His demonization of the news media won’t fall on deaf ears... “Hey Bret, what do you think? Do you think the pen is mightier than the sword, or that the AR is mightier than the pen?”.. Perhaps the reason Trump voters are so frequently the subject of caricature,” I wrote, “is that they so frequently conform to type.”.. Which brings me to the July 20 meeting between Trump and two senior leaders of The Times, publisher A.G. Sulzberger and editorial page editor James Bennet... he warned the president that “his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous,” and that characterizations of the news media as “the enemy of the people” are “contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.”.. Sulzberger’s warning had no effect... By now, it almost passes without comment that the president of the United States not only violates the ground rules of his own meetings with the press, but also misrepresents the substance of the conversation... in a follow-on tweet, that the media were “very unpatriotic” for revealing “internal deliberations of our government” that could put people’s lives at risk. That’s almost funny considering that no media organ has revealed more such deliberations, with less regard for consequences, than his beloved WikiLeaks.
.. What can’t be ignored is presidential behavior that might best be described as incitement. Maybe Trump supposes that the worst he’s doing is inciting the people who come to his rallies to give reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta the finger. And maybe he thinks that most journalists, with their relentless hostility to his personality and policies, richly deserve public scorn.
Yet for every 1,000 or so Trump supporters whose contempt for the press rises only as far as their middle fingers, a few will be people like my caller. Of that few, how many are ready to take the next fatal step? In the age of the active shooter, the number isn’t zero.
.. Should that happen — when that happens — and journalists are dead because some nut thinks he’s doing the president’s bidding against the fifth column that is the media, what will Trump’s supporters say?
.. neither is he the child who played with a loaded gun and knew not what he did.
.. Donald Trump’s more sophisticated defenders have long since mastered the art of pretending that the only thing that matters with his presidency is what it does, not what he says. But not all of the president’s defenders are quite as sophisticated. Some of them didn’t get the memo about taking Trump seriously but not literally. A few hear the phrase “enemy of the people” and are prepared to take the words to their logical conclusion.
.. We are approaching a day when blood on the newsroom floor will be blood on the president’s hands.
Comment:Mocks Bernie for his hair.Mocks Maxine for a low IQAttacks the media for “Fake news”.Another perfect Projection score.
We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. . . . Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. —General Omar Bradley
.. the Pax Romana creates a false peace by sacrificing others. But the peace Jesus speaks of—Pax Christi, the peace of Christ—waits and works for true peace by sacrificing the false self of power, prestige, and possessions. Such peacemaking will never be popular. The follower of Jesus is doomed to minority status.
Jesus next warns us that we will be hated from all sides (see also John 15:18-16:2 and Matthew 10:22). When you’re working outside the system, when you work for peace, you will not be admired inside the system. In fact, you will look dangerous, subversive, and unpatriotic. One thing you cannot call Jesus was a patriot. He was serving a far bigger realm.
.. If you are truly a peacemaker, your very means have to be nonviolent and you have to be consistently pro-life—from womb to tomb. One of the most distressing qualities of many Christians today is that they retain the right to decide when, where, and with whom they will be pro-life peacemakers. If the other can be determined to be wrong, guilty, unworthy, or sinful, the death penalty is somehow supposed to serve justice. That entirely misses the ethical point Jesus makes: We are never the sole arbiters of life or death, because life is created by God and carries the divine image. It is a spiritual seeing, far beyond any ideology of left or right.
.. [We are called to] speak out against every aspect of violence—poverty, war, racism, police brutality, gun violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction—and at the same time call for a new culture of peace. .
Why not take action against Michael Wolff and his publisher?
.. he quotes Steve Bannon, formerly the chief executive of the Trump campaign and chairman of Trump propaganda outlet Breitbart, characterizing meetings between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian operatives as “unpatriotic” and “treasonous.” Bannon also is quoted as saying that there is “zero” chance that Donald Trump himself was unaware of the meetings. There are many amusing anecdotes in the book that tend to confirm the worst suspicions of the administration’s critics.
.. Wolff has been criticized as an overly free practitioner of what used to be known as the New Journalism, liberally applying literary techniques to recreate (some of his critics would say to simply create) scenes and interactions to which he was not directly privy.
.. (Another lupine journalist, the unparalleled Tom Wolfe, is most closely associated with that style of writing.)
.. Trump is using threats of lawsuits mainly as instruments of harassment
.. Usually, those threats die out for one of two reasons: The first is that a libel action requires the publication of a claim of fact, rather than a judgment or an opinion. If you publish “Jones is a rapist,” that’s a statement of fact, a claim that Jones has committed a particular crime. If you publish “Jones is a man of low character and does not deserve your vote for city council,” then that is a statement of opinion.
.. The second thing that most often stops a libel suit in its tracks is that the claim has to be false.
.. It’s $500 or more every time you pick up the phone and talk to your lawyer.
.. Steve Bannon, living high on those Seinfeld royalties. (Bannon fortified his fortune with “a show about nothing.” Poetic.)
.. To have committed libel, Wolff and his publishers must have printed a claim of fact that is: 1. false; 2. defamatory, meaning that it did some kind of damage to Trump; 3. published with actual malice, meaning Wolff knew it was false or acted with reckless disregard as to whether it was.
.. Given that most of Trump’s net worth is tied up in his “brand,” which is another way of saying his public persona, establishing damages should not be very difficult, either
.. As for the actual malice, if Wolff has indeed manufactured quotations or events, that would go a long way toward establishing that he knew he was publishing falsehoods.
.. The problem, of course, is that a lawsuit would lead to discovery, meaning that the president and the people around him would be questioned under penalty of perjury. One thing Steve Bannon and President Trump have in common is that each lies habitually, even in circumstances in which the lie serves no obvious purpose.
.. One wonders what either man would actually say under questioning, to say nothing of what might be said by a Jared Kushner or a Kellyanne Conway.