That phrase, according to political scientists who study conspiracy theories, is characteristic of politicians who seek to exploit the psychology of suspicion and cynicism to win votes.Yeah, there's something going on there with Trump saying there's something going on there. I'm prompted to try to piece together what scary, sinister plans Trump may be conspiring to conceal. So many layers!
The idea that people in positions of power or influence are conspiring to conceal sinister truths from the public can be inherently appealing, because it helps make sense of tragedy and satisfies the human need for certainty and order. Yet politicians hoping to take advantage of these tendencies must rely on vague and suggestive statements, since any specific accusation could be easily disproved.
"He's leaving it to the audience to piece together what he's saying," said Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami, in a recent interview.... Uscinski noted that Trump has used the tactic throughout his campaign to gain support by appealing to voters' fears and cynicism. "The one thing that’s remained absolutely consistent is his penchant for conspiracy theorizing," Uscinski said.
Meanwhile: "Trump revokes [Washington] Post press credentials, calling the paper ‘dishonest’ and ‘phony’" — writes Paul Farhi at — of all places — WaPo.
“Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post,” read a post on Trump’s Facebook page.What was the original headline?
Another post said, “I am no fan of President Obama, but to show you how dishonest the phony Washington Post is, they wrote, ‘Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting’ as their headline. Sad!”
Trump was referring to an article that posted online Monday morning that was headlined, “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.” The article was the most-read on The Post’s website at the time. Its original headline, which Trump accurately cited in his Facebook post, was changed about 90 minutes later. The newspaper changed it on its own, before Trump’s complaint.
ADDED: The original headline — included in the blocked quote — was "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting." Sorry for leaving that question at the end of this post. I had meant to delete it. What a crazy, embarrassing headline! But "The newspaper changed it on its own, before Trump’s complaint." There's some low-level self-praise!
IN THE COMMENTS: rhhardin — known for his gnomic comments — gets off a string of gems:
1. "What was the original headline?"/More Mush from the Wimp.
2. Something's happening here./Everybody look what's going down.Here's "The Unicorn in the Garden," for understanding #6.
3. Suspicion is looking up, etymologically speaking. I don't know if a toga was involved.
4. Weasel words have a musky smell.
5. Terrorists don't hate. They're fine upstanding participants in a stable culture. Just keep the culture in their own country.
6. The unicorn ate it gravely./Finest line in Thurber.