Bobo The Clown’s Revenge? How The Media Is Reelecting Donald Trump

Screen Shot 2020-05-17 at 3.29.14 PM
YouTube Screenshot (Stanford Experiment)

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on how the media seems confused by polls that not only fail to show former Vice President Joe Biden surging but some showing Trump pulling ahead with voters.  The problem is that the media has never shown any real interest in understanding Trump voters, preferring to stereotype them as racists, as done in a recent Washington Post column.  The truth might be found in a famous Stanford experiment called “Bobo the Clown.”

Here is the column:

Various media outlets are struggling with recent polls that not only show President Trump at the same popularity as this time last year but actually rising in states like Ohio. When one poll found him leading by 7 points in battleground states, John King cautioned viewers to “be careful not to invest too much in any one poll” especially amid the coronavirus. It was a CNN poll and, while Biden leads in other polls, it is not unique.

The media seems honestly confused. It was not supposed to work this way. With unrelentingly negative coverage of an impeachment, a pandemic, and an economic collapse, voters were supposed to be angry. There is even a psychological model for such social cognitive learning or conditioning called “Bobo the Clown” and, while this experiment by psychologist Albert Bandura focused on children, these polls suggest that conditioning does not work nearly as well in politics as it does on playgrounds.

In 1961, Bandura used a goofy inflatable clown named Bobo and had children watch adults as they acted aggressively toward it. Soon the children followed the adults’ example and beat the clown. Conversely, when children watched the clown being treated without aggression, they were less aggressive toward it.

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedFor many voters, Donald Trump and Joe Biden are not so funny clowns, and voters are being conditioned by some in the media to treat one aggressively and the other not aggressively. It is not the first attempt at media conditioning: In 2016, when every poll indicated that voters wanted outsider candidates, Democratic leaders pushed through one of the two most unpopular presidential candidates in history, Hillary Clinton.

She was beaten by the other most unpopular figure on the Republican side, Trump. Yet, after largely positive treatment of Clinton and correspondingly negative coverage of Trump, the election results stunned experts who predicted an easy win for Clinton — and why not? Voters had been exposed to unyielding, continual media conditioning against Trump.

The conclusion of the media today appears to be that the scathing treatment in 2016 was not aggressive enough. Trump is routinely called an actual clown by some in the media. More importantly, there are now consistent attacks on Trump supporters. Washington Post “conservative columnist” Jennifer Rubin has declared that Trump supporters as a whole are racists. That common stereotyping of Trump supporters is uncontested, even as the media objects to Trump’s generalizations about other groups.

Columnist Leonard Pitts wrote a recent column entitled, “No, it’s not the economy, stupid. Trump supporters fear a black and brown America.” The narrative has moved beyond Clinton’s description of Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” to now portraying all Trump supporters as open racists. “Make America Great Again” hats are denounced by academics as the symbol of “modern day hitlerjugend” and hate speech.

It is all part of media-cognitive learning, and it is working in a curious way. Recent polls show Trump at the exact same spot as he was last year, with roughly 43 percent support. In Ohio he actually is ahead by 3 percentage points in a survey from Emerson College and Nexstar Media; he and Biden are in a statistical dead heat in Wisconsin. In other words, as in 2016, the media campaign is forcing Trump supporters into the closet, but not away from Trump.

220px-Biden_2013Meanwhile, the media has been working hard at non-aggressive treatment of Biden. His frequent gaffes are quickly dismissed; when he was accused of sexual assault, the media reluctantly noted the story. Even when Biden recently espoused a conspiracy theory that Trump was going to halt the November election, the media called it a “prediction” and ignored that it was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the Constitution.

At the end of last year, the Media Research Center found that network evening news was 96 percent negative against Trump. The drumbeat has only increased with impeachment and pandemic coverage this year. Despite such saturated messaging, polls show that the number of voters expressing strong “enthusiasm” for Biden is wallowing at just 24 percent, while Trump remains at 53 percent. Biden is just 3 points ahead of Trump in the most recent polls, actually behind where Clinton was in 2016. The reason may be that the anti-Trump narrative is so overwhelming that voters feel they are being played like the kids in the Bandura experiment.

Consider again the recent attack of the Post’s Rubin on most Republicans. Rubin lashed out at the immigration freeze ordered by Trump during the pandemic; however, she was not satisfied with denouncing the policy as a political stunt to appeal to the unemployed. She declared: “No doubt Trump’s base is primarily motivated by racism. This is why Trump does this.” The statement captures the accepted, unhinged bias against all Trump supporters in the mainstream media.

I did not vote for Trump, and I have regularly criticized him in columns and blog posts. However, I have watched the stereotyping of Trump supporters at media conferences for years. It suggests that roughly 63 million people in this country who voted for Trump in 2016 are knuckle-dragging racists. It ignores the fact that Hillary Clinton had record negative polling before the nomination and was widely viewed as pathologically inauthentic.

Recently, polls show 85 percent of Republicans support Trump. Thus, according to Rubin, 85 percent of Republicans (and roughly 10 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents) — in other words, almost half of America — are primarily motivated by racism. Does that track with any sense of reality? There are a host of reasons for these voters to support Trump other than racism.

What is not being discussed much in the media is that people might have non-racist reasons for supporting Trump. The fact is that Trump has a curious record: He has been repeatedly (and correctly) chastised for untrue statements, and yet he has one of the best records for actually keeping campaign promises — the crackdown on immigration, building of the border wall, pro-life policies and appointments, selection of conservative jurists, tax cuts, regulation rollbacks, opening up areas to oil drilling.

These and many other aspects of his administration are the most controversial but also are the long-held wish list of conservatives going back to Ronald Reagan. Indeed, while 85 percent of Republicans support Trump, a new poll shows that 23 percent would like to see someone else as their nominee. Yet, Rubin and others simply dismiss all Trump supporters as monolithic, pathological racists.

Thus, polls indicate that the unending attacks on Trump and his supporters in the media are not conditioning but, instead, are repelling voters. They are fulfilling his narrative that voters cannot trust the media. Many voters may still view both Trump and Biden as over-inflated clowns, but they resent being continually conditioned to hit one clown and hug the other. Indeed, if Trump is reelected, he may have the media to thank.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

277 thoughts on “Bobo The Clown’s Revenge? How The Media Is Reelecting Donald Trump”

  1. The comments in this thread clearly demonstrate that the Bobo punchers just can’t stop punching Bobo.

    That is what simplistic us versus them binary thinking does to people with no critical thinking skills, who let their emotions control their limited thinking processes.

  2. I took a sewing class a few months ago, to get better at making garments. Within an hour, we knew the teacher was a pretty far left Democrat. She spoke political opinions without reservation to all of us, even though we had all paid her to teach us a pattern on making trousers. I have no idea how she even segued into that.

    2 days later, one of the women shyly disagreed, very slightly, with one of the teacher’s political statements. Again, this is a pants class. To make pants. We paid for the class. The teacher was tolerant of her response, and I swear, a sigh went around the room. Someone else spoke up and said that a lot of us were conservatives, and they hadn’t wanted to talk politics because you never know how someone is going to react. (That means she was scared she’d be stuck for days in a class with an irate teacher harassing her, making the time she paid for miserable.) She asked (again, this is a pants instructor) how many of us were Republicans. We all raised our hands. This is a conservative part of the very deep blue state of CA. She was taken aback to realize that she did not have the politically receptive audience she assumed we were. She was not from that rural town, and had traveled to teach the class. After that, she didn’t pipe up so much about politics. Which was nice, as we’d paid her to teach us sewing and serging.

    I had just tuned her out, and hadn’t planned on even getting into a political discussion. I had enough problems figuring out the blind zipper foot.

    Anyone who spoke up that they were conservative ran the risk of being the only one in a room that would turn hostile and bigoted.

    By contrast, Democrats are not afraid to speak their mind, even in conservative towns like ours. While there are outliers, the trend is that conservatives do not harass and cancel invited Democrats, while in the reverse, Democrats use whatever authority and access they have to harass, intimidate, and persecute conservatives.

    There certainly are moderate Democrats. I just don’t think they have control over their party, Congress, the media, Hollywood, or have much influence anymore. It’s a pity, because centrists on both sides have more in common than the extremes.

    1. Karen, I’ve witnessed the same behavior from Trump fans. It is annoying and I sympathize with you. But you are blind in your belief that this is a one way street.

      1. Bythebook, there is no comparison in trends. Sure, there are individuals who act atrociously on both sides.

        However, no one, not even you, can deny that it is routine for invited conservative speakers to be threatened, harassed, mobbed, and shouted down on college campuses across America. It’s not even a question.

        It is undeniable that there is a nationwide trend for people to be afraid to wear MAGA hats for fear of being assaulted or harassed. Meanwhile, people can stroll on by with the images of murderous dictators like Mao or Hugo Chavez on their clothing, with impunity.

        There is no denying the trends, which make the Democrat party look like it’s devolving into pure savagery. Physical violence or harassment from a Democrat has come to be expected with the “trigger” of an article of clothing. Not every single Democrat will assault someone, but it can be expected that at least one will either get physically violent or harass the wearer. Even a Disney exec posted a meme, in public and under his real name, of a fantasy in which he murdered the Covington Catholic High School teenagers by feeding them screaming, MAGA hat first, into a wood chipper. From Disney. That was a lie, too, as it was the kids who were the victims of harassment by the Native American, because they wore MAGA hats.

        The Democrat Party has become what they’ve accused Trump voters of. The constant false accusations and impeachment efforts show they won’t accept the vote.

        Remember Maxine Waters? “Make a crowd. Show them they’re not welcome anywhere anymore.”

        That’s the albatross the party wears. These aren’t odd fringe people that most of the party want nothing to do with. These are public figures, and this attitude is mainstream. He had it coming. He wore a MAGA hat. After all, the media, Hollywood, and academia keeps slandering Trump voters as racist. People get brainwashed and then triggered when they see red.

        https://www.rt.com/usa/449368-disney-producer-threatens-maga-kids/

  3. This blog post illustrates the bigotry so common against conservatives, as well as the fact that the mainstream media has become little more than Democrat propaganda.

    Many people are afraid to wear a MAGA hat for fear of assault or harassment. Conservative speakers are routinely threatened, mobbed, harassed, and canceled. Conservatives are afraid to say what they think amongst family, friends, and strangers, in person or online.

    What would be the response if this was happening to Democrats? If Democrats were afraid to wear Obama hats and shirts, what would the response have been? How would the media have covered it? If people were afraid to admit their Democrat views, for fear of harassment, assault, losing friends, losing a job, not getting a job…what would the media, Hollywood, politicians, professors, and other activists be saying about it?

    Would it be brushed off, ignored, and denied, as we see happen today, because the targets are conservative?

    1. Karen, who gets their ass kicked first? MAGA dude at a BIll Maher show or Obama guy at NASCAR?

      I say the Obama guy gets his ass kicked 1st.

      1. I actually attended a taping of Bill Maher’s show years ago. Bill came out before the show and spoke with those of us in the audience. There was a Rick Santorum supporter in the audience. Bill could not have been more gracious to this man, and listened respectfully to his opinions. So, no, Bill might comment on a MAGA hat but that would be the extent of it.

      2. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

        That’s your response? One instance when confront with a nationwide trend?

        Even this Trump-loathing journalist grasps what escapes so many. Violence and harassment against Trump voters is wrong. Yet, the dissenting opinion given is that Trump voters cannot be “marginalized” because Republicans are in power. Excuses for violence.

        https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/03/12/recent-hate-against-trump-supporters-goes-unnoticed-talker/3139501002/

    2. Karen, I don’t doubt that MAGA hats are toxic. A friend of mine wears a Teacher’s Union hat that looks like a MAGA cap from 10 feet away. And he claims he’s been abused many times while riding in his convertible while wearing that hat.

      But one has to ask how certain brands get a toxic image. Schlitz Beer, for instance, was a major brand until a disastrous ad campaign caused sales to plummet. The cigarette maker Phillip Morris changed its name to Altria after investigations showed that industry buried scientific evidence of tobacco’s deadly effects. And recently the Catholic Church has found itself synonymous with priest scandals.

      The point is that certain brands become toxic for tangible reasons.

      1. “Karen, I don’t doubt that MAGA hats are toxic.”

        I strongly disagree. The hat is not toxic. The reaction to it is. As the blog post indicates, the media is conditioning that response.

        Lie and tell someone that Trump and all his voters are racist often enough, and naive people believe it. They see a MAGA hat, and react like it’s a KKK hood. That is patently unjust to the wearer.

        Sorry, but you have to be a critical thinker and stop believing what the media tells you. As Jonathan Turley, and others, have pointed out, the media has long thrown in as blatant supporters of the Democrat Party. That is the only source for information that many people go to in order to learn what Trump is about – journalist activists working to get Democrats elected.

        I could blast across the airwaves that John Elder is a racist. If it went on enough times, people would shudder at the mention of your name. And then someone would shake his head, and say your name was toxic without reasoning that it wasn’t true.

    3. Karen, you are mistaken if you believe that Trumpism and conservatism are one and the same thing. They are not. Conservatives are as much opposed to Trump as Democrats are, if not more so. Just for starters, read the writings of Bill Kristol, George F. Will and Michael Steele if you don’t believe me. Trump is not a conservative, and his disciples aren’t, either. Fox News tries to tell you disciples that you are conservatives, but that’s not true. You are disciples and there is a big difference.

      You haven’t repeated what this sewing instructor said that you believe is “far left”. You also haven’t considered the fact that most Americans did not vote for Trump and have never approved of him because: he cheated his way into the White House, he constantly lies, he is petty and vindictive, he has destroyed the booming economy inherited from Barak Obama, he is arrogant, and he is responsible for grossly mishandling a pandemic, resulting in extra unnecessary death and suffering. With only 4.3% of the world’s population, the U.S. has 29% of COVID-19 cases. Trump bears responsibility for his failed leadership. He even tries to muzzle the CDC doctors to be sure they don’t put out facts that make him look bad. That’s not conservatism–it is narcissism and mental illness.

      The latest is to continue to push for hydroxychlorouine as a treatment and or preventative for COVID-19, despite proof that it is ineffective and dangerous. The only reason for this is that he absolutely cannot be wrong. Anyone who isn’t disgusted by this irresponsible abuse of the platform provided by the US. Presidency is a disciple–a believer who trusts by virtue of faith, not facts or science. This is something way more sinister and not entitled to respect because it is not an opposing political view.

      People like you try to normalize Trump, as if devotion and opposition to Trump is all about politics, political differences, differences of opinion, and the like, but Trump discipleship is something else entirely, and it is definitely not based on conservatism. It is based on non college educated white resentment, beginning with the success and respect earned by Barak and Michelle Obama, fear of losing what Trump disciples believe is their entitled white privilege status, fear of change from a manufacturing and coal-based economy to more ecologically-friendly and education-required service economy, and, frankly, racism. Trump is not a conservative and neither are his disciples, who are conditioned to believe that any media other than Fox is lying to them. I’ve tried to talk to some of you, but you cannot hear facts and won’t believe science. Trump disciples are not being harassed: the white supremacy and racism he stands for are un-American, and the majority of us are sick of you.

      1. Hydroxychlorouine is this years hurricaine warning map. The Dear Leader can not be wrong – a simple “oh yeah, I didn’t see Alabama was removed” would have ended it – and people will lose their jobs and the bureaucracy turned up side down to support the nonsense.

        This is Kim il Jung stuff without the better hair.

        1. studies of hydroychloroquine that are conducted on advanced stage patients have a flawed design from the start. the contention never was that it will help people who are already very sick and already intubated. the therapeutic use that needs to be tested is on early infections where antivirals like that or remesdivir can do their thing. once a patient has got one foot in the grave it doesnt do anything. so there is a straw man element to that sort of “study”

          there are other design flaws in these critical studies. they still have not established that there is no valid therapeutic use, i have followed a pathologist doing peer review of them and the various debunkings are actually not. but that is detail work and it’s up to the scientists to form valid studies and submit them for peer review. now if they can get a valid study done which discredits hydroxy fine but so far the conclusions have been less than what they’ve billed them as in certain corners of the press.

          of course with major magazines like Lancet openly taking for the first time editorial positions on public officials in various nations, they are clearly not concerned about objectivity. i have also seen how they’ve failed to identify potential bias where certain sars cov 2 DNA studies performed by the PLA . …. sad.

          then at the other end of the spectrum we have these anti vaxxer cranks out there saying the whole thing is a hoax. some lady named miskovits, taking in credulous people. that’s sad and pathetic too.

          it’s really a dismal situation when it comes to the failure of public and also editors to properly evaluate scientific evidence and information. and the failings have come from both ends of the spectrum.

          1. Dude, there is no reason for any of us laymen to GAF about this or an of the various medical possibilities until they are tested by people not trying to sell us something and found of use.

      2. natch, lol, you are full of garbage, you are not conservative, you’re pretending to know what it means in any respect, this handful of losers you like kristol never were conservative, just give it up and put that and “white supremacist trump” in your pipe and smoke it along with that hash oil you’ve been dabbing cuz you must be high as a kite now

      3. ..”he has destroyed the booming economy inherited from…Obama..”. Rubbish. One of Trump’s main strengths was the actual booming economy he created from the ashes of Obama’s incompetence. Cash for Clunkers, Solyndra, “Shovel Ready Jobs”…all showboating failures. Business Insider, no friend of Trump’s, 2010 article gave a comprehensive summary of the situation:
        https://www.businessinsider.com/18-signs-of-decay-in-cash-starved-america-2010-8
        Too soon into Obama’s administration for you? It is painfully easy to find Trump-hating major networks videos on YouTube, dating from five or six years ago, highlighting the desperation of formerly middle class Americans sinking into poverty. Who was president then?

  4. Bwahaha! The Bobo the Clown story made me laugh. Thank you.
    Learn to laugh at the fading banana republic for your own mental health and well being.
    Picture both branches of the Uniparty as jolly clowns in cars with loud honking horns and hydraulics with fancy rims.
    The best government that money can buy is the laughingstock of the world while Americans tremble in fear at its supposed omnipotence.
    Bozo offers you a pimento.

  5. The U.S. is not the world’s law enforcement agency, and someone who writes a few Op-Ed pieces is not a journalist. It sounds to me like you’re mainlining Leftist propaganda.

  6. The U.S. President isn’t a dictator (despite Leftist claims to the contrary.) He can’t tell a nursing home in Topeka what to do. That task is much better handled at a local and State level, and the law and The Constitution is where that schema is laid out.

    Trump wasn’t sending the virus into nursing homes, that falls squarely on four states shoulders, all controlled by Democrat governors. And, perhaps coincidentally, all experiencing large pension shortfalls.

    It seems to me you’d be better served by engaging in a grade school level review of how our government is setup and how it functions rather than parroting billionaires’ talking points for them as they attempt to steal our country back from us and enslave us in a new feudalistic system. You’ll be a serf under their system too, I don’t understand why you seem so so eager to help them.

  7. Glenn Greenwald: “…his [Ben Smiths] diagnosis of what is destroying American journalism is dead-on”

    ‘Ben Smith’s NYT Critique of Ronan Farrow Describes a Toxic, Corrosive, and Still-Vibrant Trump-Era Pathology: “Resistance Journalism”’

    https://theintercept.com/2020/05/18/ben-smiths-nyt-critique-of-ronan-farrow-describes-a-toxic-corrosive-and-still-vibrant-trump-era-pathology-resistance-journalism/\

    “All professions and institutions suffer when a herd, groupthink mentality and the banning of dissent prevail. But few activities are corroded from such a pathology more than journalism is, which has as its core function skepticism and questioning of pieties. Journalism quickly transforms into a sickly, limp version of itself when it itself wages war on the virtues of dissent and airing a wide range of perspectives.

    “I do not know how valid are Smith’s critiques of Farrow’s journalism. But what I know for certain is that Smith’s broader diagnosis of “Resistance Journalism” is dead-on, and the harms it is causing are deep and enduring. When journalists know they will thrive by affirming pleasing falsehoods, and suffer when they insist on unpopular truths, journalism not only loses its societal value but becomes just another instrument for societal manipulation, deceit, and coercion.”

  8. I wish that there were a way to flag comments for moderation. Personal attacks like this don’t belong here.

    1. He probanly will be gotten rid of by morning, I hope. Comments like that don’t belong anywhere. Clearly a diseased mind and soul behind that post.

  9. MANUFACTURED OUTRAGE OVER NEW YORK NURSING HOMES

    BUT NO LEADERSHIP BY TRUMP

    Further down the thread is a huge argument. Regarding the state of New York’s controversial decree that nursing home accept virus infected residents.

    I claim no inside knowledge of New York’s local healthcare system. But the New York City metro region was essentially ground zero of this pandemic. It makes sense. New York is more densely populated than any other U.S. City. Manhattan has 70,000 people per square mile. Millions depend on public transit.

    So it isn’t hard to imagine that during the height of infections, New York was essentially a war zone in terms of health emergencies. One presumes that Albany was overwhelmed by demands placed on state government.

    This all raises the question of Trump’s leadership. New York City is Trump’s hometown. Trump was, in fact, one of the city’s biggest boosters during the grim 80’s and 90’s. One would have expected Donald Trump to take a personal interest in New York’s situation during this pandemic.

    Trump could have offered Trump owned properties to house emergency medical facilities. Trump, in fact, could have offered his New Jersey Country Club as a medical facility. New Jersey, like New York, was hit especially hard as part of that Metro Region.

    One has to ask, in fact, ‘What real leadership has Trump offered the states?’ He is actually on record as saying, “I’m not responsible” (for Federal leadership). The states are on their own! No national strategy for a global pandemic. No leadership to the world community. Germany, by the default, has been the world leader. Oh, and South Korea, too. The world is looking to ‘those’ countries in a vacuum of U.S. leadership.

    This vacuum of leadership has made the United States appear dysfunctional to the world. It’s true, we are dysfunctional; our president has no desire to govern. Trump’s only skill is fighting Culture Wars. And with Trump every issue becomes an argument. Essentially America is having a low-level Civil War. And that reflects the malevolent intentions of Donald Trump.

    No president who loves America would exploit a global crisis to pursue his personal grievances. Yet Trump is doing just that; holding the country hostage during a global crisis. And to think we have an election coming in only 6 months.

    We’re supposed to believe Trump deserves reelection. A president who proclaimed himself as “Not Responsible”. ‘He’, we should reason, is indispensable. Yeah, ‘the man who’s not responsible is indispensable’. Only Trump supporters could buy such a joke.

    And Professor Turley wonders why the media portrays Trump as a clown.

    1. Seth. You forgot in your rant that Trump is not mayor of New York

      The mayor urged people to mingle in the streets and restaurants when Trump was curtailing travel from China.

      The New York politicians were sending infection straight into nursing homes and causing the deaths of helpless people.

      She should stick to doing your nails.

      1. Young, what locations were New York Republicans suggesting? Who was leading New York’s Republican response?

        You on your nightshift guard job?

        1. Some of these people must feel threatened by your comments, John Elder. If they didn’t, they’d simply ignore you, at this point. They’re jerks. Pay them no mind.

      2. The New York politicians were sending infection straight into nursing homes and causing the deaths of helpless people.

        When the Nazi Germans gassed people in their concentration camps, when Stalin and Mao killed millions in Russia and China, when feminists kill babies right before delivering them, their response has always been the same: “what people? you are spreading falsehoods and propaganda….MANUFACTURED OUTRAGE OVER ….killed Jews, Russians, Chinese, babies”

        NY didn’t count nursing home coronavirus victims for weeks; then, a stumbling rush for a death toll
        https://www.syracuse.com/coronavirus/2020/05/ny-didnt-count-nursing-home-coronavirus-victims-for-weeks-then-a-stumbling-rush-for-a-death-toll.html

        Cuomo on nursing homes’ response: ‘We can’t save every life’
        https://www.chron.com/news/article/Cuomo-on-nursing-homes-response-We-can-t-save-15277882.php

      3. “The mayor urged people to mingle in the streets and restaurants when Trump was curtailing travel from China.”

        And Trump encouraged people to “mingle” at his campaign rallies during that same time and created situations where people were forced to mingle elsewhere, like at the airport.

        Jan. 22: Trump falsely claims “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” He continues to make false claims like this (e.g., Feb. 23: “We have it very much under control in this country,” Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” Feb. 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done,” March 7: “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, we’ve done a great job with it”).

        Feb. 2: he suspends entry into the United States of “immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the People’s Republic of China” and falsely claims “Well, we pretty much shut it [COVID-19] down coming in from China.” Note that he did not attempt to test American citizens or permanent residents returning from China for COVID-19, nor did he ask them to self-quarantine after returning.

        Feb. 10: he had a rally in Manchester, NH; at that rally, he falsely claims “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”
        Feb. 19: he had a rally in Phoenix, AZ
        Feb. 20: he had a rally in Colorado Springs, CO
        Feb. 21: he had a rally in Las Vegas, NV
        Feb. 28: he had a rally in Charleston, SC; at that rally, he claims that Democrats’ criticisms of his inadequate COVID-19 response is Democrats “new hoax.”
        March 2: he had a rally in Charlotte, NC; asked that day if he should avoid bringing peole together in rallies, he responds “I think it’s very safe.”

        March 7: he says ““We will have tremendous rallies and we’re doing very well and we’ve done a fantastic job with respect to that subject on the virus,” but thankfully has no more rallies. We weren’t doing “very well.”
        March 11: he addresses the nation and falsely claims “To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.” He then contradicts himself that it’s all travel, saying “There will be exemptions for Americans who have undergone appropriate screenings,” and falsely claims that “These prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo, but various other things.” The WH then has to clarify that even for nonresidents, it’s not “all travel from Europe,” only the Schengen Area of Europe and Trump has to correct himself that it’s not a ban on goods. His conflicting statements confuse many people, and lots of people rush back before the restrictions go into effect on March 14. He creates superspreader events at international airports as people are crowded together in lines for hours, and people aren’t tested.

        “The New York politicians were sending infection straight into nursing homes and causing the deaths of helpless people.”

        And Trump was “sending infection” all over the country at the same time, including into nursing homes. But apparently many Trump supporters can’t bring themselves to honestly discuss how badly he handled this, and how his choices contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands.

        1. What about all of the BLM “rallies”? Come on, tell us about how they’re magically immune to the virus during their tantrum protests, but a rally is sOoOoOoooo irresponsible.

    2. “Trump could have offered Trump owned properties to house emergency medical facilities…”

      2,500 beds built at the Javitz
      1,000 beds on the Comfort rebuilt to house Covid patients.

      The vast majority of beds available during the crisis were never used. Total number of people treated at those two places: 1,100 and they only occupied beds for a limited time.

      It’s clear Paint Chips has lost too many marbles to discuss anything involving politics. He should voluntarily retire to an old age home and play Mahjong with the other ladies while they admire his nails.

    3. Seth Warner: You really need to pull your head out of Don Lemon’s digestive tract.

      The USNS Comfort was converted to accept Covid 19 patients. Of the 1000 beds available, less than 150 were used. The Javits Center was converted to a 3000 bed Covid 19 facility, Only a few hundred beds were used.

      Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo ordered elderly infected patients in hospitals be sent to nursing homes when the hospital released them.

      5000 deaths later, Cuomo’s response was old people die. No matter how he spins it, he owns the result of his incredibly stupid decision.

      1. CommitToHonestDiscussion

        Is this Mr. Shill’s novel nom de deguisement?

        I just can’t keep up.

    4. Seth, Governor Cuomo is on record saying that Trump has given him everything that he’s asked for, that’s within his power to give. He’s always been able to get through to him when he’s called.

      Trump has taken an interest in his hometown. But he can’t kick Cuomo out and multi task as Governor of NY and President of the US.

      Cuomo’s administration made it a requirement for nursing homes to take infectious patients, when the rest of the residents were the most vulnerable to the infection. NY did not honor requests for help, or listen to nursing homes who said they lacked the quarantine facilities required to deal with Covid-19. AC vents go through all the rooms. Of course it blasted through nursing homes.

      The fact you blame trump shows you suffer political poisoning.

      A certain faction of environmentalists want everyone to live in cities and take mass transit. You live in CA. You know they keep putting the state on “road diets” to try to force people to use mass transit, which doesn’t work in CA’s sprawl. If I recall what you’ve said correctly, you do not live in a rural area like I do, so you are not privy to the wonderful world of nickel and dining rural folk to death, to pressure them to move to the suburbs or city. We get taxed on hardscape, including barns, shelters, and pump houses. It’s supposedly to combat rainwater runoff, but it doesn’t matter if you have barrels, cisterns, French drains, bioswales, and rain gardens that capture every single drop. We get fire taxes. There is a consisted effort to ban water haulers, so if your well runs dry your property that you paid hundreds of thousands for would become worthless and unsellable if they got their way. They made new septic tank requirements, so that a new one will cost upwards of $60,000. The permitting process for any structure greater than 10 X 10, like a horse shelter, can cost $10,000. Each. We can’t tear down the old, dilapidated pole barn mare motel that came with the property and put up a new one. While we can afford the structure itself, the permitting and regulations would make it cost as much as a new house. There are constant efforts to tax people on mileage, which would punish those who live outside a city. You know about the multiple gas taxes, of course, which also punish those who drive. Then there is CARB, which is a curse word in our circles. Without any sort of public vote, it decided that any heavy vehicle prior to 2010 may no longer be registered in the state of CA. That’s now hit us, as this year we were informed we may no longer register our truck. It will cost at least $60,000, during a pandemic when we have no idea if our business will be solvent in a few months to get another, newer vehicle strong enough to pull our draft horses. We’ll have to sell our truck out of state, lose money, and that truck will go on, merrily emitting.

      Environmentalists have aligned with the extremes of the Democrat party, and that party wants everyone to live in cities and suburbs. Farmers and rural folk are all dumb racist hicks, remember?

      Democrats banned single use plastic shopping bags and forced everyone to buy reusable bags. But now reusable bags are banned because you know what? They’re dirty. People drop them on the floor, in the garage, in a closet. They might use them one day to put their dirty city shoes, and another for dirty laundry. They might be stored next to a litter box. Everyone in a house might have the flu or Covid-19, coughing and hacking all over the bags. They might hold raw, leaking meat one week and loose lettuce the next. Who knows? And then they are brought to the grocery store, put in the carts, and on the conveyor belt at checkout. So they’re banned because they spread contagion. Which is what critics have been saying for years.

      Starbucks banned reusable coffee cups because they’re dirty and spread contagion. Someone with a cold sore, the flu, or Covid-19 might bring their dirty cup in, which would cross contaminate the equipment when it was refilled. Totally gross. If you want to be environmentally conscience, then sit down and drink coffee in a cafe out of a porcelain cup. Or make it at home.

      Democrats want everyone to use mass transit. It’s dirty, has homeless people camping out there, is often found to harbor bed bugs, and spreads contagion. Again, this environmental policy harms people and is gross.

      Democrats want everyone to live in cities and suburbs, and financially punishes those who don’t (see above.) Cities have crowded conditions, and spread disease. See NYC, ground zero of the Covid-19 Pandemic in the US.

      Democrats hate homeschooling and charter schools. Bernie Sanders even ran on getting rid of Charter schools entirely. Betsy DeVos, pro homeschooling and charter schools, is the most Secretary of Education, to the point that I’ve seen a video of teachers union activists chasing her away from touring schools. The pandemic has shown how critical homeschooling and online education can be. There is a big difference between the hodgepodge approach of public schools, and the seamless educational of homeschoolers and some charter schools which had already perfected their online platforms. My son has to log onto 9 different sites, the teacher has no idea what she’s doing online, and every time she posts something it’s confusing. But I have no problem with the homeschool resources I’ve always used to supplement. If this is how it’s going to be next year, I’ll probably keep him home next year and homeschool.

      Notice a trend here in Democrat environmental policies causing harm and not helping? That’s not Trump’s fault.

      You have people in big cities, contagion spreads. You force nursing homes to take in contagious patients, with a disease deadly to the elderly, then a lot of the elderly will die.

    5. NYC was not ground zero. the first cases were in Washington state. compare the responses and you will see very different outcomes.

      natch, if you are serious about facts versus your own narrative, look it up.

  10. In other news today …

    Evan Pérez:
    “Today, we learned a foreign terrorist group — AQAP [Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] — for the first time since 9/11 successfully directed a deadly attack on US soil (Pensacola NAS). Pre-2017, would’ve dominated coverage. Congress would have demanded hearings on failed vetting. Not today”

    More info from CNN:
    “The Saudi military trainee who killed three US sailors and wounded several others in a terror attack last year on a military base in Pensacola, Florida, was a longtime associate of al Qaeda who had communicated with operatives from the group as recently as the night before the shooting, the Justice Department and the FBI announced Monday. US investigators uncovered the al Qaeda connection after the FBI broke through the encryption protecting the Saudi attacker’s iPhones and have been able to use the information on the devices to carry out a recent counterterrorism operation in Yemen, Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a news conference.”

    Andrew Desiderio:
    “Confirmed: State Dept IG Steve Linick was also looking into Trump’s emergency declaration to sell arms to Saudi Arabia [contrary to the will of Congress]. ‘We don’t have the full picture yet, but it’s troubling that Secretary Pompeo wanted Mr. Linick pushed out before this work could be completed,’ Rep Engel says”

    Have to wonder about Trump’s judgment when it comes to Saudi Arabia. Recall that he also shrugged off MBS’s murder of the Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

  11. Mark Pontin says:May 18, 2020 at 6:19 PM
    “Wake up. So are they all. At least, that or malign narcissists — hard to split the diagnostic difference

    I used to work as a journalist. I found a letter from Joe Lieberman in my files the other day praising my work, got into a fight with New Gingrich one-on-one over breakfast, had George Schultz put the phone down on me, and sat through senate/congressional hearings thirty feet from H. Clinton, L. Graham, and some of the others.

    It’s the American empire. With a few brief interruptions it’s always been run by psychopaths. If there was ever truth in advertising, instead of Abraham Lincoln they’d put Al Capone’s face on the five-dollar bill and the one-cent coin.”

    Others to be considered for our currency: Allen Dulles, Sidney Gottlieb…

    And yes: “It’s the American empire.” Most Americans have no idea…

  12. BARR ESSENTIALLY DISMISSES ‘OBAMAGATE’

    Attorney General William P. Barr said Monday that he did not expect the prosecutor he handpicked to review the 2016 FBI investigation into President Trump’s campaign would investigate former president Barack Obama or former vice president Joe Biden — an assertion likely to dismay Trump and his conservative allies.

    Barr’s comment came at a news conference to discuss last year’s shooting at a U.S. military base in Pensacola, Fla. A reporter asked about Trump suggesting publicly in recent weeks that top officials in the Obama administration, including the former president, had committed crimes.

    While noting he was not taking aim at Trump’s comments specifically, Barr lambasted what he called the “increasing attempts to use the criminal justice system as a political weapon.”

    “The legal tactic has been to gin up allegations of criminality by one’s political opponents based on the flimsiest of legal theories,” Barr said. “This is not a good development.”

    “As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said. “Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.”

    He declined to say who Durham was focused on.

    Edited from: “Barr Says He Does Not Expect Obama Or Biden Will Be Investigated By Prosecutors Regarding 2016 Russia Probe”

    This Evening’s Washington Post

    1. Regarding Above:

      Turley’s statement about mainstream media portraying Trump as ‘clownish’ appears well-founded.

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