the press conference, O'Donnell said, Trump "defended his integrity the only way he knows how: by lying."

Yesterday on some of the other news-talk shows, pundits wondered whether this story with Trump and the veterans' groups -- claiming at yesterday's news conference that he did the fundraising strictly for the veterans and didn't want any credit for it, when in fact he did the fundraising in front of TV cameras, and has kept praising his own alleged part in it on TV for months now, but then only actually giving the money after the Washington Post found out the veterans' groups hadn't gotten it yet, and then in yesterday's news conference saying that it takes time to vet groups who are getting donations and that he had never heard of some of these groups, while in fact he had spoken before some of these groups and had other personal dealings with them, and verbally abusing the press for scrutinizing him -- verbally abusing him for this at a press conference he had called -- etc --anyway, some pundits are wondering whether this press conference might finally have been so horrible that Trump's own behavior might start to hurt him in the polls.

Well, let's hope so. But, of course, Trump's publicly-known behavior going back decades has been more than horrible enough to keep him from getting nearly as far as he has in politics -- if the press had done its job, and told people about it, clearly and directly enough for them to understand. The real question is whether yesterday, Trump's insults of the press were finally disgusting enough to get them off of their asses. This man should not be President, period. The press should warn the public to that effect, period. If they feel helpless and uncertain about how to proceed on this vital task, there are videos of Lawrence O'Donnell's show on the MSNBC website.

There are thousands of news stories per day about Trump. If most or all of those stories kept hammering away about how Trump lies all the friggin time, constantly, the way that young Mr O'Donnell constantly does, then a lot more people might start to notice it. Trump doesn't lie skillfully enough that it's a matter of whose word you take. It's a matter of comparing one piece of video of Trump with another piece from the same day. It's a matter of paying attention. Unfortunately, most voters are too busy to spend as much time examining candidates for political office as carefully as they should. It's the press' job to help them -- not to sit back and wring their hands and say, "Oh, he's a juggernaut, he's unstoppable, there's nothing we can do!"

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