"This whole discourse is out of order," furious movie star says: According to a team of underage analysts, Al Pacino has weighed in on Donald J. Trump's latest flip.
"This whole discourse is out of order," Pacino reportedly told our investigative team in a late-night telephonic chat. He specifically said that he meant to include the press corps in his assessment.
What was Pacino talking about? Atop the front page of this morning's Washington Post, Matea Gold mentions Donald J. Trump's latest flip.
Truth to tell, she mentions his flip in passing. She almost makes it sound like a species of virtue:
GOLD (5/7/16): Trump is backing away from a tax plan he rolled out last fall that would have given major cuts to the rich. “I am not necessarily a huge fan of that,” he told CNBC. “I am so much more into the middle class, who have just been absolutely forgotten in our country.”Is it possible that Candidate Trump is "diagnosable" in some way? He has now said that he "isn't necessarily a huge fan" of his own formal budget proposal!
The billionaire’s tendency to change his mind on policy matters is a hallmark of his unconventional campaign—a quality he casts as an asset, saying it shows he is open to new ideas. Even so, his latest reversals are striking, particularly when it comes to the financing of his presidential bid, a central part of his pitch to voters.
Visions of so-called "split personalities" ran through our analysts' heads. Joanne Woodward, star of The Three Faces of Eve, failed to respond to their requests for comment.
Pacino was more forthcoming. Back to the Post's brief report:
Trump released his formal budget proposal late last September. Seven months later, he says he "isn't necessarily a huge fan" of the various things he proposed.
According to Gold, Trump's tendency to say such things "is a hallmark of his unconventional campaign." In fairness, she didn't quite call him a maverick. But she almost came fairly close.
Gold's front-page report in the Post runs just over 1200 words. That said, you've seen her entire treatment of Trump's possible flip on his budget proposal.
Gold focuses on a different set of flips—a set of flips concerning "the financing of his presidential bid." Because that's "process" rather than "policy," it's a sexier topic.
Trump's possible flip on his budget proposal got short shrift from Gold. That said, there's nothing new about that. Let's recall the chain of events to which Pacino referred:
Chronology of a crazy budget proposal:It's easy to see that Trump's behavior has been a bit strange in this area. That said, a different question occurred to our young, unpaid analysts.
In late September, Trump releases a formal budget proposal. It's the craziest budget proposal in modern political history.
In response, the press corps almost completely ignores the crazy budget proposal. Despite or because of its manifest lunacy, the Washington Post and the New York Times have barely reported its contents.
Seven months later, Trump makes an "unconventional" statement. He said he "isn't necessarily a huge fan" of his own crazy proposal.
The Washington Post mentions this "unconventional" statement, but does so only in passing. Instead, the paper focuses on Trump's new approach to shaking down big donors from Goldman Sachs.
They wondered if this chain of events could possibly mean that our whole discourse is out of order. When they called Pacino seeking comment, the major star picked up.
"This whole discourse is out of order," they told us he memorably said.
In response to follow-up questions, Pacino stressed the fact that he meant to include the mainstream press corps in his assessment. Reportedly, he said their behavior in these events "has been just as crazy as Trump's."
"That formal budget proposal is manifestly crazy," Pacino is said to have said. "It's the craziest budget proposal in modern political history."
"It easy to criticize Trump for making a crazy formal proposal," Pacino is said to have said as he's said to have continued. "And it's easy to see that his apparent flip is a second species of crazy.
"But what about the mainstream 'press corps,' " the major star is said to have said, making his use of scare quotes plain through his use of the skillful techniques he developed under Lee Strasberg. "How crazy was it when the 'press corps' simply ignored that 'plan?' "
"This whole 'discourse' is out of order," Pacino angrily said a second time, just before reportedly ringing off. "By conventional standards, it was crazy to offer a crazy proposal, crazier still to ignore it."
Could Pacino's angry late-night analysis possibly be accurate? Is our whole discourse out of order? Does the disorder extend beyond Candidate Trump? Does it extend all the way to the work of the mainstream press corps?
We tend to agree with Pacino's assessment. That said, concerning the press corps' role in this rolling gong show, professional reporters and play-for-pay analysts pretty much don't seem to care.
Remind us to tell this memorable story: Back in the fall of 1999, what happened when Candidate Bush released his formal budget proposal?
That Sunday, Cokie Roberts took a certain piece of bait and bungled her account of the formal proposal. But no, they didn't ignore the proposal! The morning after it was released, it received a front-page report in the Washington Post. The world was different then.
(George Stephanopoulos covered for Cokie. In this way, she escaped.)