To think, all it took was one prepared and rehearsed speech for the press and many pundits to proclaim high from the hilltops, all is forgiven — Trump is my king!
Except for NBC's Tom Brokaw.
For over a month, Trump has used the presidency to enrich his businesses, refuse to denounce anti-Semitism, deride and victimize the press, military leaders and detractors, while making despicable narcissistic claims about how awesome he is.
His most trusted surrogates have continued to pass on false information as truth on our airwaves at an alarming rate.
Yet, after delivering one speech, the press has allowed themselves to be bamboozled. Is it because they want to seem "fair and balanced" after their fair and deserving critiques of the Trump administration so far?
Last night, while most of NBC's punditry class were waxing poetic that Trump acted almost normal, Tom Brokaw stepped up and discuss his actual words, and not his tone.
Brokaw said, "Well, we've been waiting for the pivot since August, remember? We're gonna pivot to being presidential. Tonight, this is easily the most presidential that he's been."
"Fact checkers will be very busy for the next 24 hours or so, taking a look at some of the claims that he made."
Brokaw said, "For example, the 20 million people on Obamacare are pretty happy with the health care they're getting right now, that's the focus of a lot of those protests. He talked about crime among immigrants. There's a lot of other crime in America that doesn't involve immigrants, including shooting crimes."
"We have had mass murders that don't involve immigrants and don't involve Islamic terrorists," he continued. "No one is condemning gun violence in the country, only when it involves an immigrant of some kind... So he's saying I want to be inclusive, but he singles them out."
He added, "And then when he talks about immigrants taking jobs away from Americans, the fact is, I've been out in those states. They're taking jobs that Americans don't want to do anymore. Food processing plants, dairy farms in northern Wisconsin, construction jobs. it doesn't mean we don't have an immigrant problem, we do, but at the same time, we can do it and still be accurate about it."
The Washington Post fact checkers were very busy.
President Trump’s maiden address to Congress was notable because it was filled with numerous inaccuracies. In fact, many of the president’s false claims are old favorites that he trots out on a regular, almost daily basis.
Wapo highlights "13 of the more notable claims, in the order in which the president made them," and then there's this:
After one mention of the hate that has been hurled towards Jewish centers, anti-Trumpers like CNN's Ana Navarro would say,
"Who knew he was capable of sounding sane for a prolonged period of time? Who knew he had the attention span to stick to the teleprompter and be coherent? Who knew he could be unifying?”
Yes, who knew?
All Trump had to do was not rant and rave like he usually does, stick to the teleprompter and speak in a more measured tone.
I will admit that a well-delivered speech, that includes soaring rhetoric and real policies can be a very powerful tool, but in the case of Trump, all it took was for him not to spit pea soup out of his mouth.
The press has always kept the bar as low as possible for Trump as a candidate and now they are doing it as a president.
Bill Maher was correct when he told MSNBC, "...the idea of a serious Trump could be more dangerous because it would normalize him to the American people. The speech “will fool a lot of people,” said Maher, who added that Trump remained as unprepared as ever. “We’re living in cuckoo cloud land … we see that he doesn’t know anything. He’s just finding out that healthcare is difficult.”
It certainly fooled a lot of politicos.
And right on cue Robert Costa reports:
Tom Brokaw gets a fruit basket for not falling into the media's tone-trap and calling Trump out on his buckets of dishonesty.