Yesterday, the heads of all our country's intelligence agencies stood before the Senate and answered questions about the document they jointly produced, called the "Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community." People appointed by Mango Mussolini himself head those agencies, and we all know he picks the best people. Well, THESE best people happened to actually take their jobs somewhat seriously, along with the work of the thousands of people compiled into this document. It so happens their assessments of what threatens this nation differ a great deal from what our doll-handed leader believes.
He took to Twitter to express his displeasure. Shocker, I know.
He screamed they were wrong, all of them, and that they needed to go back to school. Our pal, Lawrence O'Donnell had plenty to say about that. He did his level best to find words to express how beyond outrageous this situation is. In a world where The Washington Post had to invent a new rating just to cope with the number and depth of lies Trump tells, O'Donnell was beside himself at this development, unsurprising though it was.
O'Donnell took a moment, though, to express disappointment and disgust with members of the media who don't even try to keep up with level of alarm they are supposed to be conveying when reporting Trump's actions. In particular, he took aim at The New York Times.
This is one of those days where we try to reach for the language that will place this event in history. We try to find the words to convey the enormity of the aberrant behavior the president displayed, and when we try to find those words now, we fail because the language has been exhausted by Donald Trump. The word "unprecedented" has no power anymore. The word "outrageous" has no power. The word "irresponsible" means nothing anymore in the same sentence with the words Donald Trump, but some of us will still try and some of us have apparently given up. The New York Times' initial reporting of what the president said today made no attempt at all to convey the profound presidential perversity of Donald Trump issuing a tweet this morning in which he screamed, "They are wrong!" (exclamation point) at what he called "the intelligence people." The New York Times' report on that and other tweets attacking the intelligence people said, "it is unusual for the president to pick a fight with his intelligence chiefs." That kind of reporting is total victory for Donald Trump. The brainwashing is working. The outrage fatigue is working. The New York Times is completely wrong. It is not unusual. What the president did today was not unusual. It has never happened. To be unusual it has to have happened before, but not very often. Never, never. Unusual is not the word for what happened today. The heads of our intelligence agencies have been routinely appearing before the Senate to present the worldwide threat assessment of the intelligence community year in and year out and never before has a president of the United States written a public statement saying, "They are wrong, they are all wrong."
Later in the program, Eugene Robinson kindly suggested it might not be fair to 'pick on' the Times coverage, and O'Donnell went along. I'm not so sure, though. We've been over here calling that newspaper out on their soft language and gentle coverage of Trump for a long time now. Frankly, I was happy to see O'Donnell agreeing. In times like these, laziness in language is the last thing we need from the most esteemed journalists of our time. Good for O'Donnell for holding their feet to the fire.