Saturday Morning Open ThreadPosted: September 17, 2016
I’m on the road to Boston in Utica, NY. I’ll be home later this afternoon, and I’ll make every effort to post something more then. In the meantime, here’s an open thread.
Is it possible that the media has finally changed its tone toward Donald Trump? Yesterday I heard NPR announcers say several times that Trump’s claim that Hillary Clinton started the birther controversy was “false” or “not true.”
Apparently the media was enraged at the treatment Trump gave them yesterday when he tricked them into thinking he would admit he was wrong to push the horrid birther story for five years at a press conference. It turned out he didn’t answer any questions and didn’t produce anything resembling an apology. Then he refused to allow the media to accompany him on a tour of his new hotel in Washington DC. He had only wanted free media for his business interests.
Just as Donald Trump gained on Hillary Clinton this week, he returned to his old ways of self-sabotage.
As the “birther” controversy swelled around him, he stood before a national television audience seemingly poised to address the issue that launched his political career — and then he spent 30 minutes delivering an infomercial about his new hotel. As the event was about to wrap, he tossed out a near-throwaway line: “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.” ….
Black congressional leaders, along with Clinton’s campaign, pilloried Trump’s brief statement on Obama’s birthplace — which was not an apology, an explanation or even an admission that he was the loudest promoter of the birther movement.
At a press conference, member of the Congressional Black Caucus urged voters to register and get out and vote this November.
“We are used to dog whistles, but the thing we are not used to are the howls of wolves. These are howls, not whistles,” said Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina….Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, called Trump’s actions “disgraceful.”“After five years of pushing a racist conspiracy theory into the mainstream, it was appalling to watch Trump appoint himself the judge of whether the President of the United States is American,” Mook said in a statement. “This sickening display shows more than ever why Donald Trump is totally unfit be president.”
To top off his awful day, last night Donald Trump for the second time called for Hillary Clinton to be assassinated. NBC News:
MIAMI — Donald Trump mixed policy with intimations of violence in Miami on Friday, reversing his position on re-engaging with Cuba and pushing for Hillary Clinton’s security to disarm because of her proposed firearm reforms.
Trump represented Clinton’s position on gun rights as wanting to “destroy your Second Amendment” and said that her bodyguards should no longer carry firearms in light of her policy stance, which includes expanded background checks for gun sales.
“She doesn’t want guns, take their — let’s see what happens to her,” Trump said. “Take their guns away, okay? It’ll be very dangerous.”
Trump’s comments were slammed by Clinton’s campaign on Friday night:
“Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for President, has a pattern of inciting people to violence. Whether this is done to provoke protesters at a rally or casually or even as a joke, it is an unacceptable quality in anyone seeking the job of Commander in Chief,” Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, wrote in a release.
“This kind of talk should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate, just like it should be out of bounds for a presidential candidate to peddle a conspiracy theory about the President of the United States for five years,” Mook added.
“But we’ve seen again and again that no amount of failed resets can change who Donald Trump is. He is unfit to be President and it is time Republican leaders stand up to denounce this disturbing behavior in their nominee.”
Even the media’s sudden willingness to call Donald Trump out on his lies may not be enough. Trump is actually moving up in the polls. Hillary would still win if the election were held today, but the media’s bias against her is taking its toll. It’s time for the media to stop playing Trump’s game and get serious about reporting on the issues.
More interesting stories to check out this morning:
Dan Gillmor at The Atlantic: Fighting Politicians’ War on Truth.
Margaret Sullivan at The Washington Post: It’s time for TV news to stop playing the stooge for Donald Trump.
Talking Points Memo: Trump Introduced By A Birther At Event Where He Walked Back Birtherism.
Joseph Stiglitz at Medium: Why TPP Is a Bad Deal for America and American Workers.
Now I have to get ready to hit the road. I’ll check in with you later on. What stories are you following today?