Ten Takeaways from the Craziest Day Yet of the Trump Presidency

It should never be underestimated how much we have all be dangerously desensitized, at least partly by design, by the never-ending insanity that is the Trump presidency. The impact of that reality was seen in full force today as there were numerous developments which, in any other modern presidency, would have rocked the nation at its core, but which, to a huge portion of the country will seem likely mostly just another blip in the news cycle. After all, the president’s former Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted on eight serious federal charges and Trump, who had clearly tried to influence the jury while they were in deliberations, said that he felt badly for him while outrageously called the verdict part of Robert Mueller’s continuing “witch hunt.” Similarly, Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, plead guilty to eight federal crimes, including two which are clearly related to Continue reading "Ten Takeaways from the Craziest Day Yet of the Trump Presidency"

Dear Jack Dorsey: Yes Twitter Is Biased, But Your Bigger Problem Is Lack of Transparency

There is no better evidence of the utter dysfunction of our badly broken national dialogue than the fact that Twitter has such dramatic influence on it. Twitter enables our dangerously short attention spans, and the character-limited format intrinsically elevates style over substance. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that such an outlet, seemingly built to appeal to a middle-school mentality, helped an emotionally immature bully with a seemingly bad case of ADHD become president of the United States. Not coincidentally, it has also become, contrary to Donald Trump’s promises, his preferred medium of communication while in office. A lot has been said recently about Twitter’s other problems, particularly their alleged liberal bias (it’s not exactly stunning that a tech company based in Silicon Valley just outside of San Francisco would have a cultural bias against conservatives!). The issue of how they can maintain their user rules without destroying all Continue reading "Dear Jack Dorsey: Yes Twitter Is Biased, But Your Bigger Problem Is Lack of Transparency"

After Taking a Deep Dive into the Jim Jordan/Ohio State Controversy, Here Are Some Conclusions

Since the beginning of July, when it exploded nationally that prominent Republican Congressman Jim Jordan was being accused of having enabled sexual abuse of wrestlers by a team doctor when Jordan was an assistant coach at Ohio State thirty years ago, I have been skeptical of the media’s preferred narrative. I have written twice about the factual problems with the case and the dangers of the media rushing to presume that one story seems a lot like previous ones, thus creating confirmation bias. Since then, as I am all too prone to doing, I have spent an absurd amount of time trying to figure out what really did and did not happen in this strange story, which took another dramatic turn late last week. That’s when the most famous of Jordan’s “accusers,” former pro wrestler Mark Coleman, walked back much of his original story and distanced himself from the Continue reading "After Taking a Deep Dive into the Jim Jordan/Ohio State Controversy, Here Are Some Conclusions"

Trump in the Omarosa Tape: Is He a Lying Coward, or Impotent and Clueless

On Friday, I wrote that it was absurd, given her personal lack of credibility, that most of the news media is taking former reality show villain Omarosa and her new book about the Trump White House very seriously. So far, my prediction that she would not have any “bombshell” information which could be relied upon has turned out to be completely accurate. However, the tape she released on the Today Show on Monday, while in some ways irrelevant, has actually, perhaps inadvertently, given us some new insight into how Trump really operates and why we should all be concerned. In short, the tape appears to prove that Trump is either a lying coward, or so out of the loop that he really is ‘president in name only’ (or, at least that this was the case at the end of last year). First, let’s stipulate that the hiring of Omarosa Continue reading "Trump in the Omarosa Tape: Is He a Lying Coward, or Impotent and Clueless"

Uh, Why is Much of the News Media Suddenly Pretending that Omarosa is Remotely Credible?

One of the least understood weaknesses in modern journalism is that how the news media determines someone’s credibility is extremely subjective and is often not based at all in what the truth likely is. In this context, it is important to take a look at how and why former Trump aide and reality television villain “Omarosa” is suddenly being treated by much of the media as if she is a very serious person. Up until the last few days, when it was learned that she has a new book out and that she secretly taped President Donald Trump during her brief time in the White House, the news media has been very hesitant to allow her back into the media’s elite club of “people who are famous enough for us to pretend they are credible.” There were many solid reasons for this position. Here are just Continue reading "Uh, Why is Much of the News Media Suddenly Pretending that Omarosa is Remotely Credible?"

Trump Taking Credit for the GOP’s Narrow Win in Ohio Is Absurd Even by His Twitter Standards

We have all become, possibly by design, dangerously desensitized to the nearly daily — sometimes hourly — insanity that is President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed. Consequently, Trump’s tweet late last night taking credit for Republicans very narrowly winning a congressional special election in one of the most conservative districts in Ohio, probably won’t rate very high on the media’s scale of Trump lunacy. But it should. Let’s forget for a moment that it would be beneath any other modern president to Continue reading "Trump Taking Credit for the GOP’s Narrow Win in Ohio Is Absurd Even by His Twitter Standards"

No, the Press is Not the Trump-Billed ‘Enemy of the People.’ They Are Actually His Best Friend

On Thursday, the biggest issue of the news cycle was whether the president of the United States really thinks that the press is an “enemy of the people.” This debate far overshadowed the startling revelation that our top intelligence official now admits that he still has no idea what really happened at the inexplicable Helsinki summit, but we all know that people in the media love nothing more than talking about themselves. Previously, President Donald Trump has indeed called the press the “enemy of the people,” but when his “favorite” daughter Ivanka said in an interview that she disagrees with her father about that assessment, it ignited a fresh series of news stories. Trump himself weighed in on the topic by slightly adjusting his phrasing, saying that it is specifically “Fake News!” which is the “enemy of the people.” But the main event came at Continue reading "No, the Press is Not the Trump-Billed ‘Enemy of the People.’ They Are Actually His Best Friend"