November 30, 2019

"Donald Trump Campaign Disputes Claim that Photo of President as Rocky Balboa Was 'Doctored.'"

Says Newsweek, and I hope they know they're being funny, but they seem to have a hard time acknowledging that the Trump side of this is funny.

WaPo was dumb enough to tweet, "Trump tweets doctored photo of his head on Sylvester Stallone’s body, unclear why." Most responses seemed to be laughing at WaPo for saying that what was obviously photoshopped was "doctored" — as if something hard to detect and sneaky was going on.

But Team Trump was witty enough to say, "Washington Post claims - without evidence - that @realDonaldTrump shared a 'doctored' photo."

That's not — as Newsweek imagines — a dispute of WaPo's "claim" that the photo did not show the real body of Donald Trump. It's making fun of WaPo for saying what didn't need to be said.

I believe it is also intended as mockery of the use of the phrase "without evidence" in reports on the impeachment hearings. I was just blogging about that little journalistic trick, back on November 11th. A NYT article — "What Joe Biden Actually Did in Ukraine" — said "Mr. Giuliani has claimed, without evidence, that Mr. Biden’s push to oust Mr. Shokin was an attempt to block scrutiny of his son’s actions...." I wrote:
We have evidence of Biden's statements and activities, but we don't know what was in his head, but he could have been motivated by a desire to cover for his son. That's an inference you could make from the evidence, and it's always hard to prove what's inside somebody's head.
The impeachment investigation is nearly all about proving what was inside Trump's head in his dealing with Ukraine (was it solely his own political advantage devoid of any concern for American interests?).
I'd just like to see a consistent approach to talking about other people's thoughts. You could say "without evidence" whenever you're making an inference about thought from the evidence that we do have. Or you could make inferences from the evidence and just speak about them as if the inferences are evidence.
Of course, I don't realistically believe I'll ever see that consistent approach, but I have that ideal, and with that grounding, I found the Trump Team's "without evidence" very funny.

50 comments:

rcocean said...

Attacking Trump "Without evidence" is good Journalism.

Ken B said...

And I have Canadian friends who are astounded when I say Trump is funny. They just don’t believe it. And then they point at an obvious joke and say how stupid he is.

wild chicken said...

Humor is the first thing to go.

Beasts of England said...

They can’t beat the guy. It’s impressive to watch.

rcocean said...

The WaPo writers are back from Thanksgiving and are now giving reasons why Trump's trip to Afghanistan was somehow "bad". One writer discovered that Trump only did it to get the focus off impeachment. BTW, CBS news used this trick during Watergate, whenever Nixon went overseas it was to "move the focus off the "Watergate Scandal". Later, the MSM did the same thing with Reagan during "iran-contra".

Its negative coverage 24/7/365. Waiting for headline "To change focus from Impeachment, Trump cures cancer".

tim maguire said...

The media has long treated Trump’s tweets as research papers lacking proper citations—a ludicrous standard they hold no one else to. Good to see Trump throwing their deceit and hypocrisy back at them. Again.

Reporters are sincerely upset and insulted that Trump called some of them enemies of the people, yet they never tire of giving him justification.

Char Char Binks said...

“Perhaps with tongue in cheek “

traditionalguy said...

Trump commits comedy in plain sight. Fake Media weeps and gnashes their teeth. Was it Russian humor?

rcocean said...

I don't want to disappoint anyone, but when the Impeachment goes away in One or two months, the Media/Democrats will immediately discover a new "Trump Scandal" that MUST BE INVESTIGATED.

Sebastian said...

"I found the Trump Team's "without evidence" very funny."

On the other hand, there's plenty of evidence that progs aren't funny.

They can't be: progressivism demands strict conformity, unfailing orthodoxy, and faith in power.

Prog "humor" is a way to enforce conformity, signal orthodoxy, and promote prog power.

Ken B said...

Traditionalguy
Good question. Russian humor is cynical. “In America you watch television. In Russia television watches you.” Except now television and phones watch you in America.

The po faced journalists were saying Louis CK “told” Jews he'd rather be in Auschwitz. That’s another dishonest trick. He did not tell them that; tell8ng involves conveying information. He used the words as part of a joke. But the po faced press plays dumb just like they did with the Rocky tweet, so they can hang a pejorative headline on it.

YoungHegelian said...

Sometimes it's just hard to believe how thick some of these people are, isn't it?

As the old joke went, they all had good educations, but they didn't let it go to their heads.

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Boyd said...

that Photo of President as Rocky Balboa Was 'Doctored.'

Maybe that's what Trump was doing at the hospital the other day.

Michael K said...

Humor is first to go. Was there any in "1984?" Russian humor during the Soviet period was underground, just like now here.

Ken B said...

YH
I agree with buwaya, it’s a tactic. It lets you say or do things, like the “told” example I gave above.
There was an interesting case during the UMizz protests with Melissa Click. A protester started bumping a guy with a camera. The guy with the camera, just standing there, protested. The protester kept bumping him, saying “I'm just walking forward. Don’t I have a right to walk forward?” Same tactic.
Most of us think it’s stupid, but I have seen its practitioners congratulate each other. They think they are putting one over on the rubes.

Professional lady said...

What!!!! That wasn't Trump's body!!! Who knew?

Seeing Red said...

For more humor:

Powerline’s The Week in Pics is up.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I don't want to disappoint anyone, but when the Impeachment goes away in One or two months, the Media/Democrats will immediately discover a new "Trump Scandal" that MUST BE INVESTIGATED.

I think the Ukraine scam started the very next day after Mueller bombed so spectacularly.

Mike Sylwester said...

Democracy Dies in Darkness!

narciso said...

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/11/the-week-in-pictures-tryptophan-hangover-edition.php?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=sw&utm_campaign=sw&fbclid=IwAR1qz5uvxdqPPHTsm858vr5evfHUwlXFMSkxP26y3l3kmLeLWKJnNoF2PXQ

hombre said...

Of course, regardless of what Biden says was in his head, if Shokin and other Ukrainians are to be believed, his actions had the effect of stopping the investigation into Burisma and his son. It was extortion, pure and simple.

His actions, external evidence and the results are the best evidence of his intent except for the fact that he is a Democrat whereas we must believe what he says and not our lyin’ eyes.

As La SeƱora is wont to say, “Our poor country!”

Yancey Ward said...

Yes, that tweet poking at WaPo is next level humor- you really do have to have an IQ above 110 to realize it, so I will cut Newsweek's writers some slack since I doubt any of them have IQs in the triple digits.

pacwest said...

All this back and forth, but I have never seen President Trump without a shirt on. Do we know for certain this photo has been doctored? I haven't heard Biden say anything about whipping Trump's ass behind the schoolyard since this photo came out.

Seriously though. The media giving this so much attention has fixed the image in the public mind. They know he's not buff (maybe), but he's a fighter. Trump is playing the press like a fiddle. I expect him to play the Rocky theme at his next rally. And maybe whip off his shirt.


Wi ginseng is best said...

"The impeachment investigation is nearly all about proving what was inside Trump's head in his dealing with Ukraine (was it solely his own political advantage devoid of any concern for American interests?)"

That is a pretty weak standard. Since Trump presumably believes that it is in American's interests for him to be reelected, under that test it would be okay for him to strong arm foreign leaders to announce investigations into political rivals even if he believed the rival had done nothing wrong.

A "but for" test is more appropriate. But for the fact that Biden was a political rival in the upcoming election, would he have done what he did?

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wince said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yancey Ward said...

On what was in Biden's head, we can also infer the motive by looking for the evidence that doesn't align with Biden's explanations- this is the way motive is always deduced absent a confession. We can strongly infer this motive by the fact that Biden allowed his son to put him in this position to begin with. And remember, these are acts that have a firm factual basis- Hunter Biden received at least $1 million dollars from Burisma for what appears to be nothing other than the fact that he was Joe Biden's son; Joe Biden coerced the firing of Shokin; Shokin has put down in a deposition that he was investigating Burisma at the time.

Biden has replied, variously, that he had no idea what his son was doing, but Hunter Biden had already undercut this explanation by admitting he discussed it with his father, or that his motives were pure regardless of what he knew about his son's financial interests. During the public hearings of the last 2 weeks, it became clear that a number of people in the Obama Administration were worried about Hunter Biden's connections, or, at a minimum, feel it necessary to claim they felt uneasy about it- regardless, they knew about it, and thus so did Joe Biden. And, yet, Biden didn't force his son to resign the position given the appearances.

Wince said...

Does that mean Newsweek believes the original poster photo of Sylvester Stallone for Rocky III wasn't "doctored"?

Phidippus said...

AA: "I believe it is also intended as mockery of the use of the phrase "without evidence" in reports on the impeachment hearings."

Of course it was. "Without evidence" is mediaspeak for "enemy aircraft are over the target".

narciso said...

this is a guy, biden, who misrepresented who was at fault in his late wives accident, for 35 years, actually it took that long for the story to be uncovered, the times the post the journal, are steadfast in dismissing that long body of documentation that Solomon, McIntyre et al, have uncovered in the shokin case, and this corruption, had to happen with the cooperation of the country team, as lynn chu, noted in that long extract,

Greg the class traitor said...

pacwest said...
Trump is playing the press like a fiddle. I expect him to play the Rocky theme at his next rally. And maybe whip off his shirt.

And underneath, he'll have a shirt with an image of that "Rocky body"

n.n said...

a guy, biden, who misrepresented who was at fault in his late wives accident, for 35 years

Decaffeinated Joe, quid pro Joe, say it ain't so.

Fernandistein said...

I think Stallone made the picture because anyone seen his face lately?

Zoom in to see the sweaty eyelids.

Greg the class traitor said...

Blogger Wi ginseng is best said...
A "but for" test is more appropriate. But for the fact that Biden was a political rival in the upcoming election, would he have done what he did?

Trump was asking Ukraine to do two things:

1: Investigate their country's interference in the US Presidential election, on Hillary's side, in 2016
2: Investigate corrupt actions by the Obama Admin

Both subject are legitimate topics for investigation. Both remain important regardless of whether or not Joe Biden is running for President.

So the claim that he was only doing this "to target his political rival, Joe Biden" it laughably false.

But if that charge is impeachable, then Obama et al all need to be impeached for the 2016 Trump investigation

n.n said...

I think the Ukraine scam started the very next day after Mueller bombed so spectacularly.

Improvised, huh. That would explain their reckless rush to impeachment, where previously they would patiently, ravenously, as if they were observing a planned president rite, roast the orangutan on a spit, and savor the juices.

n.n said...

Trump was asking Ukraine to do two things:

There was also due diligence before transferring lethal weapon systems, which the Democrats reimagined through conflation as a quid pro Joe scheme. Hopefully, this will be standard procedure, before repeating another "Fast and Furious" operation, Libya-Rebel/Jihadist/ISIS affair, etc.

Skylark said...

"A "but for" test is more appropriate. But for the fact that Biden was a political rival in the upcoming election, would he have done what he did?”

Since he brought up only election interference in 2016, and revised testimony says that Zelensky brought up Burisma (Biden) first, I would take that test of intent in a heartbeat as a Trump supporter.

You guys just keep ignoring that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election in multiple ways. As soon as you start poking around Urkaine though, Biden’s corruption is going to float to the top like a poorly hidden murdered corpse.

Nobody is above the law.... not named Biden or Clinton.

Skylark said...

‘But for’ the ‘D’ after his name, the press would be on Biden over this like stink on shit.

Skylark said...

I will save us some time. The way these arguments go on Twitter:

I will point out the error in some argument, like the “but for” argument that the person putting it for first developed within a group of completely like minded people, who all decided it was the silver bullet.

They might come back with an objection of some sort.

I will demonstrate that their objection is without merit and doesn’t address the facts as we know them.

Then they will say something like “You know what he did was wrong!”

I will point out that that is non responsive to my arguments.

They will say it again. “You Republicans are in denial that what he did was wrong.” which is just a restatement of their earlier non sequetor,

I will point that out, and they will go silent.

narciso said...

this is why I call most of these publications blank pages,


https://johnsolomonreports.com/steele-distributed-other-dossier-reports-including-one-to-an-oligarchs-lawyer/

narciso said...

taking this source as legitimate,

https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/1200584606803775493

BUMBLE BEE said...

It is extra delicious if you google pictures of Hildebeast. Team Clinton has scrubbed the web thoroughly. Now google Hillary moo moo... See what I mean. For the Prez... a twofer!

Michael K said...

Cat and laser pointer again.

mrkwong said...

Oh good Lord the 'without evidence' line has been a staple of Real Journalism (TM) since Trump announced for office.

I wouldn't urinate on what we have for a 'mainstream media' if they were on fire (which in fact is a very good idea, just in time for the holiday Yule Log.)

Art said...

Trump - 1191 MSM - 0

Big Mike said...

believe it is also intended as mockery of the use of the phrase "without evidence" in reports on the impeachment hearings.

There is a finite, nonzero, probability that you are right, Professor.

Gabe said...

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR8S8cli7HLhGSCyQUqOJFYm6Ta_8cpleqXonat-GEtJX40DrmG&s

I bought this on a trip to DC in '86. Imagine the trolling that could happen with a Trumpbo version!

Greg the class traitor said...

They will say it again. “You Republicans are in denial that what he did was wrong.”

Except there's nothing wrong with investigating foreign interference in a US election, and there's nothing wrong with investigating the corrupt activities of the previous VP

The people in denial and / or delusion are the ones attacking Trump's behavior here

Bruce Hayden said...

“I think the Ukraine scam started the very next day after Mueller bombed so spectacularly.”

As I read it, their intent had been to piggyback off of the Mueller SC investigation. Except they spent too much time in early 2018 getting organized, and by the time that they did, AG Barr had been confirmed, shut down the Mueller investigation, and Trump asserted Executive Privilege over all the Mueller stuff the WH had provided. The House majority found themselves having promised an impeachment in trade for electing them a majority, with an impeachment inquiry all setup and ready to go, without any sort of High Crimes or Misdemeanors to plug into their impeachment inquiry. Never fear. The “whistleblower” was recruited by his friends and former coworkers who were working for Schifty, and they fabricated together the whistleblower complaint, and, conspired together to bring it back to Schifty and his committee (despite the HSCI not having jurisdiction). A total setup from day one, the House Dems needed a “crime”, Schifty and his minions fabricated one out of thin air, and inserted it into their existing impeachment structure, and they were off to the races.

What is going to be interesting about the “impeachment” is that the House impeachment rules Adopted a month or so ago allowed Schifty to have significant, almost draconian control over his part of the inquiry. Everyone (Trump and the Republicans) was jsupposed to get their Due Process, etc, rights after Schifty tossed the investigation over the wall to Wadler’s Judiciary committee. We now find Wadler (who doesn’t yet have control of the inquiry from Schifty) demanding that it be wrapped up before the lengthy holiday break. They pretty much know what witnesses their opposition want to call, and many of them scare the Democrats. One of the biggest is the IC IG, who approved the WB complaint, despite the phone call not involving intelligence, but rather foreign relations. Schifty denied the Republican request interviewing the IC IG. Wadler desperately needs to do the same, but likely can’t without breaching the promises made to Trump, the Republicans, and the American people. No doubt the “whistleblower”, Schifty’s minions who worked with him on the complaint, Schifty himself, and a number of his witnesses will also be on the Republicans’ witness list. Don’t hold your breath, of course.