April 6, 2020

"Has Anyone Found Trump’s Soul? Anyone?"

That's a headline in the NYT. A column by Frank Bruni.

How sanctimonious and simultaneously blind do you need to be to proclaim the soullessness of another human being?

I mean, it's tempting sometimes. I was just driving home from a glorious sunrise...

DE16909B-2FC4-4499-89C5-66CFB190EF7C

... and I had the satellite radio on MSNBC. Mika Brzezinski was reading some news story, got the word "humane" and pronounced it "hoo-mane." I wondered, is she even there? Robot mode. But I didn't question her humanity. Hoomanity.

The subheadline on that Bruni piece is — I am not kidding — "He’s not rising to the challenge of the coronavirus pandemic. He’s shriveling into nothingness."

Well, it's a column. It's subjective. Bruni is seeing the President shriveling into nothingness. Wishful thinking. Why won't this man disappear entirely?
Do you remember President George W. Bush’s remarks at Ground Zero in Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks? ... Do you remember President Barack Obama’s news conference after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people, including 20 children, dead? I do.... Do you remember the moment when President Trump’s bearing and words made clear that he grasped not only the magnitude of this rapidly metastasizing pandemic but also our terror in the face of it?
It passed me by, maybe because it never happened.
And maybe because you hate him so much you can't see it. I see it every day when I watch the press briefing.
In Trump’s predecessors, for all their imperfections, I could sense the beat of a heart and see the glimmer of a soul. In him I can’t, and that fills me with a sorrow and a rage that I quite frankly don’t know what to do with.
I could sense... I can’t... me with a sorrow and a rage... I quite frankly don’t know....

Bruni knows he's talking about his own subjective experience, but he cannot stop. He insists on dehumanizing his adversary.
[Trump stressed that masks are] voluntary and that he himself wouldn’t be going anywhere near one that he might as well have branded them Apparel for Skittish Losers. I’ve finally settled on his epitaph: “Donald J. Trump, too cool for the coronavirus.”
That is, Bruni is picturing Trump catching the coronavirus and dying. The epitaph says "too cool." Speaking of cool, that's cold, Mr. Bruni. Is this what entertains the readers of the NYT? Standing back, looking for the bad, and laughing at the image of Trump dead and buried?
This is more than a failure of empathy....
Thanks for writing a next line that was the very thing I was thinking about you.
It’s more than a failure of decency, which has been my go-to lament. It’s a failure of basic humanity.
Hoomanity. It's that thing you say the people you don't like don't have. It's a wonderful foundation for building a political ideology.
In The Washington Post a few days ago, Michael Gerson, a conservative who worked in Bush’s White House, wrote that Trump’s spirit is “a vast, trackless wasteland.”
Oh! Bruni is copying Gerson's idea. Trying to get in on the hot Trump-hating over there in America's other newspaper.
Not exactly trackless. There are gaudy outposts of ego all along the horizon.
I see Bruni stumbling through the canyons of his mind. There's an outpost up ahead... your next stop — the Trump Hotel. Columnists check in. But they never check out.

125 comments:

Tom T. said...

Projection.

Limited blogger said...

dreck

Mike Sylwester said...

Frank Bruni sure is smart.

He is a NYT columnist, and you are mere readers.

stevew said...

Trump needs to emote more, sympathetically so. Choke up a little, in the right places of course. Shed a tear for the win.

roesch/voltaire said...

A supreme egotist concerned more about his ratings and shows little empathy for others does not make Trump soulless.

Fernandistein said...

Pretty bold statements amid the deadly coronavirus pandemic ravaging countries around the world and that fills me with a sorrow and a rage that I quite frankly don’t know what to do with.

Oh wait, no it doesn't, and that lack of sorrow and rage is more than a failure of decency, it’s a failure of basic humanity in a vast, trackless wasteland.

Oh wait, no it's not.

Whether they're lying or crazy, the NYeT/Whappo scribblers are just goofy.

MayBee said...

I don't watch Trump's political rallies, but I watch the Virus update almost every day. Standing there for hours, answering questions. Why isn't this what the press wants?

BUMBLE BEE said...

Pressured for "insightful commentary"? So many deprecating "stories" have been written, so many writers typing, novel topics/angles are becoming sparse. But... by whatever means necessary.
Short answer... beats working for a living.

Leland said...

I'm working from home and avoiding crowds, but if I say something along the lines that shutting down the economy may be worse than the virus; I'm told "you're not taking this seriously". Yet the NYTimes and MSNBC will publish stories like this and people take them seriously.

60% of the population think Trump is doing a good with this crisis. It's nearly the reverse for the media. And if we want to cherry pick moments; I'll never forget Obama stopping his golf game for a minute to talk to the press about an American journalist being beheaded and then getting back to his game. Imagine if Trump had an equal disdain for American journalist. RIP James Foley.

David Begley said...

Super great post Ann.

There is a new Fake News/Dem narrative that empathy is the most important quality in a President and that China Joe fits the bill.

VDH has a piece in the American Greatness blog on the losers of this crisis. “The only constant is that whatever Trump advocated, they are against, even if lives are at stake. And whatever Trump policy seems to be working for the good of the country, they either deny or ignore it.

Another irony: While the current media is the logical culmination of the liberal biases of the more polite leftwing domination of network and print media of the late twentieth century, it is now also far more vulnerable to exposure and ridicule. After all, it was progressive Silicon Valley’s creation of the Internet website and social media that have allowed truth to emerge past even media filters, truth that has largely exposed the media as incompetent, meanspirited, and increasingly irrelevant.”

Ann Althouse exposes the media as incompetent, mean spirited and mostly irrelevant. Frank Bruni couldn’t carry Ann’s sports bra or running shoes.

Fernandistein said...

Frustrated sorrowful novelists raging in the vast, trackless wastelands of their own minds.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

As the economy collapses we will have little need for the Brunis, Mikas, and Shmoes-like-Joe to offer their “wisdom.” They already seem outdated and incoherent. Do they not see their fake world shrinking around them? Doing their own make up, pretending to interact with guests they can’t see or hear. At what point does their survival instinct kick in and rip them out of their Trump hating coma? Does he live that large in their minds?

iowan2 said...

As a student of the media, since I was a kid,(dad would "fisk" news paper items at the kitchen table) I look for facts. The 5 W's. Then look for unasked, thus unanswered questions. Sadly today news rarely hits all of the 5 W's, and there are multiple unasked question. Hard to call any of it news.
This is an opinion piece, but even opinion is based on facts, and logical progression.

Breezy said...

Just listen to him say, “What the hell do we have to lose?” And you’ll hear his empathy and get a sense of his soul.

Jersey Fled said...

I'm so glad Ann reads the Times so I don't have to. Just from her posts I learn all that I need to about that cesspool of a newspaper.

Some Seppo said...

Mika is just using Rule of Acquisition number 783: Dehoomanize your opponent to gain the high moral ground in the eyes of their species.

traditionalguy said...

The Fake News Empire cannot stand that the very human soul who has removed their place and power does not even have to use emotional play acting to do it. He just declassifies evidence of their corrupt treason and laughs at them. And that is totally Presidential.

tcrosse said...

It's understandable that this former restaurant critic would be upset that the restaurants are closed.

Mr. D said...

A well-deserved fisking. Thank you, Professor.

narciso said...

They are strigoi, vampire in the russian isiom.

Shouting Thomas said...

Judging only by the succession of events and without any claim to being an “expert” of any kind, I believe that the Coronavirus was genetically engineered and deliberately released. This was an act of war. Just my opinion.

If this is true, President Trump’s intel has informed him of this dreadful reality.

He’s in a tough spot. The toughest. Two nuclear powers are facing off. China’s leadership has murdered millions of its own people. The organ harvesting business is a big source of foreign currency. We’re facing an utterly ruthless adversary willing to suffer tens of millions of casualties to attain its objectives.

Trump has to manage this from the contrary standpoints of not fanning a complete domestic freak out and attending sympathetically to the victims of the pandemic. I think he’s doing one hell of a job.

wendybar said...

I am getting so sick and tired of these idiots that hate President Trump and get paid for spewing their hate, like it is gospel. THEY are dividing America at a time when we should be uniting. I don't hate ANYBODY, but I am finding myself loathing them, and tuning out. They suck the life out of us.

Mike Sylwester said...

Whenever I want to observe a person with a lot of soul, I go to YouTube and watch videos of Hillary Clinton or of Joe Biden.

Kevin said...

Bruni knows he's talking about his own subjective experience, but he cannot stop. He insists on dehumanizing his adversary.

One is part and parcel of the other.

To admit Trump's humanity, you have to admit you only understand him through your subjective lens. Human beings are complex creatures, and our knowledge of any of them is only skin-deep, so to speak.

In dehumanizing Trump, Bruni turns him into an object.

It allows him to speak with total authority and unshakable confidence, because his subjective interpretation is now all there is.

peacelovewoodstock said...

Hmm, I recall reading an old classic on the subject of passing judgement on the souls of others ... ah, yes, here it is:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."

I guess we're all familiar with the hypocrisy of the left, Bruni is just playing to the cheap seats, as per form at NYT.

Sebastian said...

"He insists on dehumanizing his adversary."

To accuse Trump of soullessness. Progs will be progs.

Anyway, you can disagree with the policies adopted, but, on any issue at any time, has any president been as present, as engaged as Trump for the past several weeks, addressing hundreds of questions openly, publicly, day after day?

In fact, a little less presence, a little less empathetic soul, a little less credence to the panic of the minority would have been good.

PaulaH said...

The two examples that are sited here (9/11 and the Sandy Hook School shooting) were one-time, one day events. The response was immediate and could show leadership easily. A pandemic is over the long-haul and is not a time to shine every day.

This columnist is so hate-blinded, he compares two very different events and finds the leader coming up short in rhetoric.

Mike Sylwester said...

Whenever I want to observe a person with a lot of soul, I go to YouTube and watch videos of Nancy Pelosi or of Chuck Shumer.

Fernandistein said...

these idiots that hate ...get paid

You can cut down on their pay by never visiting their dopey websites, or at the least, using an adblocker.

They suck the life out of us.

Imagine them yelling that crap while they stand on a wooden box in the park, without the unwarranted respect they might garner due to their employment by a large propaganda outfit.

Mike Sylwester said...

Frank Bruni is so smart that the NYT editors publish any column that he writes.

And he and his editors all get paid a lot of money for being so smart.

narciso said...

a counter

Lurker21 said...

Do you remember President George W. Bush’s remarks at Ground Zero in Manhattan after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks? ... Do you remember President Barack Obama’s news conference after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people, including 20 children, dead? I do....

I don't. I don't think anybody remembers the words, though they may remember the photographic image in Bush's case. Eloquence went out of politics years ago. Maybe with FDR, maybe with JFK, maybe with RWR. Now the point is to be present on the television screen. Style is more colloquial and conversational, rather than about high-flown phrases. And maybe that started with RWR or with JFK or with FDR on the radio.

Or maybe it's not that eloquence wholly went out of politics, but that television appearances aren't suited to grand utterances. More than a few people were inspired by Obama's platform speeches. Few remember or were impressed by his press conferences or televised messages from the oval office.

Or maybe Bruni's assumption is entirely wrong. Maybe he heard what he wanted to hear in those early messages and didn't hear anything in Trump's address to the country because he didn't want to hear anything.

In The Washington Post a few days ago, Michael Gerson, a conservative who worked in Bush’s White House, wrote that Trump’s spirit is “a vast, trackless wasteland.”

Words that could be applied to Bush himself. Gerson, a born-again Christian himself, responded to Bush's humbug because he thought there was depth or soul behind it. Was there? Did it make a difference whether there was or not? Trump doesn't come across as particularly "soulful." Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush may have. That didn't make them successful presidents.

There are the soulful, and there are the spirited, the lively, the active. "Soulfulness" may be connected with melancholy or depression and can be disabling. It's a rare leader who can combine both qualities, and of the two, liveliness and activity may be more important.

Wince said...

Alex Kintner's mother (from the movie Jaws) just died from Wuhan Flu complications.

"My boy is dead."

Now they lost their opportunity to have her come in from central casting and slap Trump's face.

Shouting Thomas said...

Bruni is gay. He's bought into the inexplicable NYT and liberal NYer absurb theory that Trump is viciously homophobic and leading a party full of vicious homophobes who want to launch a pogrom against gays.

Bruni is also a communist. He's on China's side.

Shouting Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Calypso Facto said...

"A supreme egotist concerned more about his ratings and shows little empathy for others does not make Bruni an insightful or clever writer." Fixed that for you, Roesch.

MayBee said...

I do have to agree that I don't remember Obama's press conference after Sandy Hook, but I wasn't living in the US at the time.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Of course I remember W at Ground Zero with the bullhorn: “I hear you. America hears you...” But I don’t remember any speech Obama have after declaring the oceans would recede before him. He was a horrible speaker. I guess some people inferred empathy or whatever but I thought Obama’s speeches were bloodless and mostly fluff, saying nothing. When he finally got around to using simple declarative phrases they were unfortunately very memorable: “If you like your doctor...”

By Sandy Hook I’d tuned him out like the Drone he was.

campy said...

Now they lost their opportunity to have her come in from central casting and slap Trump's face.

They can CGI it in post production.

Temujin said...

Randomly...
I, of course remember George W's speech on the rubble pile after 9/11. I do not remember Obama's speech at Newtown. Frankly, Obama gave so many syrupy sweet speeches during his time, but none of them stood out (though at the time, the press would consistently say "it was one of the greatest speeches in US Presidential history". I DO remember the press's comments, but not the speeches. ?)

Aside from that it's just Frank Bruni being Frank Bruni. Not anything original or striking. All of his columns end up sounding just about the same. He spoke the same way about George W. His memory seems to have altered a bit.

I used to like to go to one of the beaches in our area to catch sunset (being on the Gulf Coast the sunsets are beautiful). That was before it became illegal to go to the beach. But I would go there, when I could, to remove the world of work and the world of politics from my head. It was my therapy. Nothing gives me peace again like nature. The last thing I would want to do to ruin the mindset the beach gave me would be to turn on the news on the way back home. In saying that, I cannot imagine a worse ending to your beautiful sunset than turning on Morning Joe to listen to after taking in that gorgeous shot.

Paul Snively said...

Even if it doesn't rise to what a clinical psychologist would call "projection," the head-pounding subjectivity of it, the nakedness of personal opinion presented as, not merely fact, but fact that ostensibly (in the literal sense of "ostentatious") commands both assent and reaction, makes it impossible for me to read this dreck. It is high-octane emotional/psychological poison The only question is who is more poisoned: the reader or the writer.

GatorNavy said...

More raw meat tossed to the true believers

TreeJoe said...

Dear Frank Bruni:

What is the difference between the following two scenarios:

#1 - A sudden tragedy occurs one terrible morning and the POTUS gives a moving, carefully written speech to recognize the horror and inspire the nation to move forward. The speech is carefully delivered and wrapped up.

#2 - A pandemic sweeps the nation and the POTUS provides daily, unscripted updates and evolved thinking alongside administration experts and outside speakers and then handles off the cuff QA. For hours at a time.

....

The fact he even compares the two shows how unbalanced Bruni's thinking is....Trump isn't giving one speech here, he's giving a lesson in leadership. As is Cuomo, for that matter.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse: There's an outpost up ahead... your next stop — the Trump Hotel.

The Trump Tower of Terror, surely.

tastid212 said...

Almost all of the NYT's columnists ran out of steam and ideas long ago. Blow is a joke. Bruni is just sad. Dowd peaked more than two decades ago when the Clintons were in the WH.

The family that publishes the paper is captive to a tired strategic vision and is ultimately to blame for this decline; but Baquet and previous editors run the paper into the ground every day.

I cancelled my subscription long ago after seeing the pattern of highly negative but lightly sourced attacks on GWHB, GWB, and McCain. And all the scoops that divulged the inner workings of counter-terrorism. Talk about aid and comfort. I couldn't stomach their garbage any more. The 1619 project is just laughable but is telling about a skewed mindset that pervades the staff.

paminwi said...

wendybar at 7:57am hits the nail on the head.

Thank you for sharing what I feel so well.

Bay Area Guy said...

Bruni is a whiney little snowflake. I'm embarrassed for him.

285exp said...

Mr Bruni thinks that 1984 was an instruction manual, not a warning. This is his contribution to the Two Minutes Hate.

Darkisland said...

Does Bruni wear a facemask outside his apartment?

John Henry

Retail Lawyer said...

"Do you remember President Barack Obama’s news conference after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 28 people, including 20 children, dead?"
Not at all. I do remember him talking about who "the future belongs to" and "arcs of history", and "citizen of the world". I also remember him saying I could keep my health care.

Michael K said...

My local newspaper in Tucson is hard left, like so many of them. I only look at the weather forecast but my wife reads it so I subscribe.

Once in a while, I respond to a post on their web site. I get lots of responses from the usual suspects. The latest thread is about Hydroxychloroquine. I think it is important. They, of course, insist it is not and it is dangerous to suggest an "unproven remedy." The reason, of course, is that Trump mentioned it in a briefing. It is a requirement on the left that anything Trump is for, they are against. Even if it kills them. None of them are physicians, of course. Lots of internet epidemiologists these days.

Todd said...

MayBee said...

I don't watch Trump's political rallies, but I watch the Virus update almost every day. Standing there for hours, answering questions. Why isn't this what the press wants?

4/6/20, 7:46 AM


How. Dare. He.

How can the MSM tell you what he said and tell you what he REALLY meant if he keeps letting you see for yourself? Don't you realize you are just too dumb to understand without these brave firefighters doing all the "hard" work of thinking for you?

Just goes to show what a rube you are!
/s

Bob Boyd said...

Remember that popular series of books called, Chicken Soup For The Soul? They offered true stories of inspiration and hope?

The Trump haters are offering Bat Soup for the soul.

RMc said...

I don't watch Trump's political rallies, but I watch the Virus update almost every day. Standing there for hours, answering questions. Why isn't this what the press wants?

Because it's the wrong guy up there. Hell, he's not even the right gender!

rcocean said...

Great post. This is just one prong in the current assault on Trump. A replay of Hoover (1932) and Bush (1992). The Republican President is a heartless rich guy, unconcerned for the suffering hoomanity. We even get the standard "Even former Republican X was better than this.." . Current Liberal/Dem/MSM talking points:

1. Trump is heartless
2. Trump is incompetent
3. Trump could have stopped the virus but acted too late.

The bit about the mask was hilarious. Nobody in the WH Press Room was wearing a mask, including the two Doctors. The Surgeon General is not wearing a mask either. Nor is Cuomo, Pelosi, or Schumer. All those each of those 3 should wear tape over their mouths.

RMc said...

I don't watch Trump's political rallies, but I watch the Virus update almost every day. Standing there for hours, answering questions. Why isn't this what the press wants?

Because it's the wrong guy up there. Hell, he's not even the right gender!

rcocean said...

Trump has been incredible during this whole thing. Daily meeting. Daily press conferences. Letting the 3 Cruise ships dock in the USA. Passing the stimulus bill. Stopping travel from the EU and China. Endorsing the CDC Guidelines. Working with the Governors - even the D's - and praising them for their good work.

Yet, no matter what he does, its endless attacks and criticism from the DNC-Press and the Democrats. They NEVER let up, and NEVER let a crisis go to waste. Always pressing the advantage, always playing politics. Just win baby, just win.

Francisco D said...

I see Bruni stumbling through the canyons of his mind. There's an outpost up ahead... your next stop — the Trump Hotel. Columnists check in. But they never check out.

I am experiencing Althouse transitioning from a dour word technician to a comedic poet.

Your creative hooman soul may have been fully unleashed by retirement. It is quite an impressive transformation.

Howard said...

Yes the most important thing about the pandemic is the negativity foisted upon Trump by the mainstream media and the commentary elite.

Of course it is the Democrats fault for fetishizing every single thing that Trump does as some sort of perverse incompetence This feeds directly into the con man's game helping maintain his Svengali-like power over his marks.

However what's the alternative... Joe f****** Biden? Elizabeth Warren never looked so good.

Gusty Winds said...

Jesus Christ is real. And the more I witness pure evil disguised as virtue, I'm more certain Satan is real as well.

The problem for people like Mika, Joe, and Frank, is that they sold their souls to the devil long ago. That's why they can't recognize it's existence in anyone else.

Unknown said...

Washington. Lincoln. Roosevelt. Trump.

He is one of the great ones.

Once again in American history, we got the right man at the right time. Trump's instincts were right on China from way back. He was right on globalism. He was right on immigration, right on pushing NATO to pay up, right on re-building America's industrial base, right on cutting regulation, right on standing up for Israel And, oh, he saved the union by defeating a coup d'etat orchestrated by national intelligence agencies and the Democratic party. It may be that he is saving the union again—He stopped flights from China, and he is pushing to get the country out of quarantine sooner rather than later.

He is hated. Lincoln's own commander of the army McClellan called him an "ape." FDR's vice-president led a rebellion against him and ran for president in 1950. There's nothing new about the hatred Trump is facing.

rcocean said...

Hydroxychloroquine. Yeah, one of the MSM reporters (don't know who) was screeching at Trump: "You're not a Doctor, why are talking about it?!"- Trump told him, that he understands he's not a doctor, he's just hopeful it will work, and they're producing millions of units in the chance it will work. As Trump says, there are encouraging signs, and "we have nothing to lose". If you give someone who's critically ill, or even dying, giving them a drug that might help and won't hurt isn't a problem. But for some reason the MSM are going into hysterics over it.

They're obviously setting up another attack meme. "Trump tried to ignore science and push a quack drug." look for the MSM to desperately find another person who died of the drug so they can blame Trump.

Unknown said...

s.b. 1940, not 1950....

rcocean said...

"I see Bruni stumbling through the canyons of his mind. There's an outpost up ahead... your next stop — the Trump Hotel. Columnists check in. But they never check out."

Its Hotel California meets the Twilight Zone.

Shouting Thomas said...

This feeds directly into the con man's game helping maintain his Svengali-like power over his marks.

You're in favor of the Deep State's policy of detente with China at all costs.

So, who's under a spell here?

I remember when guys like you thought Reagan was a complete dummy for replying to the question of what to do about the U.S.S.R.

Reagan's prescription: "We win."

That's Trump's prescription in respect to China.

Oddly, I think it's you, Howard, who's the chump living under a delusion.

gilbar said...

Ohio State Rep. Tavia Galonski wants Trump prosecuted at international court for 'crimes against humanity'

and WHAT were these 'crimes'? sit down, and take a deep breath:
she vowed to refer President Trump to the International Criminal Court for "crimes against humanity" over Trump's promotion of a drug that has not been conclusively proven to fight the coronavirus.
THAT'S RIGHT! he has committed the 'crime against humanity' of wanting people to not die!

but wait! it just keeps getting better!
Tavia THEN said I need every lawyer that ever did any work on the international level to contact me at jtb1666@aol.com immediately.

EVERY lawyer! that EVER did ANY work on the international level!
should contact Tavia at a MotherFuckingGODDamn AOL address!!!!!
this 'lady' claims to use an AOL address!!
Tavia? the '1990's are calling; they want their ISP back

Sydney said...

I've noticed this on Facebook. People post about how they should just make Trump shut up. I have to wonder if they are even listening at all. Why even bother tuning in if you are going to let your hate close your ears and mind so tightly? It is so sad that so many people hate him so much they don't even think he should try to do his job. (Which, by the way, I think he is doing well.) He doesn't bullshit - he tells you what he is thinking, so you can see the evolution of his thought process as the pandemic unfolds. I know he likes to take time to self-promote, but so what? The important thing is he doesn't let his ego prevent him from changing his mind. I'd rather have a self-promoter who isn't afraid to admit when he was wrong than a golden-tongued egoist who can't admit he needs to change course leading at a time of crisis.

rcocean said...

I finally figured out that the NYT/WaPo/MSM aren't really aren't interested in reporting the news, they're interested in attacking and destroying Trump. That's their true motivation in every story they print, and the slant they take. If it helps Trump it gets ignored or deep-sixed. If it hurts him, its banner headlines. If its in the middle, its reworked to cause him maximum damage. 80% of the questions during the WH Crisis Team briefing have been either "gotcha" questions, or designed to make Trump look bad. Very few are trying to elicit information to inform the public.

narciso said...

holy jar jar, that's obtuse to a level I couldn't imagine, the next congresswoman from some hellish burg,

Jerry said...

"We have a narrative. It's a very important narrative, we've all agreed. And that narrative is that Trump Can Do Nothing Right."

They scream louder and louder - getting less attention each time from the general public, but they get affirmation from those close to them... and in the end, that's all that's important TO THEM.

Ken B said...

An object lesson for anyone thinking that even a global pandemic and all its attendant death and suffering will change our media in the slightest.

narciso said...

a former flight attendant for delta airlines and a magistrate,?? she was selected not elected initially,

Laslo Spatula said...

When you sell your soul to the devil you proceed as if everyone else has, too.

I am Laslo.

Howard said...

You're not making any sense Shouting Thomas. please quote any post where I support our deep dependent entanglement with China. I voted for Ross Perot twice for that very reason.

just because you're a programmer and you think you can create an identity that Trump hate China Howard hate Trump there for Howard Love China. I'm sure it's hard for most of deplorables to see through that ruse so it's good that you know your audience.

Amadeus 48 said...

On the one hand, thanks for this. On the other hand, is it easy to spend so much time reading columnists (like Bruni) who are demented?

Who wants demented? Is this helping?

Take a look at Nancy Pelosi strolling through Chinatown in SF or Oxiris Barbot (NYC public health commissioner) doing the same thing in early March, and ask yourself, was this helping?

Thank you for watching the daily Trump, Fauci, and Birx briefings. This is helping.

narciso said...

it's like taking idocane, but you can take too large a dose,

Shouting Thomas said...

@Howard

You’re in favor of the Deep State taking back what’s theirs, getting rid of Trump and running the show.

The Deep State is in bed with the CCP. The Democratic Party is in bed with the CCP.

As I said, you’re the chump living under a delusion.

I’m not the one who’s been hypnotized by a Svengali. You are. You don’t even know what you’ve allied yourself with.

I'm Full of Soup said...

Big city, liberal, gay pundits seem to be way more deranged and hateful than the average person.

Howard said...

Amadeus 48: if you really want to keep your head on straight, you shouldn't be reading or watching anyting from the media.

Howard said...

Now Thomas replaces deep state with China in his algorithm of deception and weak ass bull ship.

I hope you had a good bike ride yesterday, I'm guessing yes you seem to be full of piss and vinegar this morning

Shouting Thomas said...

You’ve been conned, Howard.

I’m applying the same principles you’re so fond of.

I’m reading your thoughts and assuming to know what you think.

I’m very good at throwing people’s shit back at them.

narciso said...

this is considered balance, across the pond

Yancey Ward said...

Bruni's essay makes perfect sense at this point. Remember, it was just a three weeks ago that we were being assured by people just like Bruni that COVID-19 would run rampant through the red states because they were run by moron Trumpkins, unlike the blue states who had smart, sane, and competent leadership. New York City's plight has badly damaged the left's ego.

Martin said...

Yes, as with all these things, it says infinitely more about the person writing or talking than it does about their purported subject. They use their platform the way a normal person would use a therapist or a family member or a clergy.

That was also the case with Obama Derangement, Bush Derangement, Clinton Derangement, and before we used the word "derangement," Reagan, Nixon, Goldwater, LBJ, FDR, Hoover, back and back and back to, no doubt, Julius Caesar ("What were Brutus and Cassius thinking? Were they out of their minds?" might legitimately have been asked a couple of years later; they probably asked it of themselves at Philippi.) and earlier.

Michael K said...

I'm sure it's hard for most of deplorables to see through that ruse so it's good that you know your audience.

Howard can get a sentence or two out without giving the truth away but watch out for third and fourth sentences.

Bob Smith said...

Terror? Well Frank, if I live another 2 months I’ll have another BD with an 8 in front. And mildly apprehensive is more like it. I guess if I was a semi-famous columnist like you and had status to lose I might be terrorized. But I’m not so I’m not.

MountainMan said...

Has there ever been another event in American history where the President went before the people every single day to deliver a status report and then take questions from the media? If so, I don’t recall it. And the media have been useless, they have done absolutely nothing to help convey useful information to the public.

I went through every issue of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 2009-2010 and read every article about the H1N1 swine flu epidemic. Not only was there no sense of panic in any article, whether news or opinion, but I honestly can’t recall the name “Obama” appearing in any of them. Maybe once or twice and I forgot, but at no point was Barack Obama ever a key player in that event, at least from what was reported in that paper. And it was significant - over 60 million infected, nearly half a million hospitalized, over 12,000 dead.

Michael K said...

she vowed to refer President Trump to the International Criminal Court for "crimes against humanity" over Trump's promotion of a drug that has not been conclusively proven to fight the coronavirus.

This is what I see on Facebook from the loonies that read the Tucson newspaper.

It is just amazing.

Static Ping said...

I'm starting to think you read the New York Times solely for the "fish in a barrel" level of entertainment.

Trump has mentally broke quite a few people over the past four years. You may had Bruni to the list.

chickelit said...

Shut them off people! The Frank Brunis that is. Shut them out of your life! Deprive them of money and starve them of clicks.

Just yesterday, I subscribed to the local paper, The Orange County Register. They have all the local angles on the coronavirus. I haven't stopped reading them. Yes, I gave them money. I understand that some people live in "news deserts" and must rely on terrible sources like the NYT and WaPo. I pity them.

bagoh20 said...

Personally, I don't care if Trump has a soul. He could be a damned alien or a robot for all i care. Is he doing a good job or not? You know who did have a soul, don't you? That's right. Not all that helpful.

Bruce Hayden said...

“There is a new Fake News/Dem narrative that empathy is the most important quality in a President and that China Joe fits the bill.”

There is a famous saying about the United States being lucky. We are, again, lucky. Crooked Hillary came very close to winning in 2016, and if she had, many more Americans very likely will have died, by the time this is over. Same thing with Obama or China Joe. Nice compassionate, but ham hand, ineffectual actions. They are the party of big government, and that means respecting the bureaucrats who screwed up preparing for a pandemic, and who would have made it worse, probably much worse, by their dithering and their bureaucratic red tape. What Trump has given us instead of compassionate speeches is effective action. We would still be short on masks, ventilators, remedies and cures. Much shorter on all of them. With no end in sight, because the bureaucrats need to do their thing, and only when they are done, can anything effective ever happen in a Democratic Administration. Personally, I much prefer hearing every day about the steps being taken, how we are doing, what to look for, than about feeling of our collective pain as more and more Americans die of this plague, as our governments plod and flop around ineffectively. But that is just me.

narciso said...

our local fishwrap focused on the shortages of hcq-zpak for lupus sufferers, the prospects of a new Great Depression, yikes,

jeff said...

Soul = 21 grams

bagoh20 said...

When I think of Hillary having been President for the last 3-1/2 years, I get more scared than I ever was of this virus. That shit almost happened. It's chilling just to think about.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Do I remember Obama's speeches? Not the substance, no. Few of the phrases were particularly memorable; the only ones that are memorable are the risible ones (e.g. "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.").

My then teen-aged daughter nailed it when he was first running for president: "He talks a lot, but he doesn't say anything."

MayBee said...

Every so often, I still like to imagine what it would have been like if a certain headline was written about Obama.

Do you remember all the people who got in trouble for not assuring us they knew Obama was a sincere practicing Christian? What if someone would have said he had no soul?

Pookie Number 2 said...

Two things strike me about this.

1) Bruni-esque Democrats have evolved from “People unlike me because of their skin color are inferior” to “People unlike me because of their political beliefs are inferior.” Same energy, different excuse.

2) I’m amazed that none of these mind-reading Democrats saw anything amiss with Harvey Weinstein, but are intimately familiar with Donald Trump’s mind and soul.

Jamie said...

Way upthread - "Once again in American history, we got the right man at the right time."

I was wondering aloud to my husband yesterday whether the constant, unrelenting carping, gotchas, and utter imbalance of the media over the past three years were like training for this marathon. Trump came into this crisis knowing he wasn't going to get a sentence of even fair, much less positive coverage from virtually the entire journalistic establishment; but he doesn't seem thrown by it in the least. He makes the decisions he needs to make, faces the press daily, speaks to the public daily, and lets the chips fall where they may.

Can we doubt for a moment that if it were Obama facing these same decisions, he wouldn't be taking opinion polls instead of acting? Obama had zero training or practice in facing legitimate criticism, much less silly columns declaring him soulless or SNL skits where the "humor" came from anywhere but, say, his ears or the "fact" that he was just a much more evolved person than anyone he ever faced.

n.n said...

A comedic break is good for the soul.

narciso said...

one could not challenge the magnificence of the light bringer (morford) like mohammed he was just there (brooks) he had to descend into the office (Thomas) etc etc.

Tim said...

The east coast "elite" are not as smart as they think they are.

Drago said...

Howard appears very very upset that a Trump critic has been criticized.

I for one am very sorry that is happening to Howard.

n.n said...

Trump is neither em-pathetic nor sym-pathetic, but he has and does help people.

Drago said...

Roy Jacobsen: "My then teen-aged daughter nailed it when he was first running for president: "He talks a lot, but he doesn't say anything."

Who can forget the 45 minute obambi press conferences where 7 or 8 questions might get answered, as obambi would spin 9 minute winding answers....all the while the entire press lefties would sit on their hands, quiet as mice, with adoration in their eyes.

Here's what I remember from obama pressers: Jeff Zeleny asking obama what has "enchanted" him about his role as President.

Literally.

Richard Dolan said...

"Is this what entertains the readers of the NYT?"

Questions that don't need asking because they answer themselves.

ussmidway said...

Imagine the effort these NYT writers are putting into going further & further with these Trump hit pieces that have only ONE thesis, going on 4 years. Bruni and his ilk have to dig a little deeper every day to find a new rhetorical way to link whatever is happening in the world to the President, even if it requires logical leaps that do not make sense, and faux ignorance of Occam's Razor.

The range of creative writing on display, and the massive -- yet impotent -- deployment of negative adjectives that are supposed to end the careers of those who are so targeted, has actually been a long, agonizing cry of defeat, and it gets louder everyday that we draw closer to November 2020.

The existential dread that fills the minds of Trump-haters who fear his 2nd Term, is unlike anything I have ever witnessed. They will do ANYTHING to stop him, and we can expect the next 6 months to be a sordid exercise that will severely test the "United" part of USA.

As long as they are in total sync with the DEMs, with an election on everyone's mind, we are in for a political super-storm in the midst of the Wuhan Batshit Virus pandemic, and we can already see the 2 do not mix well.

Golda Meir: "Palestinians will only have a better life when they love their children more than they hate Israel".

New Version: The NYT/WAPO/CNN/MSNBC/CBS/ABC etc.. will only have a constructive impact on the culture and our national conversation when they can prove they love their country more than they hate Trump.

Bilwick said...

Given the figures on Democide, and the fact that their philosophy is based on coercion (i.e., "your money or your life") what kind of putrid souls must "liberals" and other State-shtuppers must have?

JAORE said...

Trump has no soul. But MS-13 gang bangers have a "spark of divinity".

Got it.

Howard said...

Keep telling porkies Drago. Show me the money quote.

Howard said...

The Mytlanta Urinal and Constipation

Mike Sylwester said...

Does a fetus have a soul?

narciso said...

the worship baal and other levantine deities, 'human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria/'

hombre said...

The NYT houses a gaggle of Goebbels and promotes innumerable “big lies.”

Clearly, the gaggle have souls, else where would all this bile have been festering for years waiting for a suitable spewing environment and target. Bush ll, Palin and the Tea Party were the practice runs.

Narr said...

"Soul" is a theory. Honest believers in soul-theory get no guff from me, but I smirk when lefties like Bruni want to cudgel people with it.

Obama was a skilled speaker in the windy AA preacher style, mouthing platitudes and flattering the self-regard of his followers. Risible to hold that up as a model for serious leadership.

I ventured the opinion recently, in response to a comment from a person close to me afflicted with TDS, that "You know, presidents just can't win."

Narr
Clearly not a welcome observation.

Charlie Currie said...

Bush and Obama were dealing with the aftermath of tragic events. Something that happened in one day and in the past. Trump is dealing with tragedy on a daily - hourly - basis. Something that has been going on for months. How would we be analyzing what Bush and Obama would have said if we would have had daily terrorist attacks or school shootings, attacks and shootings that were escalating every day.

It would be better to compare what they were saying daily during their wars. But, even that is not a good comparison.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

I remember Obama stirring up anti-police sentiment. If he had a soul, he sold it.

OldManRick said...

I may not have any insight into Trump's soul but this crisis has laid bare the black and heartless souls of his opponents.

They wish any disaster imaginable on the United States if it hurts Trump.

They wish to take advantage of a crisis to further their agenda instead of helping their fellow Americans.

They try to hit Trump with any petty gotcha they can.

They actively oppose any idea that may give people hope that this will be over.

Trump may not be perfect in his response to this crisis but there is an old saying that is more pertinent here than ever before. Perfect is the enemy of good enough. FDA and CDC have demanded perfect carefully studied approaches to the virus. Trump has seen what probably will work and what has worked elsewhere and has said "good enough" to these.

Trump actually has been better than "good enough" and much better that the approaches his opponents have advocated.

DEEBEE said...

Much as I applaud your kinda-fishing of Brunei, I really applaud the use of “maybe” as in “ And maybe because you hate him so much you can't see it”.
It sure beats of some extreme unsubstantiated assertions you make. Make your ANN-alysis less bumpy

Todd said...

Bruce Hayden said... [hush]​[hide comment]
“There is a new Fake News/Dem narrative that empathy is the most important quality in a President and that China Joe fits the bill.”

There is a famous saying about the United States being lucky. We are, again, lucky. Crooked Hillary came very close to winning in 2016, and if she had, many more Americans very likely will have died, by the time this is over. Same thing with Obama or China Joe. Nice compassionate, but ham hand, ineffectual actions. They are the party of big government, and that means respecting the bureaucrats who screwed up preparing for a pandemic, and who would have made it worse, probably much worse, by their dithering and their bureaucratic red tape. What Trump has given us instead of compassionate speeches is effective action. We would still be short on masks, ventilators, remedies and cures. Much shorter on all of them. With no end in sight, because the bureaucrats need to do their thing, and only when they are done, can anything effective ever happen in a Democratic Administration.

4/6/20, 10:12 AM


It would be worse than that because 24/7 MSM and admin would be telling you a) not to worry, it an't that bad, b) we are not short of anything, don't get the vapors, c) we and our cronies need another 2 to 4 trillion for "shoring up the economy" and it would all go to unions and "clean energy" scam companies set up by the Ds.

Sounds like we have heard this record before, like when the big O was in charge and H1N1 was around, that is why you know that is how it would play out.

khematite said...

Didn't Neil Young tell us that "Even Richard Nixon has got soul"?

rhhardin said...

There's a thing called soul-blindness in Wittgenstein somewhere. Maybe it could be tested like color blindness. Maybe this is that test.

Michael McNeil said...

Meanwhile, lefties on my Facebook page are wringing their hands over this particular piece of bad news about Trump: “Crews still hard at work on Trump’s border wall, despite stay-home orders and pandemic.”

Ambrose said...

NYT columnists write pretty much the same column twice a week - and their readers lap it up.

ken in tx said...

I didn't support or vote for Trump. However, I find this level of mindless hatred for him is uncalled for. The more the haters continue with this, the more supporters they create for him. So far, they have not shown me anyone better to be president.