September 17, 2016

Washington Post "stance on display" in a triad of Trump-related headlines.

I don't know what's oddest here:



1. "Trump’s stance on display..." tripped me up. Is there some "display" in the news about which Trump has a position, a "stance," that I need to know about? No, Trump has a "stance" — on what? — and he's showing it to us. The stance isn't on anything. It's just his self-assurance, the attitude that  he's "never wrong." The "stance" is not that he's "never loved more by his supporters." The love from the supporters is just a consequence, supposedly, of observing the display of the "stance." It's hard to read, because there's a colon after an introductory clause, and only one of the things after the colon is what the phrase before the colon is pointing at. When you click through, the story is "Trump: Never wrong, never sorry, never responsible," by Karen Tumulty. Why is this the top Trump story of the day? I guess it's because Trump made Obama's birthplace the story-of-the-day yesterday, and it must be wrestled into an anti-Trump story. So Trump's stating clearly that Obama was born in Hawaii becomes a generality about his character, which — I keep reading — is so different and much more dangerous than the character of all the other politicians, but I've never noticed that other politicians call attention to their errors as outright errors and refrain from deflecting blame onto others.

2. The second headline is just plain funny. The media is "playing the stooge for Trump"?! And it's  time to stop. Subheading: "The Republican nominee said, 'Jump.' And TV news asked, 'How high?'" The media has been obviously trying to help Hillary, but I guess its efforts are so inept that Trump can figure out how to flip them into doing things to work in his favor. When I hear "stooge," I think of The 3 Stooges, and I guess if they ever formed a goal, they'd bumble into exactly achieving the opposite effect. Here's the full story — "It’s time for TV news to stop playing the stooge for Donald Trump" — by Margaret Sullivan, WaPo's media columnist. It's another piece that follows on from yesterday's story-of-the-day, Trump's wrangling the media to hear his announcement of Obama's birthplace and deflection of blame onto Hillary. Sullivan explains how the press got played, but not why. The why is, I think, eagerness to help Hillary: They've made themselves stupid —  stupid for Hillary. What's the cure? I would think: serious, professional journalism. But Sullivan just tells them to stop it.

3. Oh, my, it's Laura Bush! Maybe she can help. The story is "In a tense election year, Laura Bush picks an interesting ally: Michelle Obama," by Krissah Thompson. It's as if somebody at WaPo decided to make the left-hand column as female-oriented as possible. All the authors are female. Story #1 alarms us about Trump's "stance" — which calls to mind that bane of female existence, manspreading. Story #2 calls to mind The 3 Stooges, who enact a style of male behavior that women find so off-putting. We all know women hate The 3 Stooges. And finally, there's relief: 2 female lead characters. If we can't love Hillary Clinton, surely we can warm up to these 2 solid standby females, Laura and Michelle. Gotta love at least one of them. First Ladies! Hillary was a First Lady, so... let's love First Ladies. Maybe that will help. Help us with our tension in this "tense election year." Laura and Michelle are sitting together on a stage at some worthy, non-tense event burbling about their mutual love and respect. Yes, yes, this is the tone we need now. Something gentle and feminine, not blustering and manspreading, not slapstick stoogery. There, now — do you see it? — forming mistily, gauzily in your mind? The female face — soft, smiling...



... tension-releasing....

44 comments:

AReasonableMan said...

There is a reason Althouse attracts commenters like rhhardin.

rehajm said...

That is some serious muddying of the waters.

Freder Frederson said...

Just because you (and many others on the right) claim that the press is in the tank for Hillary, doesn't make it true. Trump has largely been given a pass for the outright lies he has told and there has been very little investigation into his sordid past. As one example, the press has portrayed Hillary as secretive, but in fact Trump is much more secretive. He has refused to release any of his tax returns under the bullshit excuse that his is under audit (which even if it is true, and he has not released the IRS audit letter, does not prevent him from releasing the returns) or any meaningful medical information. He has never addressed Melania's immigration status. We know next to nothing about his foreign business dealings, which is extremely important. His Foundation has broken the law, yet the Clinton Foundation is the one receiving all the scrutiny.

I could go on and on.

Tank said...

Freder Frederson said...

Just because you (and many others on the right) claim that the press is in the tank for Hillary, doesn't make it true ...


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HA !

[Insert name calling here]

Bruce Hayden said...

I can see the second story. Makes perfect sense. Everyone knew that Trump was going to talk about the birther thing yesterday. And, everyone pretty much knew that he had to disavow it. Otherwise, why say anything? So, he gets all the press together, he gets to talk about other stuff, and, BTW, Obama was born in the US. All the MSM was there to see him fail, and, he wasn't about to, or he wouldn't have been having the press conference. The funny part of the whole thing was that the Crooked Hillary camp tried to turn this against him, and ended up with egg on their face after forgetting that her surrogates were the ones who started it almost nine years ago. Then they tried to get out of that by Clinton parsing of the truth, pointing out that her campaign hadn't started it (ignoring or obscuring that one of the initial prime movers was long time Clinton fixer and hatchet man "Sid Vicious" Blumenthal). Result was that the MSM and the Clinton campaign ended up looking like fools. The MSM should have seen it coming, and maybe did. They just couldn't resist. And Trump won the news cycle again.

AReasonableMan said...

I agree with Freder on the tax returns. If this was an Australian or British press corp they would have been screaming at Trump from day 1 about the releasing his taxes and would not have let go until he gave in. The US press is very pliant around power, of any persuasion.

Hagar said...

And you no doubt will, Frddie.

But the media is not "in the tank for Hillary!." They are in the tank for themselves.

Drago said...

AReasonableMan: "There is a reason Althouse attracts commenters like rhhardin"

There must be at least one reason why any blog attracts any individual commenter.

One "leans forward" waiting for the next astonishing insight into the human psyche from ARM.

Drago said...

Freder: "I could go on and on"

LOL

Go right ahead.

Wilbur said...

Tax returns. Trump does judo on the left again.

They (Obama's IRS) decide to audit Trump. Trump then says "My lawyer advises me to not release my returns while I'm undergoing an audit." And Trump has yuuuge lawyers, don't ya' know. Just ask him.

Another unforeseen consequence for them. It's as if Trump understands their playbook. That's how Trump is winning.

Humperdink said...

Boy, a sigh of relief here.

When I saw the headline "Trump stance on display", I thought they were going all Sen. Larry Craig. Too early in the day for that visual.

Tank said...

AReasonableMan said...

I agree with Freder on the tax returns. If this was an Australian or British press corp they would have been screaming at Trump from day 1 about the releasing his taxes and would not have let go until he gave in. The US press is very pliant around power, of any persuasion.


No one cares about his Tax Returns, except his enemies (which does include most of the press) who want desperately to search for material to use against him. Otherwise, nonissue.

JWH said...

I guess the reason he does not release his tax returns, is for the same reason Clinton did not release her Wall Street speeches.

tim maguire said...

Freder and ARM, Donald is (selectively) secretive about his personal life, Hillary is secretive about public affairs.

You are free to object to both, but you are not free to deny a difference or, worse, make a bigger deal about Trump's secrecy.

JAORE said...

The stance of the WaPo is pretty clear.



I find it hilarious (Hillaryous?) that a cornerstone of her "why you should vote for me" argument is his failure to disclose tax returns under audit when:

Transcripts of speeches to the banks she scolds are buttonholed;
Foreign investments (they aren't really donations, are they?) in the Clinton foundation are kept under wraps;
She mega-wiped 30,000, no make that 45,000 e-mails AFTER they were subpoenaed - and lied again and again and again about the content.
Found the Rose Law Firm billing records in the WH personal quarters YEARS after they were subpoenaed;
Even surrogates/minions with IMMUNITY plead the fifth.....

And more.....



jacksonjay said...

Yeah Freder, I sure wish this so-called in the tank for Hillary media would report on that courageous AG in New York. Most people don't know about his investigation of Trump's foundation. Total media black-out! I'm sure the media is keeping quiet because he's a Democrat!

Tommy Duncan said...

Three points regarding Trump's taxes:

(1) Trump's taxes are not final until the audits are completed. No one should be required to reveal preliminary tax returns that may be subject to change.

(2) The issue of being audited by the IRS plays well politically. Most Trump voters believe the IRS is politicized and that Trump is a target. Being a target of the IRS shows he is not a Washington insider in a year when insiders are radioactive.

(3) As a business owner Trump's tax returns will be foreign and confusing to the average American. Trump does not file generic 1040's with a standard deduction. That leaves the interpretation of his tax forms open to wild and dishonest spin. No sane person in Trump's position would open himself up to that shit storm.

Humperdink said...

Yep, the tax return dodge is a phony issue.

> Trump's rich.

> He uses every tax avoidance technique known to the western world.

> Some might be questionable.

> What else is new?

> I suspect the IRS agents his company(s) deals with are on a first name basis. Prolly have their own office in the Trump Tower (sarc alert).

Wilbur said...

AA, I agree with your 2005 post on The Three Stooges - or as my 4 year-old great nephew then called them to my delight, The Three Students.

I've observed that women find the boys intensely unattractive, in their appearance and their behavior. There's no woman fantasizing about being swept up into the arms of Larry Fine.

Hagar said...

"Trump's tax returns."
Is that a request for Donald Trump's, or those of all his companies, or both? You really think that an intrepid reporter is going to make anything substantial out of this tangle before November?
Remember that all of these are going to be signed off on by very high-powered accounting firms before being submitted. The Donald does not do them on his kitchen table.

Curious George said...

Freder Frederson said...
Just because you (and many others on the right) claim that the press is in the tank for Hillary, doesn't make it true. Blah blah blah"

You need to look no further than the fact that Hillary has a major neurological disorder (probably Parkinson Disease) and the press does nothing but parrot her campaigns talking points. Anyone else would be toast. Done. Kaput.

Please explain this.

That black dude is not Secret Service. He knows immediately that something is wrong and she has frozen up. He has to calm and instruct her twice. And this guy never leaves her side in public. This is frightening. And the press make her seem the hero.

Anglelyne said...

ARM: There is a reason Althouse attracts commenters like rhhardin.

Lol.


Drago @8:05 AM: Lighten up. ARM, bless his lib'rul heart, is very funny sometimes.

Rusty said...

I agree with Freder on the tax returns.
You probably wouldn't understand them if he did.

Freder Frederson said...

Trump's taxes are not final until the audits are completed.

So why can't he release prior years return. And if he is being audited, he should release the IRS letter saying he is being audited.

You probably wouldn't understand them if he did.

I'm probably not as stupid as you think. Unlike DBQ, who claims to be a "financial advisor", I actually know how a progressive income tax works.

AJ Lynch said...

On her worst day, DBQ is way smarter and more knowledgeable than Freder the librul dunce.

Chuck said...

Just to be clear, Professor Althouse; your Trump-supporting commenters were lining up yesterday to laugh at me over the fact that Trump did indeed "play" the media landscape. I think it is a general article of faith among the Trumpkins, that Trump brilliantly used the media to draw attention to a nothing burger appearance with vets in his Washington hotel, before making the big story concession about having been wrong in the birther conspiracy myth.

It isn't any fantasy of a Trump-subverting newspaper; it is a genuine and widely-expressed feeling with Trump supporters.

MayBee said...

If people demand tax returns be released, they should ask Congress to make it the law that tax returns be released.

Birth certificates, tax returns, a medical exam. Make getting on the ballot conditional. Or have the debate committee make it a condition of being included in the debates.

But right now, it's just up to the press to pester and the politicians know they don't have to release anything they don't want to.

Wilbur said...

"Trump brilliantly used the media to draw attention to a nothing burger appearance with vets in his Washington hotel, before making the big story concession about having been wrong in the birther conspiracy myth."

Chuck, what about that is incorrect? Or am I missing your point?

Speaking for myself, I appreciate reading your posts and those of ARM. I don't often agree but I value your input.

damikesc said...

The media is "playing the stooge for Trump"?! And it's time to stop. Subheading: "The Republican nominee said, 'Jump.' And TV news asked, 'How high?'"

Those mass "I have worked with pneumonia" and "powering through" testimonials weren't the press doing Hillary's bidding. It's totally different than the media being expertly trolled by Trump.

Just because you (and many others on the right) claim that the press is in the tank for Hillary, doesn't make it true.

Watching the news makes it true.

Trump has largely been given a pass for the outright lies he has told and there has been very little investigation into his sordid past. As one example, the press has portrayed Hillary as secretive, but in fact Trump is much more secretive.

He set up a private sever while working for the people to avoid all oversight? That JERK! He claimed to have been overheated on a mild day and then claimed to have had pneumonia and the press bought it? He lied about everything involving a major email scandal and the press bought every single lie as being true?

He has refused to release any of his tax returns under the bullshit excuse that his is under audit (which even if it is true, and he has not released the IRS audit letter, does not prevent him from releasing the returns)

He's being audited. Why would he put them out until it's over? That'd be stupid.

He has never addressed Melania's immigration status.

They're married. What is the question there, birther?

We know next to nothing about his foreign business dealings, which is extremely important. His Foundation has broken the law, yet the Clinton Foundation is the one receiving all the scrutiny.

Feel free to explain his illegal dealings.

Rusty said...


You probably wouldn't understand them if he did.

"I'm probably not as stupid as you think. Unlike DBQ, who claims to be a "financial advisor", I actually know how a progressive income tax works."

I'm not saying you are, but on the scale of Trumps dealings, the inticacies of his investments, etc. would take a CPA to explain. You can bet his personal return is considerably more than 15 pages.

readering said...

Althouse goes into great detail taking apart 3 post headlines and ledes but she is incapable of accurately summarizing what Trump's hotel event consisted of. Personally I am waiting for the FEC report on how much the hotel charged the campaign for use of the facility (including the collapsing set!).

wholelottasplainin' said...

Freder Frederson said...
Trump's taxes are not final until the audits are completed.

So why can't he release prior years return. And if he is being audited, he should release the IRS letter saying he is being audited.

**********

What *exactly* do you think you have the *right* to know about any private citizen's tax returns?

What *law* requires Trump's to be released?

If he's being audited, why should he release his current returns until the IRS has approved or rejected them?

If his past tax returns were audited and approved, why---aside from vulgar curiosity and the usual mindless leftist rage against "the rich"---do you or anyone else need to see them?

And, why is it you pass over in silence Hillary's embargo on great gobs of information about her "business" practices? Is it only because you're an effing hypocrite?

khesanh0802 said...

@readering The FEC will charge Trump at the same time they charge Clinton for her earlier flights on Air Force 1. How soon we forget!

autothreads said...

There's no woman fantasizing about being swept up into the arms of Larry Fine.

Curly was the ladies man of the Three. If I recall correctly, Larry Fine was married to the same woman for a long time. They never had kids and apparently shared interests in gambling on horses and I believe they primarily lived in hotels. Moe Howard was also married for a long time, though he and his wife were more conventional than the Fines, living in a suburban home and raising kids (I think a grandson of Moe runs the Stooges' business affairs these days). Curly liked to date beautiful women and was married four times, with a couple of the marriages lasting only about a year. Sadly, he died very young at 48 after a series of strokes.

cubanbob said...

Rusty said...

You probably wouldn't understand them if he did.

"I'm probably not as stupid as you think. Unlike DBQ, who claims to be a "financial advisor", I actually know how a progressive income tax works."

I'm not saying you are, but on the scale of Trumps dealings, the intricacies of his investments, etc. would take a CPA to explain. You can bet his personal return is considerably more than 15 pages.

9/17/16, 10:32 AM"

His K1s alone are probably several feet thick. Can you believe the IRS is so backwards that the returns on people like Trump have to sent in on paper with all the accompanying documentation on paper as well. They haven't even reached the level of PDFs. My return with the K1 was about two inches thick (which had to be mailed in on paper) and my tax bill is loose change for Trump. It's almost impossible if not outright impossible to file a completed return by April 15th for someone at Trumps level. The documentation from the investment banks alone precludes that. As for being audited, at that level of wealth you are almost always a subject of an audit. If the Obama Administration hasn't gone after him for tax fraud and or evasion its most likely because there isn't any.

Freder if you are that concerned about Trumps taxes then you must be really concerned about the donations to the Clinton Family Foundation and her speaking fees.

Friedrich Engels' Barber said...

Althouse scans, then, focuses and … the writer’s nightmare, being read by someone who reads better than you write. Tumulty, Sullivan, Thompson and an anonymous headline writer run screaming into the night.

Michael K said...

Just because you (and many others on the right) claim that the press is in the tank for Hillary, doesn't make it true.

You should see today's LA Times. It is so laughable but my wife likes to read it so it is in my house. Story after story about Trump's "lies" that are not lies.

What drives them nuts is his ability to get them to do what he wants no matter what they try to do to him.

Harry Reid pretty much put the tax return issue to sleep with his lies in 2012 about Romney. Recall that Romney finally released his and the clamor instantly subsided.

jacksonjay said...

Cruelly neutral question. If The Trump can "play the media", can he play The Trumpets? Lots of Trumpets seem so smitten, that they anxiously jump on board each new pronouncement. Send the curvy blond (Democrat) out to propose a new entitlement, and all of a sudden Republicans, including Limbaugh, jump on board. It's a bit embarrassing!

What was that Trump said about committing murder on Fifth Ave and he wouldn't lose a vote?

Hillary supporters have the same kind of devotion.

readering said...

khesanh0802 I am not suggesting that the Trump campaign has done anything that the FEC would bring charges on. Indeed, the campaign has to pay for commercial space. Just that the campaign will report it, as required, and it will be an unnecessarily huge number, and all the $5, $10, and $20 supporters will have been shown to have been subsidizing the Trump Organization, again.

Bruce Hayden said...

@readering - then there is the scheme by the Crooked Hillary campaign to steal money from small donors, which appears to work like this. Crooked Hillary campaign worker gets a credit card from a small donor for maybe a $25 donation, then charges that, another two $25 charges, and a $19 charge, keeping it below $100, exceeding which would force the banks to deny their credit card services to her campaign. The non-$25 charge is the giveaway that the scheme is intentional, and not mere accident. Oh, and then her campaign makes it nearly impossible to get their money back, requiring dozens and dozens of calls.

Michael The Magnificent said...

I'm no fan of Trump (though he'll get my reluctantly cast vote), but who doesn't cheer the Roadrunner as he once more outsmarts and escapes the elaborately constructed trap laid for him by Wile E. Coyote - Super Genius?

The press seem to believe it's their job, not to just report the news straight, but to sink Trump.

Jupiter said...

'It is no secret that the former and current first ladies are fond of each other. “I like this woman,” Obama has said of her predecessor.'

Which is more than she can say for America.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Obsequious rumpswabs.

Earnest Prole said...

Have you ever noticed that Hillary's hairdo makes her face perfectly, maternally round? Big Brother seems threatening, but Big Mother is just what we yearn for.