IN SEARCH OF WHAT TRUMP ACTUALLY SAID: One brave leader boldly spoke!

THURSDAY, MARCH 14, 2019

Bluntly condemns neo-Nazis:
Last Friday evening, Joan Walsh appeared as a commentator on the CNN program, Erin Burnett OutFront.

Burnett was discussing the fact that Bill Shine would no longer serve as communications director for President Donald J. Trump. To review the transcript, click here.

Why had Shine been forced to step down? Burnett said no one could succeed at that job, given Trump's endless array of wild and crazy statements.

She played tape of Trump's declaration that he would shut the government down if he couldn't get funding for his border wall. After that, she characterized what Trump had said about the events in Charlottesville in August 2017:
BURNETT (3/8/19): It doesn't matter who has had the top communications job at the White House. They all have had to deal with a president who creates his own problems, whether it's trying to spin why he's siding with Russia over his own intelligence agency...or attempting to explain Trump's response to the deadly white nationalist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia.

TRUMP (videotape): You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.
In that passage, Burnett aired tape of a statement Trump made on Tuesday, August 15, 2017. Rather plainly, she seemed to say that Trump had said there were "very fine people" among the white nationalists in Charlottesville.

Soon, Joan Walsh appeared as a guest. She seemed to say much the same thing as Burnett:
WALSH: Bill Shine was Sean Hannity's producer. He had no experience working with a broader, non-ideological, diverse group of White House correspondents, etc., so it was an odd fit to begin with.

Also, Bill Shine did not insult three black women, as April was referring to a little while ago. Bill Shine did not call the Charlottesville white supremacists "fine people." So Trump is the reason he's getting crappy coverage.

BURNETT: Trump himself.

WALSH: Trump himself. It's not Bill Shine.
According to Walsh, Donald J. Trump had called the Charlottesville white supremacists "fine people!" Wide-eyed, our analysts asked us a question:

Did Donald J. Trump really say that?

With that presentation, Walsh joined a raft of pundits and hosts, on CNN and PBS, who offered variants of this claim during the past week. According to Walsh, Trump had called the white supremacists "fine people." According to Burnett, Trump had said there were "very fine people" among the white nationalists.

That same night, Anderson Cooper reported that Trump had said there were "good people on both sides, talking about neo-Nazis." As we noted in Tuesday's report, his guest, Max Boot, said this:
BOOT (3/8/19): As you were pointing out, the Charlottesville marchers who were saying "Jews will not replace us," those are the people that Donald Trump was praising as "some very fine people."
According to Boot, the pitiful lunatics chanting that slogan were the people Trump had praised as "some very fine people!" And sure enough! On the PBS HewsHour that very same night, Mark Shields seemed to say the same thing:
SHIELDS (3/8/19): I mean, we're talking about a president, Judy—let's be very blunt about it—who, when the white supremacists marched through the streets of Charlottesville with torches, saying, "Jews will not replace us," said there's good people on both sides.
Bravely deciding to be "very blunt," Shields stated a variant of Boot's claim—of the claim everyone else in his guild was making.

Across wide swaths of the mainstream press, reporters, hosts and pundits took turns All Saying The Very Same Thing. In Monday's press briefing with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Jim Acosta and April Ryan followed suit, with Ryan expressly noting that she hadn't bothered reviewing the transcripts or the tapes in search of what Trump really said.

Mainstream reporters and pundits all said the same thing! If we had a slightly more competent press corps, a person might assume that this meant that their widely-voiced characterization was basically fair and accurate.

Alas! This being America's mainstream press, no such assumption can safely be made. These are the same rampaging "rational animals" who spent years, not long ago, inventing various wild statements by Candidate Gore and repeating their wild mischaracterizations over and over again.

Due to prevailing codes of silence, the public still isn't allowed to know that this remarkable conduct ever took place. As for the many dead of Iraq, it isn't clear that we "rational animals" actually care about them!

Mainstream pundits have behaved as a group in the past week, telling us what Donald J. Trump supposedly said. Tomorrow, we'll try to assess the accuracy of their repetitive statements.

For today, let us make our basic statement of purpose again:

Tomorrow, when we make our assessment, we'll be judging the performance of the mainstream press corps, not that of Donald J. Trump. We'll be assessing the behavior of our mainstream reporters and pundits, not that of the disordered man who made demagogic comments last week while holding the nuclear codes.

Meanwhile, let's get clear, once again, on one basic factual point. When our pundits and cable hosts quote or play videotape of Trump's "very fine people on both sides" remark, they're characterizing something he said on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

The pitiful march by the ludicrous, chanting white supremacist Nazis had taken place four days earlier, on Friday evening, August 11. We mention these facts to side with Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is being widely praised today, within our tribe, for saying there are still some places where basic "facts still matter."

Tomorrow, we'll look at what Trump actually said in the August 15 remarks which have been widely characterized. When we do, we'll try to assess the accuracy of the things our "very blunt" mainstream reporters and pundits have so bluntly said.

For today, we'll close with a bit of uplift. There was at least one major pol who did denounce the Charlottesville white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the way Ryan longs for.

Credit where credit is due! "I've condemned neo-Nazis," this defiant world leader boldly said. "I've condemned many different groups," he said as he continued, rather plainly adding "white supremacists" to his list.

Later, he made his intentions even more clear as he bravely continued. He sought to specify who he wasn't praising in his wider set of remarks:

"I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally," this inspiring figure explicitly said. If only people like Donald J. Trump were willing to issue such statements!

If only more political leaders were willing to condemn our neo-Nazis! Tomorrow, we'll answer the comical question Ryan posed to Huckabee Sanders:

How about the disordered Trump? Has he ever done such a thing?

Tomorrow: Assessing the work of the press

35 comments:

  1. So, okay: Joan and Erin, two more establishment whores.

    But Bob, it'll take you forever to name all of them. There are probably tens, nay hundreds of thousands of establishment whores. Naming names is hardly a productive activity.

    Try to think of it in a more systemic way, Bob. Please.

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  2. The left has mastered the art of finding one statement someone once made and repeating it ad nauseum. The statement is repeated without context, often parphrased in some wild exaggeration. Thus, they make it appear that this one statement characterizes the entire beliefs of the speaker.

    They're currently trying that technique on conservative TV pundit Tucker Carlson. See https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/03/media_matters_has_been_throwing_stones_at_tucker_carlson_from_its_own_glass_house.html

    Another such target was recently confirmed appellate judge Neomi Rao. See https://www.huffpost.com/entry/neomi-rao-confirmed-brett-kavanaugh-court_n_5c893432e4b0450ddae6a025?utm_source=politics_fb&utm_campaign=hp_fb_pages&section=politics&utm_medium=facebook&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013&fbclid=IwAR0PQMCSPiqYacG_-8JnIcKgXlec4-wRjXfhvtMrRJkeHAJmGFRTATqAb1E

    Of course this tactic is only applied to conservatives. And, being a racial minority doesn't protect Rao from this treatment.

    P.S. Luckily the Democrats didn't realize that Rao is Jewish. They would have been even meaner if they had known that.

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    Replies
    1. Tucker Carlson's White Power Hour is currently on the TV. You don't need to "dig up" anything about his bigotry. Just because the same morons who think Donald Trump has a nickel of wealth can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.

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    2. "Tucker Carlson's White Power Hour is currently on the [sic] TV."

      Wow. This is the highest commendation any public figure could hope to receive from a psycho-dembot. Inspiring.

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    3. Only until we honestly discuss the Right's abilities with basic math and human decency.

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    4. Fuck you, Comrade DinC, you treasonous bastard. You voted for a fucking pig who demanded to see President Obama's birth certificate. You can get off your fucking high horse right about now. You forfeit for all eternity the right to criticize anyone, are we clear?

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    5. Hey, speaking of deranged lunatics, apparently Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, just slandered Beto suggesting Beto might be insane. Isn't that just a fucking ballbuster, Comrade DinC, you treasonous bastard?

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    6. DinC, who has been commenting on this site for 10 years, has now proven that he has learned nothing from Bob Somerby. He revels in Somerby’s takedown of liberals, but conveniently forgets Bob’s number one complaint: how the right and the msm took one statement, repeated it as nauseum without context, in wild paraphrase with the intent to ridicule a hated figure: Al Gore’s “I invented the Internet.” After all this time, you would think DinC would at least admit that both sides do it, but nope. He is indeed a dishonest troll incapable of learning anything.

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    7. Bob is evidently bothered by the deceptive
      way in which a statement by Trump is being unfairly parroted by liberals. Here are two questions for the liberals here:

      1. Are you bothered by deceptive behavior by liberal media, as described by Bob?

      2. If you're not bothered by the deception, why are you not bothered?

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    8. 1) Define "liberal media". Do you mean the Right-wing corporate-owned media?

      2) I am most certainly bothered by the deceptive corporate-owned media. I'm even more bothered by them pitting far Right-wing vs. Right-wing choices as the two choices for governmental policies.

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    9. What's wrong with being deceptive, Comrade DinC? Isn't that the new way? We are in a new age now where lying like a sack of shit is just peachy keen with you trumpbots. In fact you applaud DJT for being such a shameless liar. You count that as one of his strengths, his ability to lie to the American people without blinking or turning red. We now live in an age where administration officials just go to Capitol Hill every day and simply shamelessly commit perjury with no consequences. So what the fuck is your problem? Welcome to Trumpland.
      As I keep reminding you, you fucking hypocritical treasonous bastard, you have now forfeited your right for all eternity to ever complain about anyone else being deceptive, you got that traitor?

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    10. By "Liberal media", I meant two things:
      1. Specifically liberal outlets like Huffington Post, MSNBC and CNN.
      2. The mainstream media who actually bias toward liberal, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CBS,NBC, ABC, PBS and NPR.

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    11. CBS is conservative. They reported Trump's budget without mentioning his Medicare cuts. That's typical of them.

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    12. DinC, you’re the one who said “Of course this tactic is only applied to conservatives.” It was pointed out to you that Somerby has made a career out of showing how this very tactic has been applied to Al Gore. He also has shown you how it has been applied to Bill and Hillary Clinton. Are you that stupid, that you cannot understand a blog you’ve been reading for at least ten years, where the blogger, apparently vainly, has tried to educate you about this? And how he has told you ad infinitum how the msm does NOT have a liberal bias? Jesus.

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    13. Facts are known to have a liberal bias.

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    14. Liberals are known to spew bullshit liberal talking points at every opportunity.

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    15. 10;46,
      You need a safe space, snowflake?

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  3. “Rather plainly, she seemed to say”

    If it’s plain, it’s plain, not “rather” plain.

    And how can someone who plainly says something only “seem” to say it?

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  4. A day or two ago, according to Somerby, the neo-Nazis etc were “ludicrous.” Now, they are “pitiful lunatics.”

    Nice to know that Somerby trivializes these groups.

    It’s also tough to know why a blogger purely focused on “the press” would editorialize about groups and people who are not the press.

    I recall posts where Somerby ranted about Hillary’s “deplorable” comment, and how that shows the hatred and tribal blindness of liberals. Or the post recently where he apparently agreed with Andrew Sullivan about the bad tribal behavior of Rep Omar.

    But we must now remember that Somerby will NOT be judging the performance of Donald J Trump. Just the mainstream press.

    Got that?

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  5. “I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally,"

    Yes, Trump said this. On 8/15.

    But on 8/15, he also characterized his statement of 8/12 in this way:
    “As I said, remember, saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. It has no place in America.”

    That is not exactly what he said. This is what he actually said on Saturday:
    “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country.”

    Note the addition of the words “on many sides”, repeated twice for emphasis. Trump added this to scripted remarks.

    This also happened at the 8/12 press conference:

    Trump did not call out
    “white supremacists and neo-Nazis as hate groups”. And: “His initial statement did not mention the car attack at all or the fact that a life had been lost.”

    “When reporters originally asked Trump if he condemned the hate groups responsible for the attack, he refused to answer the question and walked away from the podium.”

    Also, “Criticism of Trump’s initial response mounted over the weekend, and resulted in Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier resigning from the president’s American Manufacturing Council.” (Frazier is black). This prompted a snarky juvenile tweet from Trump.

    His remarks of 8/15 were the third or fourth statement regarding the incident from Trump and/or the White House. In one of them, on 8/14, racism was clearly condemned.

    So, we have “hatred, bigotry and violence” on many sides, but we also have “fine people” on “both” sides. And we learn that “Racism is evil” (from 8/14). But Trump didn’t say that initially.

    And his sentence “I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally," on 8/15 comes in the midst of a rambling press conference where he once again muddies the water:

    On 8/15, when asked about the “alt-right”, he said “What about the alt left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt right? “

    He also said “There was a group on this side, you can call them the left. You have just called them the left, that came violently attacking the other group. You can say what you want. That's the way it is.”

    Then he said “If you reported it accurately, you would say that the neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville. Excuse me. They didn't put themselves down as neo-Nazis. You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides.”

    And “The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people, neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. You had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest. I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit.”

    “You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. The press has treated them absolutely unfairly. “

    So, what sounds like a “rather plain” condemnation of Nazis is rendered unclear in the context of the whole press conference.

    It seems that one must evaluate, or assess, what Trump actually said in full context in order to evaluate the press corps’ reaction to it.

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    Replies
    1. Like Trump, Bob does what he accuses other people of doing.

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  6. How broad-minded was it for the president to have described some of the members of the Antifa side as being very fine people?

    What a guy...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, these kids. Some of them have to be fine people, I'm sure.

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    2. Cecelia and Mao. Dumb and dumber.

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    3. Celia,
      Great use of sarcasm. Could you imagine a real Conservative being "anti-fascist"? Me neither.

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  7. Is Somerby really trying to convince us that Donald Trump doesn't love the alt-right? There is too much evidence that suggests otherwise.

    Everyone rushed to portray Trump as condoning the alt-Right because that is how he feels about them. That's why everyone was saying the same thing about Trump -- they didn't jump on a bandwagon or pile on a single unfortunate remark. They know who Trump is and they see him for the alt-Right enabler that he plainly is -- and they said what they know about him. The alt-Right members know Trump loves them. Everyone else does too. So who is Somerby trying to fool?

    I am sick of his overly literal nitpicking and selective quoting, in service of defense of the indefensible. Trump doesn't get to use his bungling incoherent use of language to mask his support for hate groups. He didn't make a mistake -- he clearly communicated what he wanted his alt-Right followers to know. He does not have plausible deniability on this one because of the larger context of his statements and actions.

    Just like we all know that he dislikes Puerto Ricans and really doesn't want to help them after the hurricane. And we know that he doesn't really care about those brown immigrant children who have been separated from their parents. And we know that he doesn't give a damn about black people anywhere. And we know that he doesn't really respect women, even the ones he married, even his own daughter whom he called "honey" and patronized at a meeting this last week. We see Trump and we know who he is and nothing Somerby says about so-called mainstream journalists will change that.

    But the more he writes this kind of shit, the more we know Somerby for what he is.

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    1. I find it amusingly serendipitous that the very week TDH decides to sugarcoat the despicable comments Trump made about Charlottesville, we have Donald quoted in an interview threatening violence from his very tough supporters.

      "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad," Trump said.

      That was the Acting President of the United States, Donald J Chickenshit, a man so cowardly and dishonest that he can't even answer questions from the special counsel, a man who boasted about committing sexual assault and spying on teenage girls undressing, a man so gutless that he wouldn't have lasted a week on my 3rd grade playground, is now encouraging his supporters to commit acts of political violence.

      Yeah, baby. Hey Jefferson Beauregard Mao, you a tough guy?

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    2. Well, mm, we can rest easy in that Bob has repeatedly said that he's reporting - as he always has - on media malfeasance. Perhaps in this case, he should stop pulling apart nettles. Trump is fucking deranged and the MSM is fucking deranged. Quoting Mark Shields to make his point? Jesus.

      So it goes. But using media malfeasance on technical terms - despite Bob's own distaste for Trump - serves no purpose in these times in regards to Trump. He’s a menace. Can’t we just leave it at that, Bob?

      I mean, there’s an entire party aligned with him on everything he says or does. Shouldn’t the focus shift to his political supporters in Congress?

      Leroy

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  8. Re New Zealand shooting:

    "As part of his rant, the livestreaming shooter called Donald Trump a “symbol of white identity and common purpose."

    Meanwhile Trump was busy tweeting links to Breitbart during and immediately after the shooting.

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  9. Somerby thinks one sentence should stand on its own while he explains how it has been taken wrong by the media. But actually sentences form meaning together and as a group they show what a person believes. Take for example, Tucker Carlson. What do you think about this guy when you read all the things he has said about women on air over a period of time:

    https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2019/03/10/unearthed-audio-tucker-carlson-makes-numerous-misogynistic-and-perverted-comments/223092

    Now do the same with Trump's statements condoning white supremacism and violence.

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    Replies
    1. Why, I think he is, currently, the best talking head in the mainstream media.

      And what do you think?

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    2. I think you are the worst talking anus in the internet.

      Delete
    3. Thanks dembot. Dembot hatred is the highest tribute.

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