A Nation Of Liars

Wow. We have more than 130,000 Americans (and counting) dead as a result of the coronavirus health crisis — and yet we have a game show TV host opining that it is all a conspiracy. Apparently everyone from the nation’s top public health experts to emergency room doctors and nurses are lying about this in a masterfully conceived plot to deny POTUS a second term.

Folks, you can’t make this shit up.

But amazingly — although I guess not unexpectedly — Trump appears to agree.

Here’s from The Washington Post:

With tweets, impromptu interviews and unscripted remarks, President Trump has increasingly undermined the public health message of his own government, adding a sense of confusion to what has been a disjointed and ineffective response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Public health experts say Trump’s efforts to deflect blame for the surging virus have become yet another distraction making it harder to slow the spread of covid-19, the highly contagious disease caused by the virus now infecting Americans at a record clip.
On Monday, Trump retweeted a message from Chuck Woolery, a longtime game show host and conservative commentator, that accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of “lying” to the American public about the virus.
Trump in recent days has also accused Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, of making “mistakes,” blasted CDC guidelines for opening schools as “impractical,” and repeatedly undercut public health officials’ recommendations by questioning the efficacy of masks and social distancing.

Here’s what Woolery said, via Yahoo News:

During a flurry of activity on his Twitter account, Trump retweeted a message from game show host Chuck Woolery that claimed “everyone is lying” about the coronavirus as part of a plot to sabotage the economy and hurt Trump’s reelection campaign.

“The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,” wrote Woolery in the message promoted by Trump. “Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most ,that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it.”

Hmmmm.

IMG_0914

I take it Woolery, and many others, get their infectious disease creds directly from social media, and not the real world.

IMG_0913

Well, I’m not big for conspiracy theories. Especially those being advanced by a TV game show host — Chuck Woolery — and by a realty TV star — Trump — who somehow managed to con his way into the most important job on Planet Earth.

So call me naive but I believe the pandemic is real. It’s a big threat to lives and to our economy. And it’s not going away until we have some national leadership — of which we currently have none.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell, as shared by a group of conservative anti-Trumpers via The Lincoln Project:

When I was still working, I had the privilege to teach journalism at Kent State University. We taught the mechanics of journalism: writing, editing and so on. But we emphasized the ethical imperatives of honesty,  transparency and building trust.

All of those qualities have kind of been flushed down the toilet by a President and his supporters who have worked hard for the past several years to convince us we have become a nation of liars.

I don’t share that belief.

And come November, let’s hope we return honesty and leadership to the White House.

IMG_0013

The Summer Of Omarosa

I guess it’s a good thing that nothing is happening with the Mueller investigation, the Manafort trial or the wildfires that are charring California. Oh wait. How would we know?

It’s the summer of Omarosa.

Unknown

For those of you living in the wilderness somewhere without access to any form of print or electronic media, Omarosa is the celebrity who came to fame during the Apprentice and then rode that horse to a senior position in the Trump White House. Now she is out with a book, Unhinged, that has the talking gasbags on cable news and elsewhere wetting their shorts and panties.

Hey. Who says this isn’t a great country?

And for all I know, Omarosa might be a sweet, caring lady who only has the country’s best interest at heart.

Still, I wonder if the day Omarosa took the White House job she began plotting how she could best leverage her exit? After all, that seems to be the culture for those who can successfully navigate the swamp inside the beltway.

A few thoughts on this fiasco:

Listening to the interviews with Omarosa is a waste of time. Even if what she is saying is credible (a big if) there is nothing that she can reveal that will change anyone’s view of the Prez. He was elected in part by the reality TV circus of an election that was created in large part by the same so-called journalists and out-of-government-but-waiting-to-return pundits who now spend their days slamming Trump. The time to really challenge Trump on his views and positions was prior to election day 2016, but the media folks for the most part gave him a pass because he made for good TV.  And when you elect a clown,  you have to expect a circus. In this regard, Trump did not disappoint.

IMG_0162

Second, even for the reporters who openly dislike Trump and the Republicans, this must be a tough story to cover. American journalism has never been “fair and balanced,” but sitting down for a conversation with Omarosa must make even the most ratings conscious scribbler gag a little while keeping a barf bag hidden under the desk.

Even the generally likable Savannah Guthrie looked like she had just downed a shit sandwich after Omarosa basically told her to shove it where the sun don’t shine during an interview on the Today show this morning.

Omarosa Manigault-Newman appeared irritable and fumed at Savannah Guthrie before abruptly cutting off an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show on Monday morning, claiming she had another interview to get to minutes after proclaiming, “I’ve got all the time you need.”

Manigault-Newman was on the morning show to share a recording of a conversation she says she had with President Trump the day after she was fired by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Guthrie began the interview by playing the recording and plugging Manigault-Newman’s new book, “Unhinged,” but things quickly turned awkward.

Guthrie asked the former “Apprentice” star if Trump was lying in a tape that was played seconds earlier, but Manigault-Newman wanted to talk about a different topic and started asking rhetorical questions about why Kelly allegedly mistreated her. She also focused on Trump saying “they” run a big operation at the White House.

Guthrie tried to take charge of the chat, but Manigault-Newman barked back, “I’ll get to the second part.”

Guthrie then attempted to ask a follow-up question, but Manigault-Newman shot it down.

If you missed this interview, don’t worry. NBC’s farm team, MSNBC, will be replaying it every hour for the next few days.

Fortunately, for those of us who would like to know what is going on in the world these days, the summer of Omarosa will only last a few days.

Until then, remember that we are living in a time when reality television stars and celebrities dominate the news cycles and control pretty much the national conversation on just about any issue.

So it goes.