When will the press finally catch on about Trump?
Kevin Drum has hopes that it will be soon. He blogs today at Mother Jones:
This is interesting. As I mentioned earlier, Donald Trump announced today that he would hold a press event to discuss birtherism. Cable news showed up in force, but instead of getting what they were told, they got this:
- Trump showed up an hour late, guaranteeing lots of extra coverage.
- He held the event at his new DC hotel and then spent several minutes telling everyone how great the hotel is. In effect, he conned the press into giving him a free, nationwide commercial for his hotel.
- Then he spent 20 minutes introducing a bunch of military folks who were endorsing him.
- Finally, at the very end, he gave a 10-second statement acknowledging for the first time that Barack Obama was born in the United States. Then he walked off without taking any questions.
So far, the reaction of the press corps has been scathing. It was a bait-and-switch. They got played. When will we ever learn? They are pissed.
So is this a turning point? It’s one thing to acknowledge Trump is a master of TV, but it’s another for him to be so blatant about manipulating the press. After all, there’s a point at which reporters stop being amused by the Trump campaign and start resenting it. Maybe we got there today.
UPDATE: Breitbart News rubs it in as only Breitbart can: . . .
James Fallows, in his latest “Trump Time Capsule” installment, notes:
At his press conference / hotel promo / endorsement spectacle just now in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump said this, and only this, about the long-running “birther” controversy that for years he led and whipped up:
Now, not to mention her in the same breath, but Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.
- “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy.” This is a flat lie. In an internal memo, people in the 2008 Clinton campaignconsidered applying an “othering” strategy against their rival Obama. It didnot involve any challenge to Obama’s birth or citizenship, and in any case it was not put into effect. What Trump said is a flat lie. More here and here andhere, with links to countless other sources.
- “I finished it. I finished it.” This is a flat lie. Trump started this phony and racist controversy and kept it going. (Racist? Yes. As Bernie Sanders pointed out today, Sanders’s own father, like Obama’s, was born overseas. But Sanders said that no one has ever asked him to prove that he was a “real” American.) Even after Trump claimed to have “finished” it with the appearance of Obama’s birth certificate five years ago, Trump has continued to put out Birther tweets and innuendos. You can see a sample at the end ofthis Vox piece; also here. Here is one from December 2013, two years after Trump supposedly “finished” the issue. As of this moment this is still live in Trump’s Twitter feed:
Trump on Twitter
- “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.” Unlike the other two, this statement is not a lie. It was read in exactly the tone of a negotiated hostage statement. . .