Interesting Read: “The Real Donald Trump Is a Character on TV”

Not sure I could bear to read a whole book on this topic, but NYTimes TV critic James Poniewozik makes a good argument here:

Try to understand Donald Trump as a person with psychology and strategy and motivation, and you will inevitably spiral into confusion and covfefe. The key is to remember that Donald Trump is not a person. He’s a TV character.

I mean, O.K., there is an actual person named Donald John Trump, with a human body and a childhood and formative experiences that theoretically a biographer or therapist might usefully delve into someday… But that Donald Trump is of limited significance to America and the world. The “Donald Trump” who got elected president, who has strutted and fretted across the small screen since the 1980s, is a decades-long media performance. To understand him, you need to approach him less like a psychologist and more like a TV critic.

He was born in 1946, at the same time that American broadcast TV was being born. He grew up with it. His father, Fred, had one of the first color TV sets in Jamaica Estates… TV was his soul mate. It was like him. It was packed with the razzle-dazzle and action and violence that captivated him. He dreamed of going to Hollywood, then he shelved those dreams in favor of his father’s business and vowed, according to the book “TrumpNation” by Timothy O’Brien, to “put show business into real estate.”

As TV evolved from the homogeneous three-network mass medium of the mid-20th century to the polarized zillion-channel era of cable-news fisticuffs and reality shocker-tainment, he evolved with it. In the 1980s, he built a media profile as an insouciant, high-living apex predator. In 1990, he described his yacht and gilded buildings to Playboy as “Props for the show … The show is ‘Trump’ and it is sold-out performances everywhere.”

He syndicated that show to Oprah, Letterman, NBC, WrestleMania and Fox News. Everything he achieved, he achieved by using TV as a magnifying glass, to make himself appear bigger than he was.

He was able to do this because he thought like a TV camera. He knew what TV wanted, what stimulated its nerve endings. In his campaign rallies, he would tell The Washington Post, he knew just what to say “to keep the red light on”: that is, the light on a TV camera that showed that it was running, that you mattered. Bomb the [redacted] out of them! I’d like to punch him in the face! The red light radiated its approval. Cable news aired the rallies start to finish. For all practical purposes, he and the camera shared the same brain…

If you want to understand what President Trump will do in any situation, then, it’s more helpful to ask: What would TV do? What does TV want?

It wants conflict. It wants excitement. If there is something that can blow up, it should blow up. It wants a fight. It wants more. It is always eating and never full…

Reality TV encourages “getting real.” On MTV’s progressive, diverse “Real World,” the phrase implied that people in the show were more authentic than characters on scripted TV — or even than real people in your own life, who were socially conditioned to “be polite.” But “getting real” would also resonate with a rising conservative notion: that political correctness kept people from saying what was really on their minds.

Being real is not the same thing as being honest. To be real is to be the most entertaining, provocative form of yourself. It is to say what you want, without caring whether your words are kind or responsible — or true — but only whether you want to say them. It is to foreground the parts of your personality (aggression, cockiness, prejudice) that will focus the red light on you, and unleash them like weapons…

Donald Trump’s “Apprentice” boardroom closed for business on Feb. 16, 2015, precisely four months before he announced his successful campaign for president. And also, it never closed. It expanded. It broke the fourth wall. We live inside it now.

Now, Mr. Trump re-creates the boardroom’s helter-skelter atmosphere every time he opens his mouth or his Twitter app. In place of the essentially dead White House press briefing, he walks out to the lawn in the morning and reporters gaggle around him like “Apprentice” contestants awaiting the day’s task. He rails and complains and establishes the plot points for that day’s episode: Greenland! Jews! “I am the chosen one!”

Then cable news spends morning to midnight happily masticating the fresh batch of outrages before memory-wiping itself to prepare for tomorrow’s episode. Maybe this sounds like a TV critic’s overextended metaphor, but it’s also the president’s: As The Times has reported, before taking office, he told aides to think of every day as “an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals.”…

His character shorthand is “Donald Trump, Fighter Guy Who Wins.” Plop him in front of a camera with an infant orphaned in a mass murder, and he does not have it in his performer’s tool kit to do anything other than smile unnervingly and give a fat thumbs-up…

Sidebar: Speaking of entirely media-born characters, when’s the last time we heard from *this* chick?

If the best the Media Village Idiots can muster now is past-their-prime, second-tier Racist Babes — helloooo, Sarah Palin! — I’m thinking (hoping) maybe this particular ‘reality show’ is heading for cancellation.






132 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    This is why the evil spawn will never have political success.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Anya says:

    I am calling it now, Diamond and Silk will replace Bolton as national security advisor.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    Anya says:

    @Baud: first he needs to learn how to sit like a human.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Martin says:

    This is also why I always went pretty easy on Omarosa. Her entire identity was to play this character on TV, which may or may not have been who she was as a real person. We have no idea. All we know is that the character kept getting renewed with subsequent invitations on TV and then in the administration. Nobody in our sphere of view was willing to hire Omarosa based on the merits of who she was.

    But she never ran for office promising to be that character. Pretty sure based on her interviews after she left the administration that she knows it’s a character. I don’t think Trump knows it’s a character.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    Leto says:

    maybe this particular ‘reality show’ is heading for cancellation.

    This show is never canceled, just rebooted with a different cast. Same shitty plot/script.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    geg6 says:

    @Anya:

    I think you may be right. And then I shudder from the tips of my toes to the crown of my head.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    Mike in NC says:

    Good article. We need laws passed to keep other reality TV dipshits from going into politics, or else Snooky from ‘Jersey Shore’ will be in the US Senate some day. Actually she might be an improvement over a bunch of current senators.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    Yarrow says:

    Reality show characters often have a story arc. They’re on top, they fall/go through hard times, then there’s redemption. Is he in “hard times” and we’re waiting for the redemption plot line?

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Anya says:

    @geg6: they’re like him, two actors playing one character. They’ll understand each other.

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    The State President of South Africa blames “global financiers … from the United Nations to the Vatican” for “colluding to undermine South Aftican sovereignty” and “sabotaging our will” to enforce apartheid

    ReplyReply
  11. 11

    @Yarrow: Nobody said it was a well-edited reality show.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Martin:
    She still choose to portray that character in the admin and should’ve known better

    ReplyReply
  13. 13

    @Anya: “He” is not the one you need to worry about, “she” is the one to worry about.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow:

    They’re on top, they fall/go through hard times, then there’s redemption.

    There will be no redemption.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Nobody said it was a well-edited reality show.

    There is no such thing in the first place.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    Gvg says:

    I have never liked watching shows where I hated the character. I wander off and do something nicer. I hate this guy and want to defeat him. I know we must get the whole toxic GOP out of power permanently. But, I also am bored. Angry too and all, but I can only deal with him 2nd hand, here for instance.
    I hope, once he is gone, people act bored with him. That will hurt him too, but honestly, we need it.
    There are people who like dark gritty shows which to me, mean watching unlivable people. Yuck.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    TenguPhule says:

    @Gvg:

    I have never liked watching shows where I hated the character.

    You watch to see them suffer. This is where Trump gets it wrong. He’s not suffering enough.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    a lurker says:

    I am reminded of the “Keeping it Real” skit that Dave Chappelle did back when reality TV was just taking off.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gvg:

    I am SO bored with him. Just fed up.

    But being bored and terrified at the same time is really an unpleasant sensation.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    New op-ed posted at Washington Post website: “Trump’s Taliban invite is one of the most shameful moments of his presidency” by — wait for it — Marc Thiessen!

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Nobody said it was a well-edited reality show.

    In my head, I’m hearing that in a Monty Python Spanish Inquisition voice.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    joel hanes says:

    second-tier

    Michelle Malkin is fourth-tier

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    zhena gogolia says:

    Greenwald is so embarrassing

    @atrupar
    9h9 hours ago
    MoreAaron Rupar Retweeted Glenn Greenwald
    Trump wasn’t forced to hire John Bolton in the first place

    @ggreenwald
    George W. Bush – the occasionally misguided but kind, dignified patriot who did the Office proud – never fired John Bolton, but Trump just did. I wonder which ideas of Bolton were ultimately so incompatible with Trump’s worldview that it resulted in his termination? https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1171452880055746560

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Yarrow:
    I find it hard to imagine Trump working to redeem himself, or even admitting the need to do it. The man does not do self-contemplation.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    TenguPhule says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    George W. Bush – the occasionally misguided but kind, dignified patriot

    Greenwald needs to choke on a bag of salted dicks. And Bush’s should be among them.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Keith P. says:

    Trump’s TV character is based on “Mr. McMahon”

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Yarrow: The redemption is hanging them all after the trials are over.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    Jeffro says:

    @Amir Khalid: true…but I can see him squealing on any and everyone in order to try and save his last million/Ivanka/a shred of his narcissistic ego

    In fact, that’s just how I would GET him to lay it all out once/when/if the jig is truly ever up for this clown: “cmon, Donald…be a hero for once…the whole country will love you for it…

    …now then, you first began laundering money for the Russian mob in what year?”

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule: seconded and/or vice versa with those two

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @zhena gogolia: George W. Bush – the occasionally misguided but kind, dignified patriot who did the Office proud

    Wow… that… I figured out GG was a crackpot a good ten years ago, and ever since I’ve been awfully confused about why he gets so much attention, positive and negative, but even after a decade of skepticism about him… wow.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Jeffro:

    “cmon, Donald…be a hero for once…the whole country will love you for it…

    …now then, you first began laundering money for the Russian mob in what year?”

    Typo. I believe you meant ‘will hang you for it’. :)

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    zhena gogolia says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I’m more shocked that he thinks Trump has a “worldview.” Why didn’t he just say Weltanschauung?

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Michelle Malkin, convert to Judaism, has now gone on Fox News A Blonde With Two Boobs On a Sofa show to deliver anti-Semitic tropes. What a country!

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Jeffro says:

    Stacey Abrams just publishes her “Playbook for 2020” online and it’s awesome. What an inspiring, visionary leader (seriously!)

    ReplyReply
  36. 36

    @Adam L Silverman: Malkin’s gone blonde? Didn’t know she converted to Judaism, I guess it didn’t take really well.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Jeffro says:

    @mrmoshpotato: yeah but let him spill the beans first – give up Putin, insult evangelicals, etc 😉

    ReplyReply
  38. 38

    @Jeffro: Now that would be a plot twist.

    ETA: I don’t think this actor can pull that off, he just isn’t that good at the craft.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Jeffro: How stupid are the people of Iowa?

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @mrmoshpotato: you know the answer to that. All the smart ones move to Chicago.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41

    @Steve in the ATL: In the late 19th century they moved to LA. Iowa festivals were big out here in the early to mid 20th century.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: When she married her husband. He also converted her to movement conservatism as well when they started dating in college. She was apolitical when they met.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Jeffro says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: yeah but a guy can dream…

    …come on Donnie, I want to see you at that interrogation room table bargaining for spare change and one last inappropriate grab at Ivanka. You certainly have it coming! (That, and about 15 ‘recycled’ Bud Lights I’m gonna send your way in the not too distant future) 😎🍺

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    Chris Johnson says:

    Bollocks, Fuck You New York Times. He is a fucking foreign asset (just not a disciplined one: Pence is the disciplined one).

    He is not a ‘TV character’. He did that because he liked it and because it was a step in this direction. He’s a fucking Putin puppet, a Putin Bitch Like Moscow Mitch.

    Nice waving of red flag to distract. Not gonna work. Fuck off with your ‘nothing to see here’.

    He’s a psycho, he’s a basket case, and he’s the best the Russians have got for all of his faults. He is a historical calamity. Being a reality TV nutjob is barely scratching the surface. Nice try.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mrmoshpotato: Pretty much similar to the people of downstate Illinois and Indiana. And before you take your shot at Wisconsin, our stupid is more like the stupid of Minnesota and Michigan’s UP.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Iowa festivals were big out here in the early to mid 20th century.

    What was fested at these festivals?

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:

    @TenguPhule:

    There will be no redemption.

    In Trump Family: Redemption, Melania has disappeared (reportedly into witness protection), Ivanka & Jared do cameos from a country with no extradition treaty, while Donald, Donald Jr. and Eric squabble on-camera from their shared cell over who gets to betray which underlings for their mutual & individual benefit. On visitation days, Kimberly Guilfoyle gets into hair-pulling spats with Lara Trump, while the various Trump grandchildren ‘act out’ in increasingly wacky / heartbreaking fashion…

    C’mon, you *know* there’s some group — probably including Scaramucci, Avenatti, and KellyAnne Conway — pitching this to cable already!

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    TS (the original) says:

    Why are people still voting for the GOP – it belies sanity – that they are better than the “other” is the only reason I can determine

    Edit: Or is the gerrymander really that strong?

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: If you say so. :)

    That’s a quote from Dump by the way. Remember the Iowa primary that was won by Cruz?

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    oatler. says:

    @zhena gogolia: “bored and terrified at the same time”
    Life is a cabaret, my friend, life is a cabaret….

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @TS (the original):

    Why are people still voting for the GOP – it belies sanity

    Story of the past 40+ years.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mrmoshpotato:

    Remember the Iowa primary that was won by Cruz?

    Not if I can help it.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
  54. 54
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hahaha

    ReplyReply
  55. 55
    Honus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: yeah I read that three or four times trying to decide if it was snark. “Kind, dignified… did the office proud”? This is the guy who at an international summit repeatedly, with a mouthful of dinner roll, yelled “Yo, Blair” at the British prime minister. Who mocked and made fun of a woman who was about to be executed on his order, who came up from behind and rudely rubbed the shoulders of a woman head of state, who started a useless war that killed hundreds of thousands and who let a major American city drown. “Sometimes misguided” indeed.

    Greenwald has completely squandered any credibility or integrity he may have once enjoyed.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh for the sake of fuck! Ron White’s right – you can’t fix stupid.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Jay says:

    Early on, there was Survivorman, Into the Wild and Bushcraft.

    The boob tube once streamed all three episodes of their Alaska, one after the other.

    Survivorman “washed up” after a faux kayak “accident” on a cobble beach, built a fire, couldn’t find anything to eat, (an Indiginous saying here, is “when the tide is out, the table is set”.) wrestled with an eagle for a rotting chunk of halibut, got sick.

    Bear Griz “hopped” across a couple chunks of Alaskan alpine, helecoptering back at night to a Hilton, because the bush was too dangerous.

    Roy Mears built a plank house out of driftwood using traditional techniques, gathered a seasonal salad, then speared and alder fire cooked a coho salmon, using again, traditional techniques, then made a pot of spruce tip tea before heading off to peaceful slumber.

    Never went hungry on my Coast.

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I need to bitch about proofreading (lack theteof) at the FTFNYT. In one article about the N.C. special election, there are two consecutive photos with two egregious typos/errors. The first says “Voters casted ballots…” and the second refers to “Indian Trial, NC.” I know newspapers no longer employ proofreaders and copy editors, but come on, man. This is beyond embarrassing.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Jeffro says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: hey who’s there about southern Illino…ok, yeah, actually you’re right on that one.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @mrmoshpotato: You cannot.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    hilts says:

    NBC News just called the NC race for the Rethuglican creep.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: old white folks circulating crap on FB might well be the only thing keeping Twitler at 38% at this point

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: what a ducking mess

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    James E Powell says:

    @TS (the original):

    Apart from people with a lot of money, GOP voters do so because they hate the rest of us. They don’t give a shit about policies unless those policies are designed to hurt the rest of us.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t think it’s possible to eat and drink stupid conspiracy theories, but the farmers can try.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: if only the Czar knew….

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jeffro: Someone from Indiana once wrote to Mike Royko to complain about his characterization of Hoosiers and ended by saying that people in southern Illinois did the same things. Royko’s response was simply, “That doesn’t make it right.”*

    *This is from memory. It is at least a close paraphrase.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Corn and?

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    Jeffro says:

    Btw I see McMegan is up to her usual psycho babble at the (Librul!) WaPo…something about liberals being illiberal and therefore what are social conservatives to do but be rude back (but excused for it)

    Or something.

    Post, ya gotta do better than McMegs, Thiessen, Will, Cohen, and that douche from the hinterlands of Ohio every few weeks, Abernathy.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Pork.

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hilts: Not a surprising outcome given it is a R+ district that the President won by 15 points or so in 2016. That it is within 4,000 or so votes is amazing given the makeup of the district.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Amir Khalid says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I need to bitch about proofreading (lack theteof) at the FTFNYT.

    Ahem. ;)

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mrmoshpotato: There is no need to be rude.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Well fuck. Looks like the Trumpian candidate won in N.C. Shit.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid: LOL, you got me!

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: May G-d bless him and keep him! Far away from us!

    ReplyReply
  78. 78

    @Omnes Omnibus: Don’t know all the details, it was before my time. I’ve only seen pictures, but it was a big thing out here.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Jeffro says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Royko was one of the greats, that’s for sure.

    Southern Illinois…eh, not so much…

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not being rude. Mr. Pork is quite popular on the RAGBRAI ride in July.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: yup. Trumpov will crow about it and that’s fine by me. Keep talking, you orange moron. Every light on your re-election ‘dashboard’ is blinking red.

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    Jay says:

    To fix our health care system, we need a smart, equitable plan. But we also need a plan that centers the tragedies far too many of us face. Today, @ewarren shares her vision for health care — and her story. pic.twitter.com/IxgaLexF1E— Ady Barkan🔥🌹 (@AdyBarkan) September 10, 2019

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    😒😒😒

    The violin is so tiny.
    Let them lose everything😒😒

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Honus:
    Germany’s head of state is its (mostly ceremonial) president. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel is head of government.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And in a special election.

    So: the voters go to the polls again in 14 months. I wonder what McCready decides. 2020 could be a blue wave, even in NC.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Not a surprising outcome given it is a R+ district that the President won by 15 points or so in 2016. That it is within 4,000 or so votes is amazing given the makeup of the district.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: There is a possibility that this particular tree is obscuring your view of the forest.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Oh, I know. It is dispiriting, but not disastrous.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: Turnout for today’s election, including early voting and absentees, was 78% of last November’s election. So that didn’t help either.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’m so disappointed. McCready worked so hard.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    cain says:

    Yeah, it’s too bad the race was called for Republicans in both districts, but it was a long shot anyways. But it would have been awesome if we had won. It would made those assholes scurry about in panic.

    ReplyReply
  92. 92

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, but it’s a real perdy tree.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    Ohio Mom says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: The lack of adequate proofreading is a long tradition at the Times. My mother complained about it frequently and she’s been gone for 32 years now.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: R+8 district. That is hard to make up in a special election. Especially so when part of the early voting period coincided with a hurricane.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    Jeffro says:

    Via CNN and a story on its recent polling:

    Our new CNN/SSRS poll shows that President Donald Trump’s approval stands at just 39%. That’s its lowest level since the beginning of the year, and it’s down 4 points since the beginning of the summer.

    Importantly, the CNN poll is one of a number of recent high-quality polls that have Trump’s approval dropping by mid-single digits since the beginning of the summer. That means it’s less likely to be statistical noise.

    Here are a few other takeaways from the poll:

    It’s not just that Trump has a low approval rating. His strongly approve rating of 28% is far below his strongly disapprove rating of 45%, which is a much wider gap than previous presidents saw and indicates an enthusiasm gap.
    Once a strength, Trump’s net approval (approval – disapproval) rating on the economy is down 14 points since the beginning of the summer. It stands at just +1 point now.
    All of these seem to be driving 59% of voters to say that Trump does not deserve reelection, which is a significantly higher percentage than George W. Bush or Barack Obama had at this point.

    NOW FOLLOW UP, ‘BOTH SIDES’ MEDIA: why is this? Why is this clown so unpopular? Let’s hear the list…over and over and over…if we hear about it even 10% as much as we did about Hillary’s blessed emails, you will have done the public a tremendo…ok, a service. Of some kind. For once.

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Jay says:

    A white supremacist has been jailed for launching a far-right terror attack in the Surrey town of Stanwell, a day after the Christchurch shootingVincent Fuller shouted that he wanted to kill Muslims during rampage armed with a knife and baseball bathttps://t.co/LAhVruGdOU— Lizzie Dearden (@lizziedearden) September 10, 2019

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    Mandalay says:

    @joel hanes:

    Michelle Malkin is fourth-tier

    She is interesting in that she was the first RWNJ I can recall who loudly (and correctly) yelled that Trump was a fraud, a misogynist and a dumbass. That was years before he ran for president.

    And now of course she kisses Trump’s ring like all the other spineless sycophants.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    smike says:

    @TS (the original):
    Honestly, I think way too many people in this country are willfully ignorant, lazily stupid and racist/misogynistic as hell. It is both disheartening and scary.

    And, just to rant, I’ve never understood the reality tv crap. The first thing that pops into my head about shows like survivor island (or whatever the name), is that the producers and crew that run the show are probably having a laugh while relaxing on the nearby yacht. Why to people eat this stuff up? It is just about the opposite of reality. The fake shines like a beacon.

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jeffro: That’s almost as unpopular as Trump was when he won the 2016 election!

    ReplyReply
  100. 100
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    No, not at all. I take his point, that W’s behaviour with his peer national leaders was too often embarrassing to America, and I agree.

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Michelle Malkin, convert to Judaism

    Link?

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mandalay: https://www.google.com/

    Knock yourself out.

    ReplyReply
  103. 103
    Juju says:

    Dan McCrready may have a better chance in 2020 if he were to run again. Since the N.C. court decision on the gerrymandered districts, the powers that be are redrawing the congressional districts, and they are supposed to be done before the 2020 elections. One would assume the districts would be more favorable.

    ReplyReply
  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    I know, and I can forgive a lot, but “casted their ballots”? Really?

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    frosty says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Long Beach still held an Iowa Picnic in the 70s.

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: castedededed there balloonts

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    jonas says:

    @Mike in NC:

    by — wait for it — Marc Thiessen!

    *rolls eyes into next county*
    Much to his relief, I presume, he’s found that one angle that allows him to claim he not just another dead-eyed water carrier for the country’s most disgraceful president ever. Of course the problem is that this completely blew up in Trump’s face because that’s who he is. Thiessen’s just upset because his hero Bolton was collateral damage this time — as opposed to, you know, refugees or people lacking health insurance, or indebted students, or the environment, or….

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    Amir Khalid says:

    @smike:
    TV wrestling is similarly fake. Why did people watch it in the decades before reality TV, actually preferring it to the real sport of wrestling? I think there’s an audience that prefers dressed-up-as-real fakery to the real thing, because of the added “plotlines” and glitz.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
    jonas says:

    @smike:

    Honestly, I think way too many people in this country are willfully ignorant, lazily stupid and racist/misogynistic as hell. It is both disheartening and scary.

    It’s why the Ponzi Scheme was invented in America, and not Finland or Mexico. Americans can be wonderfully optimistic and generous, and equally petty, cruel and (esp.) ignorant. In the middle, you can find plenty of people making a fat pile of cash out of both of ’em.

    ReplyReply
  110. 110
  111. 111
    Mike in NC says:

    @Juju: A net difference of ~4000 votes in a district that has been Republican since the 1960s. Fat Bastard will brag about how much they love him there but he really should be shitting a brick.

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    “Real” Wrestleing was “boring”,

    Once upon a time, everybody knew it was fake.

    Then, because of an epedemic of prion disease, it became “real”,

    Only death is a cure for stupid.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    Jay says:

    NEW: A large explosion has been heard in Afghanistan’s capital near the U.S. Embassy shortly after midnight on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States. https://t.co/YQBGeakSvJ— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) September 10, 2019

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Juju says:

    @Mike in NC: I hope he is shitting a brick…sideways.

    ReplyReply
  115. 115
    Yarrow says:

    @frosty: They held one this year–just happened in August.
    https://www.iowabytheseapicnic.com/.

    Here’s an article in the Des Moines Register about it:
    Hawkeye State expats have met yearly for ‘Iowa Picnic’ in California for more than a century

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    Tenar Arha says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: ugh.

    Silver lining—if he won by like a 1 or 2% margin…that means a seat that was won by more than a 12% margin just a few years ago is now endangered in a lower turnout special election.

    ETA 😳 😆 apparently what everyone else said

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    Mandalay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Knock yourself out.

    I did. The only link on google I can find relating to Michelle Malkin converting to Judaism is your claim earlier in this thread.

    Link?

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    prostratedragon says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    There are few things in this world Mr. Gunn that are quite so tragic as the lot of an unemployed actor.

    From Peter Gunn, “Sentenced.”

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    patrick II says:

    Trump is not unlike the people sitting in front of the cameras on fox news. He puts on a pretend president character and they pretend to be reporters. Then an audience that is so smart they know the will of god pretend it true. Then we all get to live in a pretend world that won’t burn up in the forseeable future. Except that lasallt part isn’t true.

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Michelle Malkin, Anchor Baby nuff said.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121

    @prostratedragon: Do keep in mind that I’ve lived in the LA area for over 50 years.

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    Yarrow says:

    @Amir Khalid: People like entertainment in all sorts of forms. Movies, concerts, sporting events, whatever. Wresting or reality TV are just other forms of entertainment. Some reality TV does blur into reality–like American Idol launched the careers of people like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. People who were flipping houses end up on HGTV with their own show and end up developing product lines and opening stores and branching off into all sorts of other areas. Even people like the Kardashians and their fake reality show have capitalized on it and make a ton of money from products of all sorts.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
  124. 124
    Mart says:

    Don’t know if I fully buy into the artcle, but a lot of ink has been spilt discussing how Tumps admin picks have to “look the part” on TV.

    ReplyReply
  125. 125
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Mart: The fat, orange casting director should’ve been fired a long time ago.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    Mike in NC says:

    @Mart: He always hated Bolton’s silly white walrus mustache, which covered so much of his face.

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @Mandalay: I spent a few seconds googling and was also unable to find anything on this. Her husband is Jewish, she wrote for a site called Judaism World Review, but everything I can find on her says she’s still a Catholic. A site called “Jew or Not Jew” comes down on

    Verdict: Not a Jew

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    NotMax says:

    There’s nothing left in you that I can live with. You’re one of Howard’s humanoids. If I stay with you, I’ll be destroyed.

    Like Howard Beale was destroyed.

    Like Laureen Hobbs was destroyed.

    Like everything you and the institution of television touch is destroyed.

    You’re television incarnate, Diana.

    Indifferent to suffering, insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality. War, murder, death – all the same to you as bottles of beer. And the daily business of life is a corrupt comedy.

    You even shatter the sensations of time and space into split seconds and instant replays.

    You’re madness, Diana. Virulent madness. And everything you touch dies with you.

      – Max Schumacher, Network

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @NotMax: Great movie. Gonna have to give it another watch sometime.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    Tony Jay says:

    Yuck. That picture up top just sums up Fox News in one image.

    Angry white guy, legs spread, mouth permanently open to shout over anyone and everyone but look, he’s got notes, the facts must be on his side.

    Vacantly smiling blonde woman showing a lot of tanned leg

    Man making “I guess what all Americans are asking is….” hand gestures with an expression intended to suggest he’s phrasing his common-sense question carefully in order to avoid offending snowflakes and other SJWs

    Back of a woman’s head

    (rolls eyes) Wankers.

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    call_me_ishmael says:

    Similar to Hollywood, there’s not many good roles available as actresses age out.

    Malkin/Coulter/Palin are giving way to Tomi Lahren, Candace Owens and Kaitlin Bennet. The difference is where Hollywood starlets get plastic surgery to try and stay relevant, the GOP’s aging Barbie’s double down on racism and conspiracy.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132
    Just Chuck says:

    Far too kind to Trump. What he is is a fucking Nazi. We all need to remember that.

    ReplyReply

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *