It’s endlessly fascinating to watch the national media accuse President Trump of lying, usually over minor and debatable details, after they’ve slandered the White House in shocking ways.
The media perpetually whine about Trump threatening their freedom to tell the truth and then lie about his “bullying,” “racism,” and everything else he says in public.
It’s like that 1988 interview where Charles Manson tells Geraldo Rivera, “Look me straight away in the eye. Do I look like I’m guilty about anything?”
New York Times columnist Charles Blow last week wrote a column under a headline that said, “Trump isn’t Hitler.” Then, he helpfully went on to compare Trump to Hitler.
[T]here are strategies that Hitler used to secure power and rise — things that allowed his murderous reign — that can teach us about political theory and practice. And very reasonable and sage comparisons can be drawn between Hitler’s strategies and those of others.
One of those lessons is about how purposeful lying can be effectively used as propaganda.
In the spirit of someone who would never compare Trump to the world’s most well-known mass murderer, Blow lifted a passage from Hitler’s Mein Kampf, wherein he describes “the Big Lie,” Hitler’s term for a massive fraud foisted on the public that enough people believe by a natural refusal to accept that someone could tell so brazen a falsehood.
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, who spends three hours each weekday on TV reminiscing about how great he was as a forgettable congressman, made the same point on Tuesday.
“The president objectively lies so much, and you could prove it,” he said on his show. “We could spend three hours a day just on his lies. … It’s the Big Lie theory. If you keep lying over and over again about something, one day people will believe it.”
It makes no difference to Blow and Scarborough that the Big Lie passage in Hitler’s book is actually a commentary on what he believed was the tendency of Jews to tell bald lies in an effort to hoodwink the world, but at least we know where Scarborough and Blow get their inspiration.
When Trump or a White House official “lies,” it’s almost exclusively a matter of exaggeration — “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period” — or specificity.
Talking about the need for tax reform, Trump earlier this month said, “We're the highest taxed nation in the world,” and the White House was repeatedly challenged to correct the record to reflect that U.S. taxes are not, in fact, generally the highest “in the world.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had to reiterate over and over again that the U.S. is “the highest corporate-taxed country in the developed economies across the globe.”
This is a distinction that most people, spending time to file their impossible tax forms each year, do not care to understand.
When the media lie, on the other hand, it is in repetition and meant to create an overarching narrative that presses on the public’s consciousness.
On Tuesday, amid the White House’s ongoing conflict with Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., over Trump’s call to a Gold Star widow, well-known reporter and CNN contributor April Ryan tweeted the link to an Essence magazine article headlined, “From April Ryan To Rep. Frederica Wilson: How The Trump Administration Continues To Disrespect And Dismiss Black Women.”
Using Ryan and Frederica as examples, the article charged that, “In recognizing the direct threat to their personhood Black women would face from a Donald Trump presidency, 94 percent of them voted against him in the 2016 election.”
Trump has insulted everyone from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (one of Congress’s whitest representatives) to Megyn Kelly (previously Fox’s whitest female personality).
During the 2016 Republican primary, Trump burned his way through 16 other candidates, 11 of whom were white men. All of them were belittled and ridiculed at his rallies, in interviews, and on his Twitter page.
Of then-candidate Carly Fiorina, a white woman, Trump said, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”
But the media never tire of the Big Lie that he’s both racist and sexist.
On Tuesday, after first lady Melania Trump gave an anti-bullying speech, Scarborough said on MSNBC, “She sleeps actually with the worst bully in America.” (Who Scarborough's co-host Mika Brzezinski sleeps with is another topic for another day.)
Trump is alone in the White House, completely isolated from the media and Washington’s depraved culture.
That he can “bully” anyone by using his Twitter to remark on a cable TV anchor’s “face-lift” (after she repeatedly called him a lunatic) or by mocking CNN with a video of its logo getting hit by a train (after CNN’s ‘round-the-clock bitchy screen graphics) is ludicrous.
There is a Big Lie — but it’s not Trump’s.