Tomorrow, election day, is the big day for those concerned about the future of their country and what we stand for as a nation and a people.
And no, I’m not going to advocate for one candidate, party, or initiative; this stuff is too complicated for 800 words and it’s too late to opine. (But I hope everyone made/makes decisions based on real facts not ads, mailers, tweets or PAC-funded propaganda.)
Nope, all I’m going to say is “VOTE!”
You can bet I’ll be up late watching the results. I’ll be wondering if I can still call this my country if intolerance, lying, and the evils of Trumpism win; or if I will be redeemed and relieved if Der Furor (remember that column?) is overwhelmingly rejected.
As a journalist, writing about Trump and my disdain for his policies, style, stupidity and dishonesty, it was personal when bombs were mailed to his critics.
I wasn’t concerned about receiving one, although I check the mailbox for bulky, unanticipated packages. But even though a twice-a-month columnist in an Everett daily is unlikely to draw attention of a Trump fanatic in Florida, there could be one in Western Washington, hence the peek-first-then-open-the-mailbox policy. My real concern was Trump’s follow-up — blaming “fake” news (me?) for the nation’s rampant rancor. And I was struck when his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, couldn’t name any of the fake news outlets she so decries.
All she said was you know who you are and you publish lies.
To fact-check, I looked at recent headlines from three of Trump’s most-likely fake news outlets: The Washington Post, CNN and the New York Times.
So please, gentle reader, join me. Let’s see if Trump is lying yet again.
(NOTE: Among journalists and discerning readers, there’s a big difference between “news” and “opinion.” Straight news is not reported on the op-ed page; and columnists’ personal biases, proselytizing and analysis are clearly marked. Trump can’t recognize the distinction.)
So we’ll begin with straight news about Trump’s Pittsburgh visit following the slaughter of 11 innocent Jews because, said the murderer, they were aiding a migrant “invasion” caravan of mostly women and children, 900 miles from our border, that Trump’s been fearmongering:
The Post: “Trump Visits a Grieving City to Pay Tribute to Victims, But Top Officials Decline to Join Him.”
CNN: “Trump Makes Solemn Visit to Pittsburgh, Even As Officials Shun His Timing.”
The Times: “Trump Arrives in Pittsburgh as Many Make Clear His Visit Isn’t Welcome.”
Is this about Trump? Yep. Is it negative? Yes, from his perspective. Is it a lie or fake? Nope. It’s fact, it’s news, it actually happened. Will Trump like those headlines? Not bloody likely. So he’ll call it fake news and blame the media.
How about his claim that he can unilaterally change the Constitution with an executive order, negating the 14th Amendment and canceling birthright citizenship?
The Post: “Paul Ryan Dismisses Trump’s Vow to End Birthright Citizenship”
CNN: “Speaker Says Trump is Wrong On Citizenship”
“Trump Promises to Unilaterally End Birthright Citizenship. But Paul Ryan Warns, ‘You Obviously Cannot Do That’”
The Times: “Trump Targets Citizenship, Stokes Pre-election Migrant Fears”
Is this about Trump? Yes again. Is it Trump-negative? No, it’s just fact. Is it a lie? Nope. Trump’s on tape and so is Ryan. Will Trump like those headlines? No, he’ll call it fake news and probably call Paul Ryan an idiot.
He did, by golly, call his Speaker an idiot!
The Post: “Trump Lashes Out At Ryan Over Birthright Citizenship Comments”
CNN: “Trump Attacks Paul Ryan, Says He ‘Knows Nothing’ About Birthright Citizenship”
The Times: “In Fit of Pique, Trump Attacks Ryan Just Days Before Midterm Elections”
Unless the news fawns and praises the wisdom of Der Furor, lauding his ability to rule on a whim, it ain’t real news to Trump, not the kind of real news Fox delivers.
Like Fox’s post-Pittsburgh headline: “President Uses Rally To Bash ‘Far-Left’ Media For Spreading ‘Anger’ In Pittsburgh Coverage.”
Now that’s fake news! Trump is lying again, twice, as the Post, Times and CNN are not “far-left,” and they didn’t spread the anger, they simply reported it. Big difference.
Wednesday morning’s news will be either Trump taking credit for the “win,” or Trump tweeting it was someone else’s fault.
But this election isn’t about Trump, it’s about me. And you. And whether we can stand up to the abomination Trump has visited upon this nation.
What kind of news do I want to read on Wednesday? This kind: “Dems Take House.” And then, for Trump, reality will begin setting in.