November 12, 2018

"But on a trip to Europe, the president hardly said a word — and he still managed to outrage at almost every turn."

I thought that was a funny line in "In Paris, a relatively understated Trump finds he’s still the center of the world’s attention — and outrage" by David Nakamura in The Washington Post.

How on earth does Trump manage to outrage whether he speaks or does not speak? He's just a vector of outrage, regardless of what he does. Is it really such a mystery?! The press is looking for outrage. It's understood: Trump is an outrage. He could take a new softer tone, he could be silent — it doesn't matter. Even silence will be read as outrage, because the press is a machine that has constructed itself for the manufacture of outrage. The raw material is Trump — whatever he does.

It reminds me of a little game I used to play with my sons when they were adolescents called What if you had to argue? It challenged you to argue for a proposition that isn't true and doesn't even make sense. The game showed again and again — and comically — that you can state arguments for anything. I feel as though the press is playing a game of What if you had to argue? and the proposition is always The last thing Trump did is outrageous. But it's not a known and understood comical exercise. It's the only press we have.

Here's another funny sentence in that WaPo article.
[Trump] looked uncomfortable and listless in a bilateral meeting with Macron, whose sinewy energy stood in stark contrast to Trump’s downbeat expression as the French leader patted him on the thigh. 
That's offered as evidence that Trump, despite not "throw[ing] any sharp elbows," still made it "all about him."

80 comments:

rehajm said...

If the press were effective influencers they might discuss low energy Trump.

Don't you think he looks tired?
Heh. They probably couldn't get away with it.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gilbar said...

He could take a new softer tone, he could be silent — it doesn't matter. Even silence will be read as outrage, because the press is a machine that has constructed itself for the manufacture of outrage.
For my entire life, Repubs have tried to be 'the bigger man', not lowering themselves to insults, attacks, THEFT; and it's resulted in Demos running the country

The raw material is Trump — whatever he does.
I see what you mean, but it's not Trump that is the raw material for the media machine, ANY repub would be gist for the mill. Trump is the wrench in the works.

He stops the media machine; And THAT doesn't just outrage them, it Horrifies them

Dave Begley said...

Brilliant insight by Ann.

The morons in the MSM could learn plenty if they read Althouse; but they are too damn arrogant and stupid.

mockturtle said...

I used to play with my sons when they were adolescents called What if you had to argue? It challenged you to argue for a proposition that isn't true and doesn't even make sense. The game showed again and again — and comically — that you can state arguments for anything.

It's called 'debate'. On a high school debate team I once had to argue for school segregation by race [to which I was strongly opposed]. And I won. The argument I made was that of the benefit of black students, based on academic results, etc.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

Look at all the major World leaders standing next to Putin. Merkel is even cracking a grin. I think that makes them all guilty of Russian collusion and being Putin's puppets.

FIDO said...

I get outraged about the recount. That can affect me.

I don't get outraged about the press. They are far more irrelevant than the number of Senators in Congress.

mockturtle said...

The point being that you don't have to believe in something to argue convincingly for it.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

The WaPO is a house organ for the democrat party.

rehajm said...

It's the only press we have.

I figured at some point there would be a critical mass of Sharyl Attkissons to rebuild a robust media from the trash heaps of MSM /Think Progress propagandists. Now I'm not so sure.

tim in vermont said...

I think they have pretty much won. It’s classic gaslighting, which is why they accused Trump of gaslighting, because they always accuse Republicans of doing what they are doing, because it makes it that much harder to argue against it. I haven’t seen any classically defined gaslighting from Trump. It simply doesn’t matter. The worlds billionaires and the international left have decided that nations have to end.

I would never have believed that the French president would be arguing that France, as a nation, is not worth protecting. It’s one of the best national cultures in the world.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

Mueller is spending 1 million dollars a month on an investigation for Hillary and her media elites. False accusations trumped up by the media, Avanetti and democrats like Adam Schiff(D)

rhhardin said...

Veep season 2 episode 5 visit to Helsinki resulted in Selina getting her left breast firmly and authoritatively groped by Osmo, the husband of the Finnish Prime Minister.

Cultural difference.

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

You cannot say the word "Nationalism" without a journalist placing the word "white" in front, thereby changing the intent and meaning of a word that only means you love your country first.

Funny - it's usually white progressive with superiority complexes who do this.

Sebastian said...

"you can state arguments for anything"

True. You can even state arguments that Blasey Ford was believable.

If you really, really push the envelope of absurdity, you can even state arguments that a nineteenth-century amendment requires that the states allow same-sex marriage.

It's not a game: anything goes.

mockturtle said...

I read this morning that Trump's disapproval ratings in France have dropped, so there's that.

tim in vermont said...

I figured at some point there would be a critical mass of Sharyl Attkissons to rebuild a robust media from the trash heaps of MSM /Think Progress propagandists. Now I'm not so sure.

Alphabet knows everything about everybody, including every politician or wannabe politician. Their logo should be that eye in the pyramid. These Silicon Valley billionaires want to make the mastery of their class permanent, just like every other ruling class in history, but they have power undreamed of in the past. These newspaper properties don’t actually make money, nor do any other news organizations, except maybe Fox, therefore they are the playthings of the obscenely wealthy. Does anybody ever wonder why there seems to be consensus that Citizen Kane is a “great movie”? I don’t personally get it, but I think its about a millionaire using his great wealth to drive social change through his ownership of a newspaper, which he doesn’t run to make money.

“How long can you keep publishing your newspaper if it keeps losing a million dollars a year?”
I think he said “Thirty years!”

That line was basically “Fuck the public, they are getting what I want to feed them, economics be damned.” We all live in Citizen Kane now. I am starting to think that maybe an EMP attack on the United States would be a favor to us.

BarrySanders20 said...

It's just fun to say "This is an OUTrage!" in a foreign accent. French, German, whatever.

'Merica. Back 2 Back World War Champs, baby!

Big Mike said...

Macron, whose sinewy energy stood in stark contrast to Trump’s downbeat expression as the French leader patted him on the thigh.

Argue this: whoever wrote that is gay.

tim in vermont said...

It’s because in the most powerful nation in the world, you don’t have to be good, you just have to be different. And despite what Crack thinks, referees in this struggle do not exist.

gspencer said...

The bien pensant have, since approximately the 1890s, been trying to open a path to world government through the manipulation of events. They've moved closer to their goal, but things have not gone as they've envisioned, and certainly not on their timetable. The entire thought/concept of national sovereignty angers them, especially the notion that exists in the heart of Trump and many, many Americans - the notion of exceptionalism* based on Americanism, principally being limited government.* Trump with this MAGA/patriotism/nationalism is real sand in the gears because none of those things is globalism or internationalism. Therefore his mere existence is enough to irritate these people.

*America became great not because of what government has done, but because of what government was prevented from doing.

mockturtle said...

I am starting to think that maybe an EMP attack on the United States would be a favor to us.

Me too, tim. What disturbs me most is knowing otherwise intelligent people having spying devices in their homes listening to every word. It would seem plausible that, if you fart, Alexa would say, I'm sorry. I didn't understand that. Could you please repeat it?" Smart phones could be our undoing.

Bob Boyd said...

This started long before Trump. During the Obama years the raw material for manufacturing outrage was any opposition to Obama from the Republicans in Congress to the Tea Party to Sarah Palin to Fox News. Under Bush it was Bush. The media players even formed the Journolist to coordinate their manufacture of outrage.
Of course it's gotten worse. It's a major industry now generating lots of revenue. Big Outrage.

Hagar said...

I would never have believed that the French president would be arguing that France, as a nation, is not worth protecting.

Macron would never argue that; it is everybody else's nationality that is not worth protecting against the superior French culture.

heyboom said...

Stuck in the airport at DFW right now and happened to catch CNN on the telly. Some econ guy pretty much used his time to heap praise on China and denigrate the president. Claimed China has a strategy and the U.S. does not.

Really?

Meade said...

"The press is looking for outrage. It's understood: Trump is an outrage." An outrage, I take it, because he is "unfit, delusional, mendacious, malevolent, incompetent and authoritarian."

This reminds of a lesson my mother would repeatedly try to teach me and my 2 brothers 50 or so years ago when we were supposed to growing up. It went something like:

"Oftentimes, when we criticize and focus on what we think are flaws in others, it's because we'd rather not look at the flaws that are in our own self."

mockturtle said...

gspencer @8:51: Well stated. Nationhood and borders are all that stand in the way of one world government. I think average Europeans are beginning to understand this as they live under the overarching laws of the EU.

CWJ said...

"...that you can state arguments for anything."

Yes, it's called sophistry, and western philosophy,from Socrates onward, was basically a response and answer to it. It failed.

CWJ said...

Don't get me wrong, western philosophy had a pretty long run, but it's pretty much on life support now.

Chris N said...

Pulitzer?

Meade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

The press is hack Journolist(D).

BidenFamilyTaxPayerFundedCrackPipe said...

Trump - the incompetent authoritarian.

Unlike that Obama - the competent authoritarian.

Meade said...

My word-usage advice to DJT the next time a reporter tries to explain to him what he is, challenging him on being a "nationalist":

"Let me tell what I am NOT. (Excuse me... Excuse me)
Unlike many of the so-called heads-of-state of many other nations --
including the previous president of my own country (excuse me... excuse me) --

I am not an INTERnationalist."

Meade said...

mediasplain

Caligula said...

Trump's very existence as President of the USA is considered an outrage. Even if/when he does and says nothing.

How many million Americans exist who can't even bring themselves to say, "President Trump"?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I've grown more than weary about the everything-is-about-Trump Media and their 24/7/365 frenzy to drive this nation nuts. Granted, many of the Left started out nuts and didn't need much driving, but driven they have been. So am I to understand that Trump's magnetism drew Macron's hand to his thigh all on its own? And this is meant to enrage me how?

narciso said...

His name is a killing word like mua'dib.

narciso said...

Macron defended petain because of verdun, chew on that for a bit.

Ralph L said...

In the 90's, the Clintons inadvertently invented scandal fatigue, which helped them in the long run. Now the media hope continuous Trump outrage will prevent his reelection, but it could well be the opposite.

mockturtle said...


"Let me tell what I am NOT. (Excuse me... Excuse me)
Unlike many of the so-called heads-of-state of many other nations --
including the previous president of my own country (excuse me... excuse me) --

I am not an INTERnationalist."


I wish you were Trump's chief advisor, Meade.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Mockturtle says

It's called 'debate'. On a high school debate team I once had to argue for school segregation by race [to which I was strongly opposed]. And I won. The argument I made was that of the benefit of black students, based on academic results, etc.

The point being that you don't have to believe in something to argue convincingly for it.


Exactly! This was a great informal sport in my family when we would all get together...parents, adult kids, aunts, uncles. We would start debating a topic and pick sides, informally...not officially. It just happened without any rules or actual planning.

Some of us would often be arguing the side we didn't even agree with or had no feelings about. The idea was to persuade the others...WIN! However, if it appeared that someone was badly losing, we might switch sides and help them bolster their argument. Sort of..."On the OTHER hand, Uncle Bob, has a point and let me explain why he might be right....."

No one got really angry or devolved into an actual real argument. Once we beat a topic to death, it was...Hey. Let's have another glass of favorite adult beverage.. we were all adults or at least 18 :-)

I tried to explain this to my husband and he just didn't get it. How we could switch sides? How can you argue without getting angry? Just not in his family dynamic, I guess.

I loved debate team in college!!! and was pretty good at it too.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

there's no "age' in manage. Nor 'man'

whaaaaat's the deal!?!?

rcocean said...

I thought Macron was out of line. He invites Trump to celebrate the end of WW1 - then takes shots at him.

BTW, Trump didn't visit Belleau Wood because the rain meant no Helicopter, and a POTUS cavalcade would've tied up Paris traffic.

But you never heard that from MSM. Instead its "trump is a wimp afraid of rain".

Roy Jacobsen said...

I would never have believed that the French president would be arguing that France, as a nation, is not worth protecting. It’s one of the best national cultures in the world.

Your second statement can't be true because France's national culture produced a president that argues that France is not worth protecting.

Roy Jacobsen said...

The basic template is and forever will be "Conservative Bad."

The current template is "Orange Man Bad." (And this is not to say that Trump is a Conservative exemplar. But that's a whole 'nother discussion.)

Leland said...

There is so much hate for Trump, that his mere existence creates outrage. Europe keeps having these problems with hate. Even more reason for them to defend themselves.

Fernandinande said...

sinewy energy

I hope the scribbler who scribbled that phrase is sued into uncomfortable listlessness by Sinewy Energy Services,
Main road, Akkayyapalem, Visakhapatnam - 530016, Near maharani parlour

narayanan said...

outre-age = quality of being an outlier / unique / unprecedented etc.

perfect fit for Trump.

people - learn to use etymology in 'argumentation'. expecially when Trump is (outre USA) - France and vocabulary challenged MSM comment.

Michael McNeil said...

And this is not to say that Trump is a Conservative exemplar. But that's a whole 'nother discussion.

Maybe he's not a conservative “exemplar”, but — as (libertarian-leaning) law professor Glenn Reynolds has said more than once, most recently just this last Oct. 18
“It’s a low bar, admittedly, but Trump is a more libertarian, and more conservative, president than any in my lifetime.”

Balfegor said...

[Trump] looked uncomfortable and listless in a bilateral meeting with Macron, whose sinewy energy stood in stark contrast to Trump’s downbeat expression as the French leader patted him on the thigh.

Macron, whose approval rating is 26% and falling -- so low he can only envy Trump with his 42% approval rating.

Wince said...

Althouse said...
He's just a vector of outrage, regardless of what he does.

Outrage bukkake.

DavidD said...

The Press is right—if Macron patted him on the thigh then Trump *should* have thrown a sharp elbow.

Balfegor said...

re: tim in vermont:

I would never have believed that the French president would be arguing that France, as a nation, is not worth protecting.

When has Macron said that? He has called for European re-armament, criticized the burqa as inconsistent with the "civilities of French society" (I don't have the original French quote), has criticized high African fertility, and told Africans to their face that France can't accept everyone who wants to come. He's not exactly Marine Le Pen about protecting the "idea" of France, but he's not exactly a bleeding heart Leftist.

bleh said...

Sinewy energy, lmao.

Anyway, as much as I sometimes dislike Trump, he has done a fantastic job exposing the media's hypocrisy, egotism and incompetence. Just by being himself he has made them abandon even the appearance of principles or integrity, and it's been a valuable experience for me. I actually prefer this widespread tantrum that has defined the mainstream media since 2015 because despite all the lies the fundamental truth is revealed. I have zero faith in our "venerable" journalistic institutions.

Newspapers and broadcast networks are just PACs by another name. No more or less dishonest. It's all advocacy.

Penguins loose said...

Thank you Ann. All I need do is to change a few names and I have my entry for the next Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

“Brook looked uncomfortable and listless in a bilateral meeting with Fergus, whose sinewy energy stood in stark contrast to Brook’s downbeat expression as the Irish jockey patted him on the thigh.”

Comanche Voter said...

TDS--aka Trump Derangement Syndrome never goes away. For some of those afflicted with it, it's all they've got to hold on to.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Emmanuel Goldstein could not be reached for comment.

And that's what this is, the left is stuck in a two-year hate.

Howard said...

TDS is just the equal and opposite psychosis to TCS... Trump Cult Syndrome We are witnessing the perfect con that ends up controlling both sides. Brilliant.

Danno said...

Over the course of his lifetime DJT has morphed from a chick magnet to an outrage magnet.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...as the French leader patted him on the thigh

He didn’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything... Grab them by the thigh...

Michael The Magnificent said...

"As usual, the face of Donald Trump, the Enemy of the People, had flashed on to the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience. The little sandy-haired woman gave a squeak of mingled fear and disgust. Trump was the renegade and backslider who once, long ago (how long ago, nobody quite remembered), had been one of the leading figures of the Party, almost on a level with Big Brother himself, and then had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The programmes of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in which Trump was not the principal figure. He was the primal traitor, the earliest defiler of the Party’s purity. All subsequent crimes against the Party, all treacheries, acts of sabotage, heresies, deviations, sprang directly out of his teaching. Somewhere or other he was still alive and hatching his conspiracies: perhaps somewhere beyond the sea, under the protection of his Russian paymasters, perhaps even — so it was occasionally rumoured — in some hiding-place in Oceania itself."

William said...

I would argue that the French mutineers in WWI represented the true ideals of the French Revolution. Petain by persuading them to go back into the trenches for further pointless slaughter betrayed those ideals. Trump, by refusing to stand in the cold rain to honor the victims of a stupid war, exemplified the spirit of the French mutineers who were the true heroes of WWI.

Gunner said...

Haven't we caught on by now that Europe whines about every Republican that goes over there? They did nonstop angry stories about Romney at the 2012 Olympics, Bush and Cheney etc.

William said...

I would argue that Germany won WWI. The war, for the most part, was fought on French land and Germany inflicted far more deaths on the French than the French inflicted on them. Let every corpse count. The French won a narrow electoral count kind of victory, but the Germans won the popular count so far as corpses go. Hitler, like Hillary, could not accept the results and ran again to show the world who really won that contest.

cubanbob said...

Macron wants EU nationalism as long as France is the jockey on the horse.

mockturtle said...

The British, not the US, won WWI. We helped.

raf said...

@William
"I would argue that Germany won WWI. The war, for the most part, was fought on French land and Germany inflicted far more deaths on the French than the French inflicted on them. Let every corpse count. The French won a narrow electoral count kind of victory, but the Germans won the popular count so far as corpses go. Hitler, like Hillary, could not accept the results and ran again to show the world who really won that contest."

This is a good one. I may steal it, if the proper occasion arises.

Rockeye said...

Meade: "think are flaws in others, it's because we'd rather not look at the flaws that are in our own self."
I tell my daughter that what we hate most of others is what we fear most about ourselve.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

You could argue that France is unique in the Western world beacause its elite still believes in "France" and French interests.

Unfortunately over the past century it has eitner a) consistently misidentified French interests or b) adopted stupid unworkable policies to protect real interests.

Known Unknown said...

""Let me tell what I am NOT. (Excuse me... Excuse me)
Unlike many of the so-called heads-of-state of many other nations --
including the previous president of my own country (excuse me... excuse me) --

I am not an INTERnationalist.""

WaPo headline: TRUMP HATES WORLD.

narciso said...

What this is really about:

https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2018/11/11/virgil-frances-macron-attacks-americas-trump-and-americans-help-pay-for-it/

Molly said...

(eaglbeak)

All of Europe has a very hard time with America. They loved Obama because, um, he didn't seem very American.

Trump is the quintessential "ugly American"--bigger, mouthier, stronger, ruder. Charles Dickens was bitching about America in the 1840s. Europeans generally thought we were hicks, rubes, etc.--deplorables, you might say.

Imagine their horror when it turned out they needed us, but we didn't need them. That was true in WWI and it was true in WWII--because, although Britain held out when the U.S. was in an isolationist cocoon, Britain could never have supplied the Soviets (or itself--hence Lend Lease) and Britain could never have pulled off D-Day.

And now imagine the horror when Trump basically says: You know what? Tired of taking care of you and getting attacked for it.

We've had Merkel carp about us, and le petit garçon Macron, and even Theresa May, but really, it's the most Oedipal thing imaginable.

The child--that's us--has so far outgrown the father that it's painful and poignant and Europe should come to terms with it.

And of course the American press, which are almost uniformly swine, are happy to magnify and join whatever stupid fits the Europeans throw.

Trump kept his mouth shut, basically iced Macron, and gave a good speech at Suresnes American Cemetery in the driving rain.

Michael McNeil said...

TDS is just the equal and opposite psychosis to TCS… Trump Cult Syndrome We are witnessing the perfect con that ends up controlling both sides. Brilliant.

So Democrats are finally abandoning the narrative that Trump's an utter moron not to speak of imbecile? Somehow I doubt it….

hstad said...


Blogger Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...You cannot say the word "Nationalism" without a journalist placing the word "white" in front, thereby changing the intent and meaning of a word that only means you love your country first. Funny - it's usually white progressive with superiority complexes who do this. 11/12/18, 8:42 AM

What gibberish? Black Nationalism is alive an well. Read some South African newspapers(Or any third world press) and you shall be educated.

My point is - White, Black, Brown, etc., "Nationalism" still exists in all of its forms! Only Leftist morons believe the opposite because it destroys their political narrative.

JaimeRoberto said...

Sinewy energy. Jeez, that reads like a Harlequin Romance.

tim in vermont said...

So when Macron says nationalism is a dangerous throwback to the thirties, he means everybody but France.

Sam L. said...

It's just the WaPoo way of being the WaPoo.

Howard said...

Blogger Michael McNeil said...

TDS is just the equal and opposite psychosis to TCS… Trump Cult Syndrome We are witnessing the perfect con that ends up controlling both sides. Brilliant.

So Democrats are finally abandoning the narrative that Trump's an utter moron not to speak of imbecile? Somehow I doubt it….


They are not, but some democrats are becoming aware that they are de-facto helping Trump by biting on his tasty troll bait.

narciso said...

Macron, invited Erdogan, who is the preeminent jailer of journalists, with almost no reservations on his part,