New York Magazine's fake news: Those people!
Where do conservatives get the idea that our mainstream press corps is constantly pimping fake news?
In part, they get the idea from the fact that our "press corps" likes to traffic in silly piddle which looks a great deal like "fake news!"
Today, we'll focus on this childish New York Magazine post about the handshake diss that wasn't. But similar dissembling nonsense appeared all over the mainstream press in the wake of Thursday's shocking handshake incident.
Later, this nonsense was trumpeted by conservative orgs as the latest example of mainstream "fake news." It's hard to say that this assessment was wrong. This is how Donald Trump wins.
The nonsense unfolded on Thursday. To acquire the general lay of the land, let's review this pathetic report at Mediaite, a major site which allegedly was funded and established to critique the American press.
Sad! The report was written by Joe DePaolo, who lists himself as "senior writer/sports editor" at the watchdog site.
Sad! DePaolo seemed to be very excited by what he had seen on videotape from the G-20 meeting. Beneath a highly exciting headline, he filed an excited report:
DEPAOLO (7/6/17): Handshake Fail: Watch Poland’s First Lady Totally Snub Trump in WarsawThe nonsense continued from there. Videotape was provided. It included an edit which was so abrupt that any reporter with half a brain would have been suspicious.
There’s no getting around this one. This was a snub, pure and simple.
Thursday in Warsaw, President Donald Trump went in for a handshake with Poland’s First Lady, Agata Kornhauser-Duda.
And Kornhauser-Duda was having absolutely none of it.
The Polish First Lady just completely snubbed Trump, bypassing his outstretched hand as if it weren’t even there. She instead made a beeline for her American counterpart, Melania Trump.
Check out the GIF posted above. Watch it again. (And again, and again.) It is plain as day.
Since you're wondering, we'll tell you this about that report: No, you can't get dumber. Still, many other journalists were eager to tell the pleasing tale of Trump's latest handshake fail.
The edited tape was thrown on-line at a wide array of major news sites. Four hours later, though, DePaolo was back with an UPDATE.
Sad! He pretended that he was providing all the facts about his own "handshake fail:"
DEPAOLO: UPDATE 3:54 p.m.—It certainly looked to us like a snub at the time. But further evidence (see below) suggests that it may not have been a snub. Truth is, who knows what was truly in the heart of Polish first lady Agata Kornhauser at that moment other than Ms. Kornhauser herself? We’ll let you be the judge.In fact, there was no handshake snub. And by the way, Donald J. Trump and President Duda are ideological allies. There would never have been a reason for Polish first lady Kornhauser-Duda to "totally snub" Donald J. Trump by creating a handshake fail.
DePaolo's pathetic pair of posts help establish the lay of the land for this latest nonsense. For ourselves, we first encountered the alleged handshake fail at New York Magazine, a major, long-established news org which is increasingly turning itself into mush.
We encountered the magazine's post at its Daily Intelligencer site, which we review several times daily. The post was written by a youngish person who probably shouldn't be a journalist, at least not at this time.
Before we clicked, we saw this:
7/6/2017 at 12:58 p.m.Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! Trump had been dissed again! To understand the times in which we all live, we'll suggest that you review Kircher's awful report.
Poland’s First Lady Expertly Curves a Handshake From Trump
By Madison Malone Kircher
Agata Kornhauser-Duda avoided shaking the president’s hand like a pro.
As noted above, the basic insinuation lodged in that headline was entirely wrong. In fact, Trump hadn't been avoided or dissed at all. A review of the unedited tape makes this abundantly clear.
Sadly, Kircher already seemed to understand that as she composed her report! This is the way she started:
KIRCHER (7/6/17): Canada’s Justin Trudeau went for the skeptical-stare approach. Japan’s Shinzo Abe tried a shake for the entire duration of Trump’s term maneuver. Panama’s Juan Carlos Varela opted for verbally owning Trump while shaking his hand. But none of them can top today’s viral Trump handshake, or rather non-shake, starring the First Lady of Poland, Agata Kornhauser-Duda. During a visit to Warsaw this week, Trump shook Polish president Andrzej Duda’s hand, but when he went to shake Kornhauser-Duda’s, she passed over his hand and went for the shake with Melania Trump instead. (It’s unclear if she just didn’t see Trump extending his hand, but either way, the optics are, well, not great for the U.S. president.) Kornhauser-Duda eventually did end up shaking Trump’s hand, but only after people online recorded many, many excellent video clips of her skipping the initial handshake.Just for the record:
By "eventually," Kircher meant this: "roughly two seconds later."
Clown car! Kircher actually seemed to know that Trump hadn't been dissed. But so what! The optics weren't great for the president! From there, she moved straight ahead to the fun.
Kircher proceeded to post a trio of tweets from three numbskulls eager to claim or suggest that Donald J. Trump had been dissed. After we'd been entertained by their tweets, she closed her pathetic report with this manifest garbage-can work:
KIRCHER: Perhaps the First Lady studied up on the Tiffany Trump Curve Method before meeting with the president today. Trump’s daughter knows a thing or two about avoiding physical contact with her dad while the cameras are rolling.A further link was provided. If you want your brain cells to die, you should go to New York's report and click.
This post appeared at New York Magazine, which was, for many years, a real and actual news org. The post still sits on the Daily Intelligencer site without a hint of correction or amplification.
The post exists to make you dumber. Meanwhile, who is Kircher? She's three years out of Hamilton College—and she probably shouldn't be in journalism, at least not at this time.
Her other recent posts at the Intelligencer are built around the twin maypoles of mindless snark and snide. She seems to have snark and snide down cold, with access to nothing else.
In fairness, many major sites and orgs pimped the diss that wasn't. The excitement got its start from a misleadingly edited piece of videotape—a piece of tape edited in such a way that anyone with an ounce of sense would have been very suspicious of what it seemed to portray.
Our journalists tend to lack such skills. In this case, an abrupt edit was widely used to promote the idea—yay yay yay!—that Trump had been dissed again!
The outcome here is obvious. By now, everyone from President Duda on down has denounced this rank stupidity as the latest example of the mainstream press corps' devotion to "fake news."
Conservatives have widely heard this claim. It's very, very hard to say that this claim isn't basically accurate in this particular case.
Every conservative has been told about this latest "fake news." DePaolo and Kircher and all the others have fed their monumental dumbness into this Putin-approved script for strongmen worldwide.
As we've said, many orgs ran with this nonsense once it exploded on Twitter. In many of their reports, it's clear that the reporters already knew that J-Trump hadn't been dissed.
But so what? They wanted to give their readers a thrill. They wanted to give them the thrill of believing, pretending or imagining that Donald J. Trump had been dissed.
They sold their readers a chunk of fake news. What else should somebody call it?
We met it first through Kircher's post. That said, the ubiquity of this foolishness brought past events to mind.
Starting in 1999, an earlier generation of "journalists" played similar games for two years. Their games, which were aimed at Candidate Gore, sent Candidate Bush to the White House.
That generation played silly games about statements Gore had supposedly made. They played silly games about his clothes and also about his hair.
As Election Day drew near, they even played a silly game in which they pretended he'd stuck a sock in his pants to make his crotch seem bigger. Kircher was maybe seven years old when this earlier ship of fools played the pitiful, death-dealing games which sent George Bush to the White House.
There was no pushback to that earlier clowning. Today, the Trump alliance around the world pushes back extremely hard at the DePaolos and the Kirchers and their general like.
Conservatives are being told that this episode was "fake news." It's hard to say that the claim is wrong. Putin got a win from this. Duda voiced his concern.
Meanwhile, a question:
Are we humans bright enough to handle our own affairs? Increasingly, the answer emerges from the silly, snarky scribes at our "liberal" sites.
Putin is betting the answer is no. The deeply thoughtful Russian strongman may well turn out to be right.