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Al;an Webber: Fake news and Trumpism

December 18, 2018

The Daily Journal recently printed a “letter to the editor” message. A reader inferred that I might be the poster child for “Trumpism” considering my loyal support of President Donald Trump as pertains to ongoing encounters with the media.

The internet is rife with definitions of the word Trumpism, and ranges from a badge of honor to a moron blindly following the likes of Hitler. While I consider the accusation more of the former, it was clear the reader considers me nearer the latter.

The letter writer is correct in that I do often opine about the biased postures expressed by the major media outlets across the country, and how it might persuade headline-readers negatively toward our president. I assert that if a person gets his/her news from the headline only, or just one source, then they might be deliberately misinformed by a decidedly left leaning media.

Is it asking too much for a media source to report news accurately and fairly, without prejudice? Opinions should be left to the opinion pages, where one doesn’t have to tread to get their news and/or form their own opinions.

The Chicago Tribune is the eighth largest newspaper in the country and No. 1 in Illinois. Absurdly, it considers itself conservative, evidently because they employ a good, but token conservative writer who appears on page 2. After page 2, it’s a smorgasbord of liberal writers who have nothing better to write about than to rebuke Trump, the man the Tribune did not endorse.

The Trib’s top headline in the Saturday, Dec. 8, edition proclaimed underneath their banner, “Trump’s revolving door spins again.” The leading headline of a paper is where most eyes go, and, sometimes, is the only words seen by readers. The leading article was not written by the Trib, coming instead from two Associated Press writers.

So, let’s break that headline down:

“Trump’s” — Not “President Trump’s,” but merely “Trump’s.” No deference given to the office or the man.

“Revolving door” — gives the impression of “in and out.” Chaos rather than controlled structure.

“Spins” — an action verb expressing the chaos of the revolving door.

“Again” — suggests this is not the first-time chaos has happened.

If you read the story, and didn’t get woozy from spin, the primary news, is it appears, Chief of Staff John Kelly might be leaving, a fact later confirmed. It had not been confirmed by press time, but they felt compelled to report something. Kelly’s successor will be Trump’s third chief of staff. A few other folks might be leaving, some to start the president’s re-election campaign ... but hardly a revolving door.

Looking back, home-town Trib favorite Barack Obama had five chiefs of staff, including Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Obama was the only Democrat the Tribune ever endorsed in its 170-year history.) President Bill Clinton had four chiefs, as did President Ronald Reagan.

A chief of staff oversees White House employees and manages the president’s schedule. What’s the big deal about changing the chief — they don’t declare war? The chiefs didn’t make Reagan any greater, or Clinton any slimier. In fact, a case could be made their wives had more influence over either of them than any chief.

Yet, the headline writer “spins” the headline to a negative connotation, as if there is disorder in President Trump’s White House that’s going to affect the average American. Why wouldn’t they have just written a headline that stated John Kelly might be leaving, or given us the name of the person who might be taking the roll?

I dug 10 pages deep into ultra-biased Google searching past headlines for Obama replacing chiefs of staff. Most of the sites dealt with Trump, but what I did find merely stated:

“McDonough no stranger to Obama inner circle”

“Obama’s Chief of Staff Pick Is Said to Be Down to 2”

“Obama welcomes new military chief replacing Mullen”

“Obama makes it official: Rahm resigns:”

The last one was particularly touching as it included a picture of Obama and Emanuel hugging.

As you see, the media spins the news to cause negativity if they don’t like the president, as is their case with Trump, or positively, ala Barack Hussein Obama. (Did you notice what I did there?)

Similar to a drum beat, mainstream media keeps pounding the same negative mantra about Trump over and over, until eventually, some people begin to believe something that might not be true. Fake news.

To paraphrase a meme for those writers who spin news: Trump’s a billionaire president, and you’re sitting at a computer throwing a tantrum.

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