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The Reporting of Trump’s PTSD Comments Shows Why His Supporters Hate the Media

The point of political reporting is to help provide context, not obscure it.

TrumpTrevor Gass The Photo Access/NewscomMonday's coverage of Donald Trump's speech to veterans is a prime illustration of a trend noticed in September by Salena Zito over at The Atlantic: Some reporters and headline writers are taking Trump's comments very literally rather than attempting to address the substance or trying to plumb what he's really getting at. Trump's supporters are the exact opposite—they're interpreting what he actually means from his rather inarticulate way of saying what he has to say. The gulf between the two cultures has inflamed the anger of Trump supporters over how the media behaves.

And honestly, with the way the media—or at least media headlines—have approached Trump's comments on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and veterans' health treatment, I honestly don't blame the Trump supporters. Here's what Trump actually said when asked about veterans and current suicide rates:

When you talk about the mental health problems when people come back from war and combat and they see things that maybe a lot of folks in this room have seen many times over, and you're strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can't handle it, and they see horror stories, they see events that you couldn't see in a movie, nobody would believe it. Now we need a mental health help and medical and it's one of the things that I think is least addressed and it's one of the things I hear — like your question — one of the things I hear most about when I go around and talk to the veterans.

So we're going to have a very, very robust, very very robust level of performance having to do with mental health. We are losing so many great people that can be taken care of if they have proper care.

You know when you hear the 22 suicides a day, it's a big part of your question, but when you hear the 22 suicides a day, that should never be. That should never be, So we're going to be addressing that very strongly.

And the whole mental health issue is going to be a very important issue when I take over, and the VA is going to be fixed in so many ways, but that's gonna be one of the ways we're gonna help. And that's in many respects going to be the number one thing we have to do because I think it's really been left behind. Ok? Thank you very much.

So there is a path of criticism of Trump here, which is—just like many things he says in his public speeches—there's little actual content. There's a promise that things will be better under him with no real explanation why that will actually be the case.

What is not a legitimate path of criticism is to look at the totality of these comments and suggest that Trump thinks veterans are weak or that he somehow doesn't want to support them. And yet, that's exactly what happened due to writers deciding to run with "some people can't take it" and emphasize it in headlines like 'Trump Suggests that Soldiers with PTSD Aren't 'Strong,'" and the even more weaselly "Trump Appears to Suggest that Veterans with PTSD Are Not 'Strong.'" [emphasis added]

And, obviously, the Democrats are running with it, with Vice President Joe Biden responding with blustering outrage and Hillary Clinton's Twitter feed reminding folks of previous very stupid things (but unrelated) Trump has said about veterans.

But that first part of Trump's response makes perfect sense to somebody putting out a sales pitch, and the outrage is completely phony. Trump is suggesting that the folks in the crowd are strong as he pivots to the discussion of mental health issues, because, frankly, a lot of people who need help don't actually want to admit it. He's providing an answer to these veterans without suggesting to them that any of them in particular need to take advantage of it. It's actually a clever way of approaching the discussion that somebody with Trump's background might understand and somebody who has spent his or her life in public administration might not. He's selling access to a mental health service while grasping that the people who may need it are very reluctant to admit it. "This is for those other guys, not you guys," he's saying. But you would have to be pretty dense (or deliberately disingenuous) to think that Trump was unaware that there are people in that room who need help with PTSD.

This absurd disingenuous literalness is now being directed toward third parties as well. Gary Johnson's inability to identify a foreign leader he admires becomes an inability to name a foreign policy leader at all. Ron Paul says something positive about Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and it is represented as an endorsement of her over Gary Johnson.

In fact, while I was writing this very post, showing up among media types on Twitter is a new interview with Johnson on MSNBC where he rants about all the absurdity about the media being obsessed over him naming a world leader rather than concern about how America's foreign interventionism and "regime change" efforts has helped contribute to the PTSD problem. This is now being presented in a video clip on YouTube with the header "Gary Johnson Thinks Ignorance Is an Asset." Watch the clip below:

Obviously Johnson doesn't think ignorance is an asset. He is ranting about people who confuse facts with policies and that's exactly what is happening in response to his comments. It's the same phony literalness that,if nothing else, exposes how little certain people who work in the media think of citizens who see the world differently from the way they do.

And in the end, should Trump actually defeat Clinton, I suspect there will be no introspection about the inept and insulting method of spot-reporting of candidate's comments. People will be aghast that Trump won despite saying that veterans with PTSD are weak, even though the context of his comments suggest he didn't say anything like that. Media will remain horrified that Johnson can't name foreign leaders he admires, even though libertarians generally don't go around looking up to politicians. That's just not how they roll. That's like asking them to name their favorite prison guard.

Photo Credit: Trevor Gass The Photo Access/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I wonder who all of these journalists and headline writers want to be president. Is there a name missing from their list of targets?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Hitler?

  • WTF||

    Close, so close...

  • Agammamon||

    Histler?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Hifter?

  • bacon-magic||

    Hiller?

  • JWW||

    HERtler?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hitlary-Boob and Billitary-Boob?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Histler's mother?

  • SIV||

    Some reporters and headline writers are taking Trump's comments very literally rather than attempting to address the substance or trying to plumb what he's really getting at.

    Reason-pot throwing stones from its glass house at the black kettles

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Racist.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Or at least a Reasonist(a).

  • wareagle||

    The point of political reporting is to help provide context, not obscure it.

    Oh, Scott; you wonderful, naive fool. Yes, that is supposed to be the point but that train jumped the track a few election cycles ago. Now, it's reporting to frame any narrative in the context that confirms your biases, makes you happy, or both.

  • Jerryskids||

    Well, to be honest I could see where - and I don't mean any disrespect to, you know, people who have, for a number of reasons and it's not necessarily their fault - who have or who have had where there's a problem and we're not, you know, even though a lot of people are saying, and I mean not just some people but maybe a lot or most people are saying where it's a thing that if you don't, well, who knows?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    That's fantastic merging of Trump and Agile Cyborg! Fantastic! Or maybe Deplorable for some people.

  • ||

    It is a basket full of something, anyway.

  • Unreconstructed (Sans Flag)||

    If it's AC related, that basket will get you a lot of prison time if you're caught with it.

  • ||

    *Hands Jerryskids shiny trophy and bows slightly*

    Finishing with 'well, who knows?' is perfection.

  • WTF||

    "Jerryskids can't name foreign country!"

  • hive of scum||

    Well said! May I quote you?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Jerryskids for POTUS!!! Jerryskids would be an EXCELLENT person to implement my clearly spelled out, you know, policies, about, you know, stuff and stuff, and stuffy stuff, and stuff like that, you know? So I am coming down strongly on this, this stuff and stuff is just EXACTLY what we all, as humanoids and otherthy-type beings, need, to get our stuff together! OK?!!?!?! No two ways about this, am I clear?

  • SQRLSY One||

    Now, don't let the press mangle what I have said... I am 200% in favor of the GOOD stuff, and 300% against the BAD stuff! Under the Jerryskids / SQRLSY regime, there will be VERY strong laws, mandating ALL the GOOD stuff, and outlawing ALL the BAD stuff!!! Everything will be MUCH better! What could be more crystal-clear than THAT?!?!?1

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    The left definitely got their talking points on the Gary Johnson thing today. It's been all over Facebook/Twitter/Twitbook/Facer/whatever all day.

  • Rhywun||

    Oh god what did he (not) do now?

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    Dare to run for president without getting the D nomination.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    He jokingly told MSNBC that being ignorant of geography was a good thing because if he doesn't know where a country is he can't bomb it. Of course they're taking him seriously and calling it another gaffe.

  • Mickey Rat||

    This is what "gaffes"are and have always been. Reason is only complainingredients about it because their candidate is doing well enough to be worth smearing

  • JWW||

    Thats the problem for the Left, this is all serious and you cannot joke about it because its soooo serious.

    BTW, they'll educate you on that at the camps....

  • hive of scum||

    It's like telling a bomb joke at the airport.

  • Wizard4169||

    A candidate who jokes about NOT bombing random countries? Oh, the horror!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Context is for chumps.

  • PapayaSF||

    The shameless, all-out media collaboration with the Clinton campaign is a sight to behold. I've never seen anything like it. All pretense of objectivity is out the window. It's another argument in favor a Trump victory: humiliate the MSM.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    The more I see stuff like this, the more I am convinced the left has deluded themselves into a corner where they can't even admit the possibility that the polls might be wrong, and I wonder how much they publish has been twisted and mangled --- ie, how much is Trump actually ahead right now? I think it more and more likely that Trump will win, precisely because the media lie so much and twist things so obviously.

  • T.F.G.||

    The polls aren't wrong though. They really are ahead.

  • WTF||

    Well, it appears that Ohio is going Trump, and states like Pennsylvania are actually in play, and the Hillary camp and their media allies are hysterically throwing up any shit they can think of, so something is making them panic. Could be the campaigns internal polls are grim for Hillary.

  • R C Dean||

    They are hamstrung. The usual response for a campaign in trouble in a swing state is to reschedule their candidate to hit the state moar harder, and buy more ads.

    By now, they must know that Hillary's worst enemy is Herself. Making her more visible drives her polls down.

    And they have watched their, and other's, ad campaigns bounce of Trump like bullets off Superman.

    What else do they have? The DemOp Media, that's what. We're about to find out if the media can carry a candidate over the finish line who can't campaign and can't get traction with ads.

  • Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos||

    By now, they must know that Hillary's worst enemy is Herself. Making her more visible drives her polls down

    Yeah, it's no accident that Hillary's campaign rallies have been pretty small affairs relative to Trump's. Her most energizing campaign work is when she's schmoozing with shitlib celebrities and BigBux donors.

  • T.F.G.||

    Trump was doing absolutely fine (and in fact was virtually tied with Clinton) before the debate.

    After the debate, the freefall began.

    Ultimately, he had his chance to win despite the media's leftist bent.

    It's really -- I'm afraid -- Trump's own stupidity that can be looked at as the primary reason Clinton is leading in the polls.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Keep going. If you repeat it enough maybe you can make yourself believe it.

  • JWW||

    I want to see Rachel Maddow wailing and gnashing her teeth about a Trump victory.

  • SIV||

    "Gary Johnson Thinks Ignorance Is an Asset."

    Can't GayJay even come up with a decent campaign slogan?


    Personally, I preferred:


    Gary Johnson For President
    A Republican Who Smokes Poy

  • SIV||

    Troble

  • R C Dean||

    *Calls dealer. Demands to know why he's been holding out on the new poy craze*

  • ||

    Hmmm, smoked poi with a side of roast pork...

    /Homer Simpsons gurgle

  • John||

    No Scott. It is not why Trump supporters hate the media. It is why every honest person should hate the media. It doesn't matter your politics, lying is still lying. And that is all the media ever does. There isn't a single thing they ever get right. You may think it is just one of those things when they do it to Trump, but they were doing it to Libertarians long before Trump and will continue doing it to Libertarians long after Trump is gone.

    Gee Scott, you ever wonder why it is that Libertarians are right about so many things yet seem to have so little influence? Let me give you a hint, when the media refuses to tell the truth about anything, being right about something is a disadvantage.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Even for you, John, that was disgustingly pedantic.

  • John||

    There is nothing pedantic about it. It doesn't just explain why Trump supporters should hate the media, it shows why everyone should hate the media. The two points are different and significant.

    If that fact bothers you as a Scott fan boy, well too bad. Life is like that.

  • R C Dean||

    I thought he was right on point.

    Sure, we understand why Hillary supporters don't hate the media. But that doesn't mean its justified. Everyone should be disturbed by what we are seeing this election.

    If you aren't, its because you are a partisan, and thus by definition a low-IQ voter. Being a partisan necessarily diminishes your intelligence when dealing with politics.

  • Zeb||

    He was on point and disgustingly pedantic. Scott wrote a post specifically about how the two sides react to stuff Trump says. John bitches that he didn't address a much broader subject that is relevant, but not actually the topic of this post.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    +1 Amen, brother.

  • John||

    There is nothing pedantic about it. You can call it hat but it isn't. I made a perfectly valid point. And it wasn't really even critical of Scott. I just expanded on his point. I never said he was wrong.

    Is there a reason why you feel the need to be so overly and disgustingly defensive here?

  • Zeb||

    No Scott. It is not why Trump supporters hate the media.

    Is how you started.

    Not sure how I'm being defensive. I saw what you wrote and responded with what I thought about it. Maybe I read more disagreement into it than what was there, but you do start off in an awfully adversarial way if you meant to reinforce the point Scott made rather than criticize him.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    John is also factually wrong in that statement, and then goes on to contradict himself. Scott says Trump supporters hate the media. John says that "is not why Trump supporters hate the media." and then says it is why everybody should hate the media, and goes full pedant on why Trump supporters are a subset of everybody, after having just said it is not why one subset hates the media.

    John is off his meds today.

  • robc||

    Why are treating "pedantic" as an insult.

    I would (and have) take it as a complement.

    As a friend of mine says, I was compiled with --pedantic.

  • Zeb||

    Pedantic is fine. Disgustingly pedantic is different.

  • BYODB||

    I'd say it's pretty damn relevant myself. It's a more powerful article to talk about Media bias and how everyone should have a problem with it because it undermines the entire bedrock of our Republic.

    I'm not terribly convinced that either side really gives a shit in circumstances beyond those that make their particular brand of chosen one look foolish though. Watching Fox News makes me feel just as stupid as MSNBC, in all honesty.

  • Zeb||

    I'd say it's pretty damn relevant myself. It's a more powerful article to talk about Media bias and how everyone should have a problem with it

    It's definitely relevant. And maybe someone will write that article next. I like to think that the libertarian media is where you are most likely to get some reporting like that. Though they are still part of The Media.

  • Zeb||

    It is not why Trump supporters hate the media. It is why every honest person should hate the media.

    Those sentences are not contradictory and in fact both are true.

  • John||

    They are not contradictory but they are saying different things. If just Trump supporters should hate the media, then doing it is something that is partisan. If all honest people should hate the media, then doing it is because honesty requires it and has nothing to do with partisanship.

    The article would make a better, stronger and more truthful point if the headline was "why all honest people should hate the media". Limiting it to Trump supporters implies that there is some partisan reason to object to dishonesty.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Scott says "Eggs break when they drop."
    John screams "Everything breaks, and I am not being pedantic."

  • John||

    I never said Scott was wrong. He is not. I just expanded on his point. Are you in love with Scott or something? It is okay if you are. But you might want to mention that so we understand why you are getting so irrational and emotional about this.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    I never said you said Scott was wrong. Show me in that simple two line comment where I said you said Scott was wrong.

    I am saying right now, in this comment, that your comment has fail all over it.

  • John||

    No Scott. It is not why Trump supporters hate the media. It is why every honest person should hate the media.

    That is not saying he is wrong. That is expanding on his point. Do you really want to die on the hill of being butt hurt over that? Really? Oh no, I said "no Scott the point is a larger ne than you portray". The humanity of it. Poor Scott. I don't know how he puts up with that kind of abuse.

    Seriously, do you want to date the guy or something? NTTAWWT or I care. But wow.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Keerist in a bucket John, what are you going on about? I posted two lines:

    Scott says "Eggs break when they drop."
    John screams "Everything breaks, and I am not being pedantic."

    And in response, you posted:

    I never said Scott was wrong.

    and asked if I was in love with Scott.

    What were you answering with "I never said Scott was wrong."? I never said you said Scott was wrong. I even answered you with that very quote:

    I never said you said Scott was wrong.

    And all you can come up with is a repeat of some gibberish about me being in love with Scott.

    Man you are off your rocker.

  • R C Dean||

    Eh, I'm with John on this one.

    There's another, interesting angle to at least note here - the way partisanship and confirmation bias blind people to bad information that they get, as long as it supports their preconceived notions.

    Yeah, everybody should be bothered by this. Some aren't, and the reason is . . . .

    The real breakthrough, at least at Reason, is an overt acknowledgement that the media is completely in the tank for Hillary.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    I'm with John as well, these other posters are parsing too much while engaging in post lawyering.

  • robc||

    Im with John but he was being pedantic. Dont know why that bothers him.

  • Ted S.||

    It's the usual suspects screaming that H&R isn't writing the articles they want H&R to write.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yep. Every decent human being, whichever side they're on, should hate the media. I mean, you can benefit from the actions of a morally bankrupt piece of shit while still recognizing that they are a morally bankrupt piece of shit and despising them accordingly.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    I didn't get that read. That he's saying Trump supporters hate the media because of X doesn't logically preclude that other people shouldn't or don't also hate the media because X. He's specifying Trump supporters because the popular narrative is that they have an irrational hatred for the media, or that they hate the media because the media is telling them truths they don't want to hear. He's arguing against that without implying that others shouldn't also take issue with the media for the same reasons.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Here--

    Exactly, Scott.. It IS why Trump supporters hate the media .And it is why every honest person should hate the media. It doesn't matter your politics, lying is still lying. And that is all the media ever does. There isn't a single thing they ever get right. You may think it is just one of those things when they do it to Trump, but they were doing it to Libertarians long before Trump and will continue doing it to Libertarians long after Trump is gone.

    Do you ever wonder why it is that Libertarians are right about so many things yet seem to have so little influence? Let me give you a hint, when the media refuses to tell the truth about anything, being right about something is a disadvantage

    There you go. Same statement--but without the contrariness that got all your panties in a twist.

  • The Fusionist||

    Bear in mind that the progs think they are specially sensitive to nuance, and that their adversaries are mouth-breathing literalistic yokels who think in absolutes.

  • John||

    WE assume malice. I am, however, open to the possibility that they are in fact just this stupid and can't understand sentences in context. Malice is clearly there, but with journalists you can never discount stupidity. They are collectively the dumbest group of people in America.

  • wareagle||

    Malice is assumed rightly. When a mass narrative emerges, that's not by accident. A few conflicting viewpoints is normal; there is usually some variation on how a group of people views the same movie. A group think conclusion, however, is just group think.

  • prolefeed||

    While there can be a lot of overlap between malice and groupthink, they are different things. And a whole lot of groupthink emerged from both the Brexit thing and this prez election.

  • robc||

    "Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by malice,"

    In politics, Hanlon had it backwards.

  • JWW||

    Malice, idiocy? At this point in time what difference does it make?

    They will sell out every one of us who is not a member of their chosen groups.

    In the end its all the same...eliminate the enemy.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    It's totally malice. Yeah, they're dumb, but you can be both dumb and malicious and be motivated by the latter more than the former.

  • bassjoe||

    Like nearly every other point he tries to make, he said it extremely poorly because he cannot craft a cohesive sentence without a TelePrompter to save his life. His hard to follow word salads are a "gotcha" reporter's dream.

  • MikeP2||

    Yes, transcripts of his speeches are a messy word salad.

    But, yet, everyone who listens to him understands what he is saying.

    Obama reads from a teleprompter and few can actually understand what he is saying beyond a handful of buzzwords.
    I strongly suspect if you looked at an un-edited transcript of Hillary's or Obama's non-telepromted speeches they would not look any less word salady than Trumps. but of course, we never see unedited transcripts of the former, because the media all go to the trouble of editing them extensively.

  • JWW||

    "Let me be clear" ..... indiction that Obama's gonna ramble on incoherently for a while....

  • AlexInCT||

    Shame on us all for favoring a smooth talking used car salesmen and pretending they are better political choices..

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    God forbid someone should read a transcript of any conversation I have with anyone.

  • Longtobefree||

    No worries, that will not happen unless the NSA needs to submit a deposition - - - -

  • Bill Dalasio||

    SCOTT SHAQUFURD IS A TRUMP-SUPPORTING YOKEL!

  • ||

    I know this is a bit of a trivial analogy but I think it's instructive.

    For years we've seen this in the Canadian media (obviously towards conservatives) in dealing with hockey commentator Don Cherry. It was blatant. You would watch his segment on Coach's Corner and get the full context of a 'controversial' comment. The next day, the dipshits in the sports media would take offense - OFFENSE - without ever contextualizing his point. Hence, we'd get stuff like 'he hates Quebecers' and is a loon and all that.

    The problem is people like Cherry, Trump whoever else don't fit their narrative or prescribed views of 'what ought to be'.

    The media knows full well what it's doing in this deception.

    Yet, they hardly bat an eye about the stupid shit Biden has said over the years which are actually worse.

  • ||

    One other thing. Then the assholes wonder how in the world Cherry is so popular. I mean. how could people not listen to their enlightened views? Makes for calling people 'depolorables' all the much easier.

  • wareagle||

    what about the basement dwellers?

  • BullChipper||

    He was a dedicated follower of fashion?

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Hell, they celebrate the things that Biden says.

  • Tundra||

  • Tundra||

    Don Cherry is brilliant. Most importantly, he pisses off all the right people.

    Sharp dresser, too!

  • Johnny B||

    I'll chime in as a dual Canadian / American. Yes, Cherry pisses of the right people. Kind of like Trump. That's why I like both of them. I am looking forward to seeing all the heads go "pop" when Trump wins. It will be a great few days. And then maybe Congress can get back to asserting itself like the writers' of the Constitution envisioned.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I don't grasp why people can't see this.

    The left will implode, the neo-cons will implode, the media will implode.

    It will be glorious.

    Let Chaos reign.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    we'd get stuff like 'he hates Quebecers'

    That's considered controversial?

  • MikeT1986||

    Queebs.

  • Broswater||

    Rufus, do yourself a favor, never ever watch Tout le monde en parle. It's this, times 10. A real circle-jerk.

  • ||

    I've watched it. I agree.

    It's like peering into a bubble with all these fascinating people and their small town takes on big issues.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Remember, Harry Reid can say Obama is pretty articulate for a porch monkey, and the left says , "Ah, well we know what's in his heart when he said that."

  • Ken Shultz||

    The first time I noticed this was after seeing headlines (and being told by an unnamed regular here) that Trump wants to a) bomb the family members of ISIS b) wants to bomb the girlfriends of the 9/11 hijackers.

    When I looked at Trump's actual statements, what he actually said was a) that he would bomb ISIS even if, however unfortunately, there were civilian casualties, and b) that if the wives and girlfriends of the 9/11 hijackers fled the U.S. ahead of the attack--because they knew what was going to happen--that he'd seek to have them extradited and prosecuted as accessories.

    There are reasons to criticize those statements, but to say that Trump wants to target ISIS family members and children with bombs--exclusive of whether there are any actual ISIS members around--is plain false, likewise the statement that Trump wants to go after the hijackers' girlfriends and wives--just because.

    Ultimately, what we're talking about is Trump Derangement Syndrome. The idea of Trump brings up pictures in some people's minds that are so horrifying, they lose all sense of proportion. I haven't seen anything like it since Ronald Reagan was President.

  • John||

    The same is true about his alleged praising of Putin. If you look at what Trump actually said and says about Putin, you find that he doesn't really praise him. Trump just says Putin has reasons for doing what he does and the US should stop going out of his way to antagonize him and Russia. Trump praises him in the sense that he says Putin isn't history's greatest monster bent on conquering the world and maybe the US should stop acting like he is.

    What Trump actually says is always more reasonable than what the media reports. You really can't overstate how disgraceful the media is.

  • R C Dean||

    Early in the primaries, there were some funny videos of Trump overdubbed with a British accent.

    It was incredible how that's all it takes to completely change how you process his statements.

    The opposition to Trump is about 1/3 partisanship, 1/3 style, and 1/3 substance.

  • John||

    The style part is mostly class snobbery. They will praise some utter half wit like John Kerry because he sounds upper class and seems clever by their standards. The fact that the substance of what he is complete and utter nonsense, doesn't matter.

    Meanwhile, someone they view as being beneath them will be lampooned and looked down upon no matter how reasonable and right hey are. Hell, they treated Ben Carson like he was an escapee from the village idiot factory. Ben Carson is a brain surgeon. He loses more brain sells in a night out of drinking than John Kerry ever had. But alas Carson is not of their class so he therefore must be stupid.

  • R C Dean||

    The style part is mostly class snobbery.

    Yup. Ivy League Idiots love other Ivy League Idiots. Kerry is Exhibit A.

  • MikeP2||

    I'm Ivy League and I utterly despise idiots like Kerry.

    When you deal with them first hand for 4 (um...5) years you learn how utterly disgusting that type of class snobbery is.

  • robc||

    I just looked because I had no idea:

    Trump is an ivy leaguer. Graduated from Penn.

  • Trumptard||

    Penn, like Cornell, doesn't really count.

  • ||

    "John Kerry...sounds upper class and seems clever..."

    He does?

  • wirthling||

    "Look at Putin -- what he's doing with Russia -- I mean, you know, what's going on over there. I mean this guy has done -- whether you like him or don't like him -- he's doing a great job in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia period" sounds like praise to me.

  • ||

    There is a subtle difference between acknowledging accomplishments and praise. Subtle but significant.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    And that sounded like praise.

  • Suell||

    Sounds like acknowledging accomplishments.

  • MarkLastname||

    It's also really really stupid. Putin has been running Russia into the ground for over a decade.

  • wirthling||

    Trump did also say, "The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families." So....

  • Ken Shultz||

    Where's your link?

  • BillEverman||

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWiaYQUV2oM it's around 1:40. I believe he said something similar in the debates, but this one's him talking on Fox News.

  • ||

    Ken, the pictures of horror that come into their minds have nothing to do with the things they accuse Trump of. What terrifies them is the damage they think he will do to the existing order. The current order is dysfunctional and ripe for wrecking and they know it. Someone is going to wreck it and they fear Trump is the guy to do it. They have worked too hard for too long slithering their way into favor and cant bear to see that come to naught.

    Most of the lying sacks of shit in the MSM complaining the loudest about the dangers of Trump would shoot the 9/11 hijacker's girlfriends themselves if they thought it would get them a promotion.

  • LynchPin1477||

    What terrifies them is the damage they think he will do to the existing order

    I think that's true for a lot of the political class, but I don't think it's what worries your typical progressive. Whether Trump actually praised Putin is less important than whether or not Trump's supporters think he praised Putin and liked it. Whether or not Trump is racist is less important than whether Trump is gaining support by playing up racial animosity. And so on.

    Since you can find actual Putin apologists and racists supporting Trump, it makes it easy for progressives to paint all his supporters with a broad brush. Trump's seems wish-washy criticisms of those elements of his support make it even easier, still.

  • Trumptard||

    Suderman has a very bad case of TDS.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    People will be aghast that Trump won despite saying that veterans with PTSD are weak, even though the context of his comments suggest he didn't say anything like that.

    I- just- how? Well, nobody I know voted for him! Has the Canadian embassy returned my call?

  • MarkLastname||

    They only take walk ins. Canadians have barely mastered telegraphs, let alone phones.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Dog sleds are slow.

  • Chipwooder||

    This exemplifies why, although I have drifted out of the GOP over the past decade, my hatred for the left has only intensified.

  • AlexInCT||

    I am with you: I dislike the GOP, but despise the left. When you have seen the crap their ideology produces first hand, it is hard to ever have anything but contempt for them.

  • JWW||

    That's because the GOP can't do governing well, but the Left is great at governing awful.

  • ant1sthenes||

    The same GOP whose leading lights are endorsing the most loathsome, corrupt candidate the left has managed to produce in some time? Fuck the GOP, it's been worthless for a while, but the mask is off now.

  • Glide||

    *nodding sadly*

  • SugarFree||

    A lot of this is desperation. The media believes it is here to tell us what to think. Too many people aren't "listening" (ie. not agreeing to agree) about Trump, so now it's time to try anything.

    It will just get worse as they get more frustrated.

  • John||

    It will. What I don't understand is why they feel such a compulsion to lie and exaggerate. There are plenty of ways to report the truth that don't put Trump in a good light. It is quite possible and really pretty easy to portray him as a bad candidate with incomplete or bad ideas. Yet, the always choose to lie and exaggerate. They can't seem to help themselves. They are like a compulsive thief who steals even when he doesn't need or even want the money.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I think the reason he gets relatively little criticism on substance is the same reason why he wins little support on substance - it's not (just) because he's pretty vague on policy, but because style is the core of his approach to politics. The people who are attracted to him are attracted to him because of his style, and the people who are turned off by him are largely turned off by his style. Criticizing him on policy or qualifications is sort of like predicting whether or not a Michael Bay movie will be successful based on its plot.

  • John||

    That is certainly true in a lot of ways. The problem with that is that since when is it the media's job to criticize a candidate in the most effective way? Shouldn't they just tell the truth about the substance and leave it up to the voters how important they find it?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Shouldn't they just tell the truth about the substance and leave it up to the voters how important they find it?

    Whether they love him or hate him, people focus on Trump's style because that is what Trump is good at getting them to focus on. I don't think the media focuses on Trump's style and ignores the substance because they think it is more effective, I think they do it because that's what they themselves find it easiest to focus on.

  • Zeb||

    That's the big question. I see almost nothing good about Trump from my perspective, aside from not being Hillary. But these idiots are making me defend him. First the tax thing, where he did what any businessman would do in the same position and, as far as anyone knows, fully complied with the law. Now this stupid shit, where he seems to have said something quite reasonable, if mostly substance free, about mental health care for veterans.
    I guess they must figure that the only way to be sure is to portray him as a ridiculous caricature of evil rather than the populist windbag that he is.

  • ||

    That's the real problem. Every time they report a "Trump is horrible" story, the part of the media that is anti-Hillary rebuts with an even worse story of Hillary doing the same but more. And it keeps them from sinking him. Also, I think the NYT and NY TV producers who run the national networks really hate the idea of the Short-Fingered Vulgarian making them look like chumps, so of course they lead with their jaw.

  • JWW||

    They don't just paint Trump as horrible they paint all his supporters that way too.

    Which is the terrifying part. After Hillary wins, will she be magnanimous in victory and try to bring.... Oh fuck it I can't even type that. Her vengeance will be harsh and damaging, her supporters and enablers will push for more and more suppression of those who are not good Party members.

    But she thinks she can take out all the deplorables without a fight, and there she is wrong.

    The Elites in this country have set up a powder keg and will not back off until it blows.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I guess they must figure that the only way to be sure is to portray him as a ridiculous caricature of evil rather than the populist windbag that he is

    That's been true for a while now. If you want to find a historical, international analog for Trump, the obvious choice is Silvio Berlusconi. The similarities are striking.

    And yet, for a while now, I've known people who with a totally straight face will compare elements of Trump and his campaign to Hitler and the Nazis. It's an over the top comparison, and yet it has real traction among progressives.

  • Zeb||

    Some good friends of mine have gone down that road (Trump is literally Hitler). It makes me very unhappy. I don't think I can talk to them until after the election.

  • BYODB||

    Well considering those same people are under the impression that 'Muslim' is actually a ethnicity rather than a religion that's not terribly surprising. It's a baffling logical disconnect that Christians, and sometimes Jews, are bad and wrong for wanting to worship how they want but we should bend over backwards for Muslim's to worship how they want. They are all Abrahamic religions.

    If not for double standards...well, you know. If you need proof that the left is quite simply anti-American, this is a pretty good illustration. It isn't the idea of religion the left hates necessarily. It's the religion that founded the United States they have issues with. At least that's increasingly become my opinion the longer these pointless wars have dragged on. It's pretty bizarre.

  • ||

    What they really hate is individualism, something the US raised higher than any other group in history. They hate christianity by association and because in many ways it is the philosophical source of individualism.

    (Shhhh. Don't tell that to the pope)

  • BYODB||

    I'm not sure I would say that about Christianity considering that Jesus was perhaps the first Socialist, but like many things it's open to interpretation.

  • robc||

    Nah, Jesus never suggested the state own the means of production.

  • BYODB||

    That's fair, I fell into one of the classic blunders. Jesus was a Communist. ^_^

  • John Titor||

    "Hey, let's compare mythical/historical figures to ideologies founded thousands of years after the fact that actually have positions that would literally impossible for the historical figure to hold because of lack of knowledge."

  • Zeb||

    It seems like Jesus really mostly wanted his followers not to concern themselves with politics at all. Once rulers started to become Christians, it was all downhill from there.

  • MarkLastname||

    'Render unto Caesar..' And whatnot.

  • BYODB||

    What are you talking about, thousands of years after the fact?

  • John Titor||

    Jesus: Judean dude who was around 2 B.C. to 30ish A.D. Probably.

    Communism: Not articulated really in the form we know until the 1840s. No, you don't get to claim, that, I don't know, the Anabaptist Munster rebels were communist. Communism has actual positions that they did not or were incapable of holding.

    So yes, not thousands. But that's ignoring the actual point, which is that it's projecting ideologies back in time onto someone who was unable to hold those positions (and, if you go by the gospels, didn't hold positions even close to that). You've qualified it as a joke below but I've actually heard this argument. And it requires a guy who believed in a non-material afterlife to be a strict materialist ideologue, that's just stupid.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Peoples Front?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Makes the parable of the talents a bit awkward.

  • BYODB||

    That parable of the talents, as far as I'm aware, could be interpreted as being a good steward of money or it could be referring to what the disciples themselves did with the word of god (the 'valuable') they had been entrusted with to grow Christendom by their master (Jesus). Unless, of course, you think he was telling his disciples to invest wisely which...I don't know. Maybe he was. I wasn't there, but you're a smart guy who can decide for yourself. It was clearly good advice in both respects if the Catholic church is anything to judge by.

    *shrug*

    Really it was just a joke relating to the feeding the multitudes miracle, which was probably just a bunch of people sharing what they brought with their neighbors depending on if you're the sort who believes in 'real' miracles or not.

  • JWW||

    Nope he never did. Early followers in the church pooled all of THEIR belongings, they did not go and take stuff from everyone else to share by way of force....

  • MacDaddy81||

    No, he said to take care of people. Not have the state take care of them, not force others to take care of them, YOU do it.

  • JWW||

    Well in all honesty its the Protestants who made Christianity that way, so the Pope really had little to do with it....

  • Azathoth!!||

    What has always gotten me about this Jesus was a communist/socialist crap is that all the people who prattle on with it never seem to stop to consider that the causality flows the other way

    The people who came up with communism/socialism included verbiage to make their vile ideology more appealing to Christians.

  • ||

    "They are all Abrahamic religions."

    Yeah, but only one of them is a Satanic religion in addition.

  • Ceci n'est pas un woodchipper||

    It's a Progressive thing. They believe that only experts (shockingly, experts of whom they approve who support Progressive principles) are truly able to do the hard thinking, and they have a moral responsibility to understand facts for the rest of us and then give us the interpreted wisdom. It's a dogma/kerygma type of thing. You feed the punters what you want them to know (kerygma), and when/if they come on board and really commit, then they can hear the truth (dogma) with the understanding that the dogma is ultimately in service to the kerygma.

  • ||

    Well it started with his comments on immigration.

    Anyone with half a brain or endowed with a rational mind understood he was talking about illegal immigration. There is a difference between legal and illegal after all.

  • SugarFree||

    When do we beat Mexico at the border? They're laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they're killing us economically.

    The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.

    Thank you. It's true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

    But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people.

    No, Trump made his own fucking bed on immigration, from not even attempting to distinguish between legal and illegal immigration, the ludicrous suggestion that "they" (the government of Mexico? some shadow conspiracy? all Mexicans in concert?) are sending people here and then suggesting that a few of them "might" be good people.

    If you talk in a ridiculous mish-mash of nonsense applause lines, you are making your own damn bed.

  • MikeP2||

    Um....isn't it a widely reported fact that Mexico encourages the lowest levels of its population to emigrate north, even providing guides on how to do it? Isn't also well reported that Mexico has emptied jails and bussed the inmates to the border?

  • BYODB||

    The Mexican Government makes the United States government look not only competent, but moral.

    How many American DA's have been beheaded recently for going against the cartel, and what does that tell us about the remaining Mexican low-to-mid tier Politian's who still have theirs?

    I'm not defending Trump's comments, the man is a walking meme factory, but it's a well established fact that those who cross the border illegally aren't exactly 'the best and brightest' from Mexican society. I'm not saying they're scum, which apparently Trump thinks only 'some' 'might' be ok folks, but I don't see any reason to import low-to-no skill labor when we have more than enough here in the United States drawing welfare.

    But with Trump, you can cherry pick whatever position you want and have good odd's that as long as it's in favor of bigger government he's probably been in favor of it at least once today.

  • ||

    Alright, alright. I might have misspoken.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    A bunch of political reporters are definitely at fault, but Trump's verbal diarrhea makes it easier for them.

  • Zeb||

    A lot of his comments on immigration were just plain idiotic, even if you did assume he was just talking about illegal immigration.

  • GILMORE™||

    His Supporters Hate the Media

    I'm pretty sure the feeling has been mutual for a long while

  • commodious pega y corre||

    that's exactly what happened due to writers deciding to run with "some people can't take it"

    Uh, suicide rates among returning vets seem to suggest that some people can't take it. They're literally whistling past the graveyard.

  • BYODB||

    Then, the media will wonder how Hillary's rating with the military and their families goes down.

    I mean, they're the military! They want to go out and gun down innocent children for us! Right? Right!?

    Oh wait, sorry. That was while Bush was President. When they kill innocents under Obama's watch it's in the name of peace. That's why he got a prize, don'tchaknow.

  • ||

    Those kids weren't innocent, the proof that they were guilty was just lighter than one would have hoped.

  • MarkLastname||

    They didn't affirmatively consent to not being terrorists.

  • ||

    That is true commodious, some people cant take it. Some being most. No normal person can witness the horrors of war and be unaffected. Unfortunately it pushes a lot of people over the edge. It doesnt make them weak, it just makes them human.

    The people unaffected by it are the ones that concern me.

  • BYODB||

    I can admit one thing about Trump, he certainly has the Media in a tizzy. I'm still not a fan, and I'm still not going to vote for him, but it's clear the media has decided that Trump needs to be taken out no matter the cost. They're burning through what little credibility they had left on this election.


    You don't need to resort to lies and cheap tricks to show that Trump isn't a great choice, nor is it a crusade that's even worth fighting anymore. It's just not necessary. He has somehow caused half the nation to lose their collective shit just because he can't talk in straight sentences and says stupid, stupid things. Sound like any other former Presidents?


    Frankly, up against Hillary Clinton, you would almost need to have killed someone in the 1st degree to be a worse pick. (Or be Bernie, but at this point I'm not sure if he wouldn't have been better. At least he was honest on occasion.)

  • SugarFree||

    It's hard to conceive of two worse candidates that had a realistic shot of the nomination.

    It was Hillary's turn, after all. She bided her time for eight years for it to be her turn, so the Dem nomination was locked up. But practically everyone hates her and she's only got eight years of racial unrest and a weak economy to run on, and those aren't even the personal negatives she brings to the table.

    But Trump was something special. Out of field of 17 and with a little hijinks from open primaries, the GOP managed to nominate someone that not only pisses off the money and a big portion of the traditional base, but also will have ZERO willing support from the legislature if he does win and will be mired in scandal because he just can't shut up even when he's ahead.

    It would be an amazing farce if it was fiction or another country, but it's neither so it just ends up being depressing.

  • UCrawford||

    but also will have ZERO willing support from the legislature if he does win and will be mired in scandal because he just can't shut up even when he's ahead.

    You say this as though it's a bad thing. Personally, I'd rather have a President with no support from Congress who the press watches like a hawk rather than a career criminal who is cozy with Congress and who the press enables...especially given that the President controls federal law enforcement and court appointments.

    It's better to have an incompetent buffoon than a capable sociopath in the White House.

  • Suell||

    That is exactly why I would rather see Trump prevail than Hillary. And the fact that it will be a major crack in the power of the elite media to shape public opinion.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It's like asking whether you'd rather starve for a period that is plausibly survivable, versus eating food you know to be dosed with a deadly poison.

  • JWW||

    What can I say banana republics get banana republic level candidates for President, or rather for El Presidente.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Tacking 'honestly' into your words indicates demon possession, gentle sir.

  • ||

    I am stealing that.

  • LynchPin1477||

    It's the same phony literalness that,if nothing else, exposes how little certain people who work in the media think of citizens who see the world differently from the way they do

    It exposes them as being intentionally biased but clever enough (at least in their own minds) to get away with it by simply reporting "facts".

  • Ken Shultz||

    Here's a great example of Reagan Derangement Syndrome:

    "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

    ----Ronald Reagan

    It was never said on the air. Reagan was joking during the soundcheck before his regular broadcast.

    But the anti-Reagan left went completely ape-shit.

    Did you know that Ronald Reagan was so imperious, he once tried to outlaw Russia?! Not only that, he wants to bomb the Russians--how can we let such a reckless man have control of our nuclear arsenal?!

    Trump's in the same position only more so. Trump couldn't make an inane observation about a quilting bee without the press making it sound hate-filled, insane, and racist.

  • John||

    I remember that. The genius of Reagan was his sense of humor. The media is utterly humorless and completely defenseless against ridicule. Reagan mostly laughed at them and God did they hate him for that.

  • MarkLastname||

    Trump, on the other hand, is completely devoid of a sense of humor.

  • John||

    That is not true. He is quite funny. And much like Reagan, the media doesn't get his jokes. You apparently don't either. Your loss.

  • R C Dean||

    Before I forget:

    Thanks, Shack. This is exactly the kind of reporting needed during this election. Reason is long overdue to step out of the thundering media herd.

  • The Fusionist||

    Meanwhile, Ms. Dalmia is preparing an article expressing outrage at how Trump says he has 'the utmost respect for my colored help.'"

    And it turns out the source for this quote is an article in the *Onion.*

  • GILMORE™||

    There's a promise that things will be better under him with no real explanation why that will actually be the case.

    by contrast....

    "" let's raise the minimum wage and support the 5 for 15 so you don't live in poverty. ""

    that's like, scientific and shit.

  • SugarFree||

    WHUT ABOUT HILLARY!!1!

    Thanks for your contribution to the discuss, red buttplug.

  • SugarFree||

    *discussion*

    I assume the devious Scott Shackford made that typo for me.

  • GILMORE™||

    it was more "WHUT ABOUT POLITICINS!?!"

    because the practice of "promising shit with no explanation of how it is accomplished'" is pretty much the definition of "Campaigning". Pretending that its a feature of this new, uniquely lacking-in-policy-detail candidate is fucking retarded, and so are you for failing to grok that.

  • GILMORE™||

    I also think its funny you continue to think im somehow "Conservative" for insisting both hillary and trump are equally full of shit here.

  • SugarFree||

    No, I get that from you never leaping to the defense of Hillary Clinton and always ready to defend Trump.

  • GILMORE™||

    You never leaping to the defense of Hillary Clinton and always ready to defend Trump.

    'Defend'?

    complaining about the trump-mania @ reason isn't defending trump. Its an expression of disgust with the whole thing. you're the one who seems trigger happy about accusing people of partisanship. I've said before= i hope hillary wins. and i expect her to, and i will be happier than if Trump does. You seem to want to pretend everyone except you is blindly partisan.... its boring dude. Say something clever next time.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes. We can only judge your behavior in this thread, not the sum total of your behavior over the last few months. aka The Tulpa Defense.

  • GILMORE™||

    the sum total of your behavior over the last few months

    Tell us more, H&R's Doctor Phil. Have you been keeping notes?

  • ||

    "...never leaping to the defense of Hillary Clinton..."

    IOW failing to defend the indefensible.

    That proves it. Gilmore is a bright red SOCON. In fact, he singlehandedly started the SOCON movement. Didn't you Gilmore? Admit it.

  • GILMORE™||

    well, i did once own a red tie, at least.

  • MarkLastname||

    Well there are plenty of people here defending Trump, who is safely into the realm of being indefensible.

  • JWW||

    Well, what exactly is defensible about Hillary Clinton....?

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    That is a policy. A stupid, awful policy, but something that can be debated amongst candidates and voters. It's not comparable to, "it's gonna be so, so good, you won't believe it."

  • GILMORE™||

    It's not comparable to, "it's gonna be so, so good, you won't believe it."

    Maybe in that the above doesn't waste time insulting anyone's intelligence trying to arbitrarily connect the dots between unrelated things.

    Its sort of like the difference between one soda brand saying, "ITS GOT THE AWESOME INSIDE!" and another claiming "NOW WITH 25% MORE FLAVONOIDS FOR EXTRA ANTI-LAME FACTOR"

    one doesn't even pretend to suggest how or why, and just says "me good". The other offers a completely gibberish rationale, pretending to appeal to some cause-effect that doesn't exist.

    You're certainly free to pretend one is better than the other.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    One can actually be debated and debunked. The other is gibberish to which there is no reply other than, "nuh-uh."

  • GILMORE™||

    The other is gibberish to which there is no reply other than, "nuh-uh."

    You make a decent case for the idea that the "non-falsifiable" is actually the better campaign strategy. It may explain his success to date. Especially when you are aiming mostly for the 'Retard Vote'. Why confuse people with details?

  • BYODB||

    Oh, Gilmore. There are more than enough retards for both parties and both are aiming precisely for that demographic.

  • GILMORE™||

    There are more than enough retards for both parties and both are aiming precisely for that demographic.

    That's exactly what i said.

    Why bother claiming (as MJG does) that the "appearance of a faux-rationale" (no matter how obviously flawed) is 'better' than mere blustery-assertion .... when the people you're trying to appeal to aren't really all that interested in details in the first place, so much as tribal-rabble-rousing?

  • LynchPin1477||

    When it comes to policy, politicians are mostly judged by whether they have a plan. Well, then you find an expert who agrees with you ideologically to put a stamp of approval on the plan, but it's mostly just about the existence of a plan that sounds plausible to your constituency. Raising the minimum wage to $15 as a way of fighting poverty sounds plausible to most people and Hillary can find an army of experts to explain why it will be a good thing.

    It's frustrating that this is the way that the game is played, but, well, there it is.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Trump, on the other hand, doesn't tend to even have that much.

  • GILMORE™||

    clearly, he needs to improve his bullshit pandering econo-gibberish

  • ant1sthenes||

    When it comes to policy, politicians are mostly judged by whether they have a plan.

    Bullshit. Maybe by the same wonkish people whose credibility and influence is currently swirling down the toilet, but right now politicians are mostly being judged by which side of the cold civil war they're on; when there's only one candidate in the general election with a shot of winning who isn't openly pledging to shit all over you based on your race or nationality or sex or religion or class, you don't really have the luxury of worrying about their policies (outside of the primaries).

  • PurityDiluting||

    This election season has been particularly disappointing.
    I thought there was a difference between reporters, who report what happened, and analysts, who tell you what it means for those who have trouble connecting their own dots. The distinction has disappeared, and now the MSM feels that it is their heroic obligation to defeat the monster they helped create while staying bound to the 2-party, us vs them vitriol that pumps up their ratings.
    Because voting is a small part of everyone's full-time life, voters can't be trusted to make an informed decision based upon impartial facts. The deep thinkers must spoon-feed us what to shallow. Stick to the narrative and the soundbites. I have a sad.

  • JWW||

    The fact that they feel like they are being "Heroic" about it is the real terrifying part.

    Like letting us make up our own damn minds it too terrifying to comprehend.

  • Fred Zuccini||

    The thing is not every soldier's experience is the same. One might spend most of his tour fueling trucks, another might spend a hell of a lot of time in the shit. It is impossible to generalize about soldiers and their mental toughness without this knowledge. I have a veteran working for me, and I use the term "work" loosely, who claims to be PTSD and milks every minute he can out of FMLA and the sonovabitch never left the states. He's not "weak" he's just fucking lazy and smart enough to game the system.

  • John||

    I am so tired of the cult of the wounded and fucked up warrior. Yeah bad things happen to people in war. I get it. But our obsession with that fact has become unhealthy and also allowed people to abuse our sympathies on the issue.

    At some point, it is like anything else, you either get over it and move on or you don't. There really isn't any helping the people who decide to make being a victim a necessary part of their identity and thus cannot move on.

  • This Machine||

    +1

    Some people are assholes. Joining the service doesn't magically make them stop being assholes.

  • Zeb||

    And some people can't handle it. Isn't PTSD sort of by definition not being able to handle the fucked up shit you experienced? It's not an insult to anyone's character. It's just true.

  • John||

    Yes. Having PTSD is a polite way of saying "I couldn't handle it". This manages to be even dumber than the beauty queen bullshit.

  • MarkLastname||

    Meh, there are some things no one would handle. A guy who was in a brief fire fight isn't necessarily 'tougher' than a guy who was captured and raped daily by jihadists for 6 months because the latter gets ptsd and the former didn't. Some people are surely more prone to it than others, but I'd say almost anyone would have some residual psychological issues after having to scrape he best friend out of his nostrils like a bunch of pulled pork.

  • John||

    There are people who have gone through shit so bad you couldn't even imagine it and moved on with their lives. There are others who see one thing and never recover.

    Some handle it some don't. It is really that simple.

  • UCrawford||

    David Hackworth, who served in two wars in combat and was highly-decorated and wrote several books about it, once said something really profound about the soldiers he encountered with PTSD. He noted that everyone had a cup that represented their experiences...some people have a large cup, some have a small cup, everyone's cup fills at different rates. You never know the size of your cup or when it will overflow, but when it does you've just hit the limit of what you can handle and even if you "drain" the cup, you're never really the same afterwards and you often need help to recover. The cup wasn't a reflection of character or really anything other than the fact that everyone is different in how they handle the world.

    I found it to be true, from what I saw of people when I was in the military, and I got the impression from Trump's remarks that he was speaking along those lines. He said something that was true and frankly quite complimentary to veterans. And the lies the press told about it were appalling.

  • John||

    Pretty much that. It is what it is. And no one who goes to a war comes back the same. Of course sometimes they come back a better person. It is not all reluctant damaged warrior. I think we overemphasize that.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I believe that if Trump wins it will be because a substantial proportion of the voting public wants to see the mainstream media repeatedly kicked in the nuts.

    Can't really say I blame them, either.

  • ||

    "The point of political reporting is to help provide context, not obscure it."

    You crack me up Scott! No really, stop that. You are killing me!"

    *Wipes afternoon coffee off of screen, mops keyboard with paper towel*

  • Cynical Asshole||

    What PTSD comments? I have no idea what the blowhard said this time, and frankly couldn't care less.

  • Ken Shultz||

    And everybody, let's give Shackford all the credit he deserves for being clearheaded as hell on Trump, gay rights, and everything I've seen him write. I've disagreed with Shackford a number of times, but he's a straight shooter--he even treats people and their positions fairly when he doesn't like them.

    I should add that when I see Jeff Taylor go after Trump for tolerating brownshirts on his campaign team (in reference to the Michelle Fields extravaganza) or Shikha Dalmia get suckered into going after Trump for a tweet he never wrote, I don't question their integrity either.

    It isn't about their integrity--although it may seem like it. It's about losing their sense of proportion.

    There used to be these commercials on TV for some anti-anxiety medication. It would start with a voice over, "What the world is like", and there would be these regular people all sitting around in the lunchroom doing what people do. Then the voice over,would say, "What you see", and the same people's faces suddenly contorted into grotesque snarls, scoffing, pointing, and grimaces.

    I don't think Trump Derangement Syndrome is being dishonest. They're calling it like they see it. It's just that the way they see it is from a paranoid's perspective.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    but he's a straight shooter-

    I'm not so sure about that, Ken.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    It curves to the right.

  • MarkLastname||

    Girls like that I hear.

  • R C Dean||

    I don't think Trump Derangement Syndrome is being dishonest. They're calling it like they see it.

    I agree, and its too bad.

    You can stop being dishonest. You can't stop being stupid.

  • ATXChappy||

    "The point of political reporting is to help provide context, not obscure it."

    I think the problem is that a lot of the people in the MSM think they are providing context. They have all bought into the idea that a Trump presidency is an existential threat to the country. I think they genuinely believe that. They have convinced themselves through their group think bubble that they are the last line of defense in keeping the next Hitler from the White House. It's really quite disturbing. And, I think it's pretty ironic that erosion of confidence in the 4th estate is a hell of a lot more dangerous to the Republic than a Trump or HRC presidency.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The President is an existential threat to the country.

  • Rebel Scum||

    they're interpreting what he actually means from his rather inarticulate way of saying what he has to say.

    I mentioned something related to this to my lefty gf the other day. CNN was on and looking at some statement The Don made. I don't even remember what it was because it seemed rather innocuous. I mentioned that they were freaking out about, quite literally, nothing. She scoffed and asked why I "always defend him". I said I don't. I am just critical about how they report. I.e. if The Don said it, it's automatically taken as bad/controversial. As in The Don could say that the sky is a little grey and gloomy in Maine in the winter and it would be turned into something about how The Don is racist against weather or something.

  • R C Dean||

    She scoffed and asked why I "always defend him". I said I don't.

    You aren't defending him. You are attacking stupid/dishonest reporting. Now, if that reporting is always about Trump, and never (except by omission) about Hillary, well, maybe she should think about that . . . .

  • LynchPin1477||

    The rise in suicides and mental health issues is strongly correlated with the rise of GMOs and wireless communications.

    Jill Stein approves this message.

  • ||

    Its also strongly correlated with people not dying of cancer and not starving to death.

  • MarkLastname||

    I'd love to see a prog argue 'dude do you see how much cancer has gone up due to capitalism?'

    It'd be even better than "healthcare is great in Cuba, they eradicated AIDS there"

  • BYODB||

    Actually, there are people that make this very commentary. Usually in relation to residual radiation from the atom bombs or, less frequently but still out there, microwaves and wifi type EM Radiation or the foods we eat.

    Then there are the people who believe that weed cures cancer and Parkinson's, so, yeah. Dummies.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    What is not a legitimate path of criticism is to look at the totality of these comments and suggest that Trump thinks veterans are weak or that he somehow doesn't want to support them. And yet, that's exactly what happened due to writers deciding to run with "some people can't take it" and emphasize it in headlines like 'Trump Suggests that Soldiers with PTSD Aren't 'Strong,'"

    After reading his comments, there's no way anyone could get that from his actual statement. It was rambling, incoherent, and completely devoid of any kind of specifics, sure, but there's no way anyone who's honest (key word) could interpret it as saying anything negative about veterans. But this isn't surprising, really. It's the media's oldest trick in the book: take part of a larger statement some pol they don't like (usually anyone who doesn't have a D after their name) says out of context and spin it to mean the exact opposite of what anyone who actually listens to or reads the whole statement could possibly interpret it as. They've been doing this shit during every election cycle I can remember.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If Obama bombs ISIS regardless of civilian casualties, maybe he has a total disregard for human life--or maybe he doesn't.

    Trump says he'd do the same thing, and somehow he's nutjob?

    In that situation?

    If you're not familiar with a journalist's whole body of work, then I don't know how you can be expected to tell the difference between dishonesty and a journalist who's lost all sense of proportion and perspective.

    Is it possible that Trump and his supporters thinking that our immigration laws should be enforced isn't any more racist than Obama tearing families apart through his aggressive enforcement of our immigration laws?

    Again, what we're seeing from journalists can be explained by a lack of perspective rather than dishonesty--but I don't know why Trump's supporters should be able to tell the difference between those motivations. In either case, journalists would act the same way.

  • R C Dean||

    I don't know why Trump's supporters should be able to tell the difference between those motivations

    Or even really care.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Obama never said he'd bomb ISIS regardless of civilian casualties. He said he'd bomb ISIS. When he kills a wedding party full of little girls, he's really broken up about it. There could even be tears.

    Trump doesn't care about civilian casualties which proves he lacks Obama's innate empathy gene.

  • John||

    Imagine the shit fit the media would have if Trump said he would be willing to assassinate an American citizen living overseas in the war on terror. They would go insane. Yet, Obama did just that and they don't care.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    If he weren't such an idiot, he'd say that. And that as president he'd compile a secret "kill list" of all the suspected terrorists who he thinks should be killed. Then sit back, let the media lose their shit for a couple of days, and then remind everyone that Obama has literally done exactly that and the media didn't say shit.

    But he's an idiot who'd apparently rather spend his time fat and/or slut shaming a former Miss Universe or some shit instead. I mean, at this point he should realize that the media's going to fling shit no matter what he says or does, so why not use that to his advantage to point out their blatant hypocrisy? There's probably a lot of fertile ground there. Talk about kill lists and drone strikes against anyone, anywhere. Then calmly point that Obama has already done the same thing. Talk about deporting millions of illegal immigrants. Then point out that Obama has set a presidential record for the most deportations. Talk about how felons, even non-violent ones, should rot in prison because "the law's the law". Then point out that Obama has the record for fewest pardons of any 2 term president. Talk about how the government needs to go after whistle blowers or some such shit. Then point out that Obama has prosecuted more whistle blower than every previous president combined.

    Maybe eventually the media would figure out what he's doing and knock their shit off, but I doubt it. As big an idiot as Trump is, they're even dumber.

  • John||

    You are fooling yourself if you think Trump is stupid much less an idiot. He is just not. And of all the things you can criticize him for, the inability or unwillingness to stick it to the media is not one of those things. The media hates him with some reason, namely that he has repeatedly made complete fools of them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Actually, in the interview, they asked him about his promise to bomb the hell out of ISIS and whether he'd do it even if there were civilian casualties. He said that civilian casualties are regrettable, but he'd still bomb ISIS anyway.

    You can't have bombings without civilian casualties. Hillary would never promise not to bomb ISIS if there might be civilian casualties--because then she could never bomb ISIS or anyone else.

    Meanwhile, Obama has killed hundreds of innocent children in drone strikes.

    But Trump is a nutjob because he'd bomb ISIS anyway?

    Regardless of motivation, Trump is being singled out. And it's not because his position is different from theirs. It's because the media doesn't like him. They can't admit that, though, maybe because they don't realize it Either way, they make it seem like his position is different from theirs.

  • robc||

    There are some true things that "you just arent supposed to say".

    Everyone knows it, but if they dont say it, they cant be blamed. Didnt Rand point this out in AS.

  • robc||

    There are some true things that "you just arent supposed to say".

    Everyone knows it, but if they dont say it, they cant be blamed. Didnt Rand point this out in AS.

  • BYODB||

    Again, Obama hasn't been any kind of peak deportation wizard no matter how many people try to spin him that way. They changed how they report deportations.

    Which is horse shit.

    So please stop pretending that Obama is 'harsh' with his deportations. He isn't. He's just a liar.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I wonder how many media types took the time to read his full statement vs just running with a headline they saw someone else write.

  • R C Dean||

    Somewhere north of 98%, would be my guess.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I'm over "hating the media". I pretty much stopped watching them. Reason is my new "mainstream media" place holder. Maybe I'll return when election is over, but that's not 100%. And ya it's because of blatant dishonesty like this. It all seems like click bait without buttons now.

  • robc||

    Reason has been my primary source for more than a decade.

  • Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos||

    I'll return if some of these reporters promise to shoot themselves in the head live on air if Trump wins.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Eh, I'll just torrent it.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The point of political reporting is to help provide context, not obscure it.

    Speaking of this, I saw nationwide panting coverage of Giuliani saying "Trump better than a woman".

    When I read the transcript, he did say better than 'a' woman, but when you read transcripts, you realize that we talk quite a bit differently than we write, and Giuliana was talking, and I presume there were a lot of 'uh's and incomplete fragment sentences, and 'a woman' was presumed to be the specific object, Hillary Clinton.

    What's frustrating to me is that when you see or point these things out, you're presumed to be a tRumpkin, and immediately dismissed.

  • Trigger Warning||

    What's Shikha think?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    That Trump is retroactively responsible for all of Europe's well-documented xenophobia.

  • Ken Shultz||

    She thinks he stinks.

  • R C Dean||

    What's Shikha think?

    Question makes assumption for which there is no evidence.

  • Agammamon||

    Good article Shackleford. This is a hell of a lot better than the standard 'OMG YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT TRUMP TWEETED NEXT!' stories Reason's been running in a poor attempt to show people his failings.

  • fndr5||

    Any time a candidate gets hung for stuff like this it isn't really very productive, but if you're running for the President you should be practiced enough to avoid landmines like this.

    While I have no idea what Trump's personal feeling are in regards to the matter, and I watched him give lip service to helping veterans, this is a problem of his own making. It's how he communicates that is the problem. Years of pitching and he automatically goes for the compliment as he works the room while identifying the "other" people in the room that aren't on par with the people he's talking to. All he had to do was not use the word "strong" and this isn't a story at all.

    And for all the individuals here who want to paint this as only a problem for "Conservatives" in the media, I put it in quotes because I still don't identify Trump as a conservative, it's a problem for all candidates as far as I've seen. It's why anyone who is running to be leader of the free world should be able to avoid these problems.

  • Agammamon||

    You can't avoid landmines when there are hundreds of people surrounding you, throwing them in your path. Even at the cost of their own lives.

  • fndr5||

    Sorry, I meant to say the "other" people not in the room

  • Jackand Ace||

    I agree. It's ridiculous how media takes things out of context. Reminds me of Reason taking Obama's "you didn't build that" out of context.

    Here is ABart truncating what Obama said to make it look like he said you didn't build that business, when it's clear that in the full paragraph he was referring to the roads and bridges that the individual didn't build.

    Oh well. Election season. Media will just be media.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Link

    http://reason.com/archives/201.....build-that

    Note the title. "You got a pencil? You didn't build that."

    Not much better than the media types you criticized, Scott.

  • John||

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me – because they want to give something back. They know they didn't – look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something – there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

    If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business – you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

    The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires

    Yeah. totally out of context.

    Jesus Christ Joe, you really do never get any smarter. It is just amazing.

  • Jackand Ace||

    There it is. The full context, referring to roads and bridges.

    You truly are a blithering idiot John. Thanks for proving both the context and your grade school level of reading comprehension.

    Have a good one!

  • Suell||

    It always comes back to roads, doesn't it?

  • Jackand Ace||

    ...and bridges.

  • BYODB||

    lol, from the context it is abundantly clear that Obama was in fact referring to Businesses, Roads, Bridges, and everything else in existence that mankind builds. It's a common communist argument, where it takes a village to do anything. I don't know, or care, what Reason said on the subject but Obama was obviously saying that you couldn't have built your business if not for the governments help, which is also pretty clearly a falsehood. (Or do you not believe in the toll roads in every major city?)

    It's an 'advanced' form of begging the question, as the inherent presupposition in the argument is that only government can do certain tasks. Since you believe that government is the only one that can accomplish certain tasks, you no doubt find it to be a 'duh' moment and a good gotcha, but that's probably because you haven't thought about it for more than the ten seconds it took you to type up your response.

    You really aren't that good at 'gotcha' moments, you should probably give up on them Jack.

  • fndr5||

    I disagree with this evaluation. You have stuffed Obama's statements made here into a reductive argument. The problem I have found in my discussions of libertarian philosophy is that you're not allowed to expect anything from anyone, from what I can tell, ever. As long as you aren't directly harming that person, they have a right to be left alone in all things economic and social. I'm sure that is also reductionist, but without writing a term paper, that is how I've understood the application of the philosophy. The point that Obama was making, in addition to simple items like roads and bridges, is that all of us in this nation have it in our own self interest to see others succeed too. You can phrase that in a more libertarian way if you want, but the advocacy he is shooting for is the same: every person has their self interest to satisfy (success) and that people should reframe that self interest to include others success as well because it will benefit everyone. You can shrink from that and say that the only definition of success is my own personal autonomy and there are good arguments for that, but it is incomplete. It also assumes that everyone that would exist in that theoretical system of governance would survive, if not thrive.

  • Jackand Ace||

    I don't need a gotcha moment when I can always depend on John to make the for me.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Everyone knows (or knew at the time, anyway) the fucking comment was about roads and bridges. The government builds roads and bridges, therefore it should raise your taxes. Nevermind that you (assuming you're the businessperson the comment is aimed at) already paid taxes to build those roads and bridges, nor that there is ample evidence of businesses collaborating to build roads and bridges without the government when they found it useful. Uncle Sugar did some shit for you without you asking or necessarily wanting it and now it's time to come sit on his lap and pay that favor back.

  • Jackand Ace||

    Wrong. Read Reasons take. The headline says it. And ABart only gave the portion of the quote that fit what he wanted to say.

  • fndr5||

    I don't see anything different here, and in fact this was one of the first examples that came to mind.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Yeah, I never got the 'out of context' thing. The more you read of what Obama was saying, the more hostility comes out in his statement. If he'd have just left it at "you didn't build that" by itself, he could have hidden behind the ambiguity and whined about how unfair the media has been to his presidency.

    But no, he went on... and on... and on about how you really owe all your success to others. He basically gave the Democrats' "expanded answer" on "Life's Lottery". Y'all remember that? And this is some enriched, weapons grade stupid "The internet didn't get invented on its own".

    Uh, no, no it didn't. Someone built that, dumbass.

  • fndr5||

    and there's the problem, you are reading it totally different than how I read that passage. So to reduce that statement to meme or headline is the same treatment that Trump is supposedly getting here.

    I don't read that passage as owing individual success to others at all, hence the passage "The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

  • Red Rocks Dickin Bimbos||

    "The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

    Yeah, and he said it in the most condescending way possible. It's a nanny wagging his finger at people who put it more honest work in one day than he ever did in his whole miserable life. It's the scolding of a resentful ward heeler who knows he never would have been elected if he was a white guy named Barry Olsen instead of Barack Obama.

  • Tony||

    Being black and named Barack Hussein Obama. It's practically unfair all the advantages he had going into running for president!

  • Trumptard||

    Very true. In 1950 this would have hurt him. But in 2008, it was his platform.

  • fndr5||

    The point remains that I, and apparently millions of other people didn't take it that way at all. You did because that's how it makes sense to you. But the point of the article is giving an "honest" evaluation and having it quite literally stated in the next few lines. You can take that however you want, the same as people can take Trump's statement however they want. Does that make them more or less "dishonest" than you?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Obama and people like him didn't do shit to build the internet, or roads. They aren't scientists or construction workers. The only thing they contributed was money, confiscated from the same fucking taxpayer that they're wagging their goddamn finger at and telling them they owe their success to the government.

  • fndr5||

    This pretty much disregards what he is saying in his statement. Again, I would reference my reply to Red Rocks

  • ant1sthenes||

    You're disregarding what he isn't saying in his statement, but which is implied with all the subtlety of a Michael Bay movie: "Fuck you. Pay me."

  • fndr5||

    that same projection is what is being pointed out in the article about Trump's statements.

    You are taking his comments that way, which is your right. It COULD even be that he meant it that way. But you are on as shaky ground as the people raking Trump over the coals for his statements because you are extracting meaning from statements that aren't explicit in the same way.

  • Tony||

    How fucking difficult is it to understand the concept though?

    There would be no advanced industry without socially funded infrastructure and services. It's blindingly simple. Terribly inconvenient for libertarian dogma, but that's your problem.

  • BYODB||

    Odd, then, that the internet exists in it's current form. Or that the industrial revolution happened at all. Or that Netflix has actually built infrastructure on it's own.

  • fndr5||

    It's a bit confusing to discern just what you are trying to say. If you're trying to make the point that these things would have happened without interference from the government, you could speculate that but that's all it would be. There are plenty of direct lines from government funding to advances in technology and medicine to name a few. Most libertarians would say that it is immoral to confiscate someone's wealth to decide that those are worthy goals because that person may never see the benefit of that advance. That theoretical argument can be made, but you would have to weigh that against other theoretical arguments like, perhaps that person never got anything from the internet, ever, but their child was able to learn about something from Web MD (or something else) that greatly improved their life. Is your theoretical argument more valid? Why?

  • fndr5||

    It's a bit confusing to discern just what you are trying to say. If you're trying to make the point that these things would have happened without interference from the government, you could speculate that but that's all it would be. There are plenty of direct lines from government funding to advances in technology and medicine to name a few. Most libertarians would say that it is immoral to confiscate someone's wealth to decide that those are worthy goals because that person may never see the benefit of that advance. That theoretical argument can be made, but you would have to weigh that against other theoretical arguments like, perhaps that person never got anything from the internet, ever, but their child was able to learn about something from Web MD (or something else) that greatly improved their life. Is your theoretical argument more valid? Why?

  • Trumptard||

    List the direct lines, and lets talk about them.

    BTW, the argument is whether there should be any government, the argument is whether the state should be involved in just about everything. Obama believes the latter, right-thinking people don't.

  • Trumptard||

    Or that we have language, or food in cities, or that a pencil gets made.

  • Azathoth!!||

    What Jackand Ace is doing right now is regurgitating the spin that we were swamped with as every aspect of the mainstream media rationalized away Obama's comment. 'He meant this', 'He was REALLY talking about...', 'Let me explain...'

    When he made his speech--which was reported and printed in toto all over the place, he WAS NOT talking about roads and bridges as a specific.

    He was talking about all the help that we supposedly get from government and from others as being the driving impetus behind all ambition.

    We don't just 'get' anything from government. See those bridges and roads? I PAID for them. With MY money. So no, you didn't GIVE me anything.

    And that, above, was the general response from beings capable of rational thought.

    Beings such as Jackand Ace and his ilk simply vomited out whatever their masters told them.

  • Voros McCracken||

    The son of Anwar Awlaki is appalled at the idea of an American president killing someone just because they happen to be related to a bad guy.

  • Tony||

    Characterizing mental health issues as a matter of strength is like the number one no-no for activists. Yes, you can be generous and give Trump a pass for that sentence. But why? Has the media been generous to Hillary Clinton? Have you? Or is her every uttered syllable parsed? The spray-tanned giant scrotum already said John McCain was weak for being a POW. He clearly has such views. He clearly doesn't know what the hell he's talking about on this or any other issue. This is a lot of column inches of butthurt. Way out of proportion to the problem. Which should sound familiar.

  • Jimmy Free Trade Pirate||

    Hey Tony.
    I found the perfect soundtrack for you posts.
    =D
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFiPANvxfDg

  • freedomlover||

    "He clearly has such views."

    So, you've gotten inside his head?

  • josh||

    part of this is that politicians are constantly saying they misspoke, or were taken out of context when they're called on their shit. so they then forfeit the benefit of the doubt when they actually did misspeak or were taken out of context.

    oddly enough, it's the driving force behind trump's candidacy...it's not that he's the answer to politics as usual, but that all the ridiculous stuff he says and does is given less weight b/c people have been trained to ignore half of what anyone running for office says or does anyway. when you dilute the crazy half of trump, you get someone more acceptable because you only focus on his bio -not a politician, businessman, etc- which gives him a real chance.

  • fndr5||

    Not that I know specifically what you're referring to when you say the "crazy half", the question for me is does that guy even make it out of the primaries? What would put him above the rest of the field? The Republicans have had billionaires run for office before. To the best of my knowledge I don't believe any of them were ever elected.

  • josh||

    i think he gets thru the primaries if you subtract the crazy. i guess we can debate about what specifically that would mean he would've done different, but just speaking generally, i think he's much better off right now if he was capable of such a thing. i think his greatest strength was a divided primary vote and he found a niche that few people thought was available...anti-free trade, etc. who knows for sure though...

  • fndr5||

    Honestly I really don't think he gets through the primary without the crazy. He wouldn't have had the media's attention the way he had without the crazy. He also wouldn't have the rally's he's had as a strong part of why people went is to see what crazy thing was going to happen. I don't see anything distinct or really even that conservative about what amounts to his platform. As far as I can tell, he is a cult of personality leader that gets by on well practiced selling methods and entertainment value. He definitely would have been out-crazied and outed as a non-conservative without the distractions. (in my humble opinion)

  • Nick W B||

    While I agree Trump wasn't trying to be mean to the veterans, he does suggest that needing help with PTSD is a sign of weakness. "...you're strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can't handle it..." That's not a responsible way to discuss mental disorders, as it can shame people who need to seek help.

  • freedomlover||

    National Enquirer +1
    American Public -5

    Is anyone surprised? I mean, really.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    So much for Johnston. Time to suck up to the readers you've been insulting the past 6 months.

  • bacchys||

    Considering the massive overlap between those who stupidly went hyperapastic over Obama's "you didn't build that" comments and those who- however reluctantly- support the orange authoritarian for President, it's rather satisfying seeing all this.

    Idiots and petards and whatnot...

  • grtroes||

    Folks, media-bashing is fun, but the controversy is legitimate. This is what Trump said (I have put the crucial words in ALL CAPS:

    ".......they see things that maybe a lot of folks in this room have seen many times over, and YOU'RE STRONG AND YOU CAN HANDLE IT, but a lot of people can't handle it.........."

    I am a Vietnam combat veteran. My platoon saw its share of action. We "saw things". I did not suffer PTSD. But one of my soldiers did end up with the disorder. He went home with two silvers stars, three bronze stars for heroism, an army commendation medal for valor, and two purple heart medals. He was one of the finest soldiers in our division. He was the antithesis of weak.

    Brain Fart clearly and unequivocally declared that "strong" people can handle the horrors of war. The crystal-clear implication is that people who are not strong cannot handle it. People who are not strong, are ....WEAK.

    No amount of huffing and puffing in this comments section can erase the absolutely clear fact that Donald Trump reinforced the longstanding lie that soldiers get PTSD because they are not strong. Not strong = weak. So hate the media if you want, but Trump deserves the bashing he is getting for essentially saying that PTSD sufferers are suffering because they are candy-ass weaklings. As a bona fide combat vet, that is the message I got from Trump's statement.

  • ranrod||

    Mental health gun control is a weapon against the people is communist in origin..

    Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

    Deceptive Transformation: The Truth of Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control..
    The idea of using mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences, or the studying of human behavior has its roots in early twentieth century Russia when Ivan Pavlov developed his "classical conditioning" theories. In fact, Pavlov was disturbed that Vladimir Lenin would use these conditioning methods against the people in order to get them to accept communism. Since that time the social sciences have been used as a means of maintaining control over populations and getting them to accept their own down fall. This is happening today in the United States as our universities and public schools have long ago adopted educational techniques based on the social sciences and classical conditioning methods.

  • ranrod||

    Subjects like White Privilege and Multiculturalism are used to demoralize our population, create a guilt consciousness and silence us into accepting a new agenda based on the idea that we have been unfair, and our lifestyles are oppressive, and offensive to others. This agenda dates back to the early twentieth century; however, it saw some of its most major advances in the mid 1900's after the U.N. was created in 1945. While many people today view the Democrat Party as being made mostly of communists or socialists; the sad truth is that the Republican Party is just as responsible for what we are seeing in education and culture in the United States today.

    As I wrote in "Not on My Watch: Exposing the Marxist Agenda in Education," Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, two presidents that were considered American Patriots, actually signed agreements with the Soviet Union that gave them influence over U.S. education, culture, scientific and technological research, radio, television and finally, medicine. This is according to U.S. Department of Education whistle blower, Charlotte Iserbyt. It is the area of medicine that should draw your attention because as mentioned earlier, Soviet medicine revolved around the idea of mental health, and classifying people that were opposed to communist objectives as being mentally ill. This is where the Surgeon General's claims about banning guns being a part of medicine comes from.

  • ranrod||

    Slowly but surely, they will work to associate gun ownership with mental illness. From the 45 goals of the Communist Party USA

    (Note: Many websites are now appearing claiming this list of communist goals to be a hoax. If you read them for yourself you will see many have been accomplished and that they bear a striking resemblance to many things currently happening in the U.S. The claims that they are a hoax could be a deliberate misinformation campaign headed by the Information Regulatory Affairs office led by none other than Cass Sunstein. Just looking at the state of our society, it is clear that these goals are not a hoax.)
    While the move for an Article Five Convention seems to be gaining momentum, you should take heed. There is another constitution waiting in the winds and it won't protect your rights to keep and bear arms.

    Freedomoutpost

  • malek||

    This is an outrage. The government did not need to keep all that silver as evidence. They could have kept some pieces owned by the defendants and used sworn affidavits, photographs, and other records to establish the existence of the evidence in court. Early on, yalla shoot they could have ordered the silver to be returned to those who owned it. But a couple of years down the road, the legitimate owners of the property are still twisting in the wind, with no recourse, except perhaps to sue the government, entailing the expense of legal assistance, not to mention time and effort wasted. I heard a rumor that the government was making plans to AUCTION OFF that "evidence" after holding it for however arbitrarily long suited their purposes. اخبار مصر

  • retiredfire||

    In all these comments, there seems to be forgotten, the extra threat Trump has displayed towards the MSM, that has made them lose their shit - he wants to take away their special, court-ordered protection.
    The press has been given this super-freedom, that lets them get away with printing shit that is patently untrue but someone has to prove all kinds of intent - how does one prove what a reporter is thinking? - before any action could be taken against them, that would be easily done, if the same thing was said by a private citizen.
    That scares the shit out of media types. They might have to make sure that what they say is true. Oh, the horrors!
    Then, there is this whole concept of "journalists" being able to "protect their sources", which is a way the can make shit up ,and be able to claim it came from someone else, that they get to "protect".
    I'm not much of a fan of Trump, but on this I am with him. The First Amendment has "freedom of speech" and "freedom of the press", right next to each other, in the same language. That the courts have allowed to be carved out this special freedom for "journalists" is contrary to what the plain language of the Constitution lays out.

  • MaleMatters||

    What's really shameful is that reporters, of all people, especially today, know they shouldn't use generalizations, as in:

    "Trump Appears to Suggest that Veterans with PTSD Are Not 'Strong.'"

    Consider the second part: "...Veterans with PTSD Are Not 'Strong.'"

    Trump said "a lot of people are not strong." He did not say, as Politico's title imparts, "all veterans who have seen combat are not strong."

  • fndr5||

    I'm sorry but you are incorrect. The headline say Veterans with PTSD - not all veterans who have seen combat are not strong as you suggest. The whole point of this dissection is that he used the word strong in reference to the people in the room who "could handle it".

    "and you're strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can't handle it"

    You would have to look past this statement completely or dismiss it is misspeak to say that he doesn't appear to call veterans with PTSD weak.

    You're strong you can handle it ---- as differentiated from--- a lot of people (presumably with PTSD) that can't. If people that can handle it are strong, it is very reasonable to take that statement in a singular reading and draw from it that those that cannot "handle it" are not strong.

    The point the author was making is that it's not fair to read that statement in a singular manner, but in the context of the conversation thereby negating this negative connotation.

  • Freedomist||

    This all reminds me of when General Patton called PTSD inflicted soldiers cowards. He was forced to apologize. I'm not suggesting what Trump said is as "deplorable" as what Patton said, but he needs to be more careful his remarks won't be taken out of context. On the other hand, Trump said captured soldiers are not heroes. In some context, he's not wrong, but the optics were bad for him.

  • Freedomist||

    Now that I think about it, I too am having trouble thinking of one foreign leader I admire. Rather than Johnson having a mind fart over the question, he could have just said none. As for PTSD, if I were Trump, I would have pivoted to the fact that cannabis and ecstasy both show promise as a PTSD treatment, despite both being Schedule 1 drugs with supposedly has no medical benefit. So many missed opportunities for both Trump and Johnson.

  • Hank Phillips||

    That foreign leaders crap is an old mystical conservative prohibitionist trap laid for hippies 40 years ago:
    Prohibitionist: how many of the superstitious nazis trying to jail you over victimless fun do you admire?
    Hippie: none.
    Prohibitionist: wah yew are downright onfriendly bwah! Don't yew ever set foot in Muskogee or we'll string yew up!

  • Hank Phillips||

    Anyone who watches teevee is begging to be insulted.

  • vek||

    This is what I've been scratching my head about the whole time. Trump is wrong as fuck on plenty of things. Bitch about those. But the left wing media outlets have taken dozens of things, that any normal person could very easily interpret in the way Trump most likely meant it, and twisted it into the worst possible meaning, even though that's been the less likely one.

    This isn't even the strongest example of that. Sadly Reason, what with so many "left libertarians," has done the exact same thing. Attack people on legitimate grounds, for legitimate reasons... Not by distorting and intentionally misinterpreting their statements. This guy gives everybody PLENTY of ammo, there's no need to be disingenuous.

  • Brian Macker||

    The opposite of "you're strong and you can handle it" is "you're not strong or you can not handle it" which is the same as "you're not strong, or strong and you can not handle it". So Trumps words do in fact assume that some strong people cannot handle it. Also he was talking to a room. If he said that the people in the room are "beautiful and fit" that does not mean that he thinks everyone outside the room is "ugly and unfit". It means that he has left open the possibility that others outside the room are "not beautiful or not fit", although it also is not actually a statement about people outside the room. They also morphed "not strong" to "weak" which is not neccesarily valid either.

    Maybe he sees a continuum from strong, to normal, to weak. You can't just flip things around like that. Just like if he said "Everyone here is human" to a crowd that would not imply he thought that people outside the room were all aliens, nor does it exclude the possibility that there are dogs and cats outside the room. This misinterpretation of his words requires quite a bit bending over backwards to be uncharitable.

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