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Bob Woodward Is Right: The Press Is 'Emotionally Unhinged' About Trump

The legendary newsman calls for more reporting rather than more outrage or puffery.

Here's what The Washington Post's Bob Woodward has to say about media coverage of Donald Trump:

BOB WOODWARD at Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, Fla., shortly after CNN sues White House over @Acosta :: "In the news media there has been an emotional reaction to Trump ... too many people for Trump or against Trump have become emotionally unhinged about this."

In subsequent tweets, NBC's Dylan Byers adds:

WOODWARD on CNN lawsuit: "This is a negative ... Trump is sitting around saying, 'This is great.'"... "When we engage in [Trump's strategy] we're taking his bait."...

+ WOODWARD: "The remedy [isn't a lawsuit], it's more serious reporting about what he's doing."

SIPA/NewscomSIPA/NewscomThis strikes me as essentially correct—and it's worth noting that Woodward is talking about both pro- and anti-Trump folks. Although the latter vastly outnumber the former in the press, there's no question that Trump Derangement Syndrome cuts both ways. Recall, for instance, the Wall Street Journal piece by David Gelernter about "The Real Reason They Hate Trump" for a classic example of pro-Trump derangement.

Woodward's comments call to mind recent remarks by Jon Stewart. The former Daily Show host told CNN (of all places):

[Journalists are] personally wounded and offended by this man. He baits them and they dive in, and what he's done well, I thought, is appeal to their own narcissism, to their own ego...

It's all about the fight. He's able to tune out everything else and get people just focused on the fight and he's going to win that fight.

Stewart is right. Anybody who tries to go toe-to-toe with Trump reliably ends up getting flattened or, at the very least, wasting his or her time. And Woodward is right to stress the need for more and better reporting, regardless of your feelings about the president.

For instance, is the president's deregulatory agenda actually doing anything? Trump partisans say yes while a recent report says no. What is the reality? Read this by Reason's Christian Britschgi to find out. Is the migrant caravan still an existential threat (no, it never was)? Did the end of the world speed up because the United States pulled out of the Paris climate agreement (no)? Is Trump adding massively to the national debt, which is coming due with a force that threatens to swallow economic growth for years to come (yes)?

There are a hell of a lot important stories to figure out. It would be a shame if the press lets its feelings get in the way of doing its basic job.

Photo Credit: SIPA/Newscom

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    REASON HEAL THYSELF.

    (Boom. Nailed it.)

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    No, that was your thumb....

  • Quixote||

    Contrary to Woodward's foolish suggestion, outrage and puffery is always a good thing in our great nation. However, in this case a so-called reporter sharply slashed his highly volatile arm across an innocent young woman's body on national TV, and must therefore pay the price. Heck, he should even be arrested for what he did. A night or two in the slammer would send a clear message to some of these fake news outlets. Maybe kind of the way we handled our nation's leading criminal "parodist." See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Longtobefree||

    A nail is a nail.

  • TuIpa||

    Big of you to finally admit that Nick.

  • JesseAz||

    He ruined it in his last paragraph.

  • MJBinAL||

    Yes

    "For instance, is the president's deregulatory agenda actually doing anything? Trump partisans say yes while a recent report says no. What is the reality? Read this by Reason's Christian Britschgi to find out.

    Is the migrant caravan still an existential threat (no, it never was)? (YES, if you consider it as part of a pattern.)

    Did the end of the world speed up because the United States pulled out of the Paris climate agreement (no)? (NO, because it was only a method for transferring money from the US to other countries in the first place and would have had no significant impact on climate)

    Is Trump adding massively to the national debt, which is coming due with a force that threatens to swallow economic growth for years to come (yes)? (NO, the deficit and debt are going up even as tax revenues hit all time highs. The problem is spending.)

  • Nuwanda||

    Yeah, but what's he admitting? He's not saying the media don't have good cause to be unhinged. After all, it's a given that Trump is wicked and that we'd all be better off with Hillary, especially those folks on the border, yada, yada.

    Rather, he's saying they should keep it in their pants so they can do a better job of demonising every move Trump makes.

  • Philadelphia Collins||

    Because they're lefty propagandists and Trump is a cold hard slap across the face after eight years of The One.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +1000

  • Ama-Gi Anarchist||

    Yea, I have to agree. The Orange Turd, for all his awfulness (and there is a lot he is awful about) is basically the polar opposite of Chocolate Nixon with regard to style. Their substance is essentially the same, but Trump makes no bones about being a lying jagoff, and anyone not already warped sees through it, while Obama's slimy Newspeak made you want to take a bath after listening to his bullshit. Never mind the fact the sycophantic shitheels in the media fawning all over themselves to talk about how brave/charismatic/intelligent et al Obama was in comparison.

  • BigT||

    The press couldn't see through either one. They are the fools.

  • Ben_||

    Because the entire left worldview is about making up stories and then deciding to believe them. They think Trump did bad things that hurt lots of people. They don't know what, or who, or when, but they're shaking with rage about whatever the incident was.

    Orange Man Bad.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Trump is such an angel that Melania can read by the light of his halo.

  • sarcasmic||

    But, but, but Reason hates Trump! Everyone says so! I'm so confuuuuuuuused!

  • Ben_||

    Reason complains about everything and everyone. It's part of being a Reason-style libertarian:
    - you know better than everyone else how to do everything,
    - but you never get to test your "knowledge" to see if you're actually right about anything because
    - none of the people who have authority are ever "your guys".

    It's the ultimate in armchair quarterbacking. And it will go on forever because there's no way for any of it to ever cross paths with real leaders trying to do real work while simultaneously trying to maintain the consent of the governed.

  • The Last American Hero||

    So what you're saying Ben is that we just need to support slaughtering a bunch more people in faraway places in undeclared wars and quit being so concerned about runaway spending so we can be considered "real leaders"?

    As for armchair quarterbacking, it's pretty simple. Nations exist on a spectrum of free to authoritarian. Countries that lean/move more towards free tend to prosper and be more at peace. Countries that lean more authoritarian tend to be stagnant and oppressive. Libertarians are there to try to remind people about this. As for the results, well the 20th century was essentially a big argument about freedom and authoritarianism, so I'll continue to maintain that freedom is the right direction.

  • Ben_||

    Must be nice being against everything and knowing everything you would do would magically work out great.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    America is one big magic show.

    Some new form of freedom and new fandangle limiting of government written on parchment.

    Watch it survive every attack by Lefty witches and warlocks.

  • Longtobefree||

    "So what you're saying Ben is that we just need to support slaughtering a bunch more people in faraway places "

    He said nothing at all like that.

  • CptNerd||

    Anyone who starts their argument with "so what you're saying is..." has lost the argument.

  • ||

    It's the ultimate in armchair quarterbacking.

    Accurately predicting the damage to be done by the policies of both parties before they are ever implemented is more than armchair quarterbacking.

  • GeoffB1972||

    No, it's no more than screaming, "Don't go in there!" while watching a horror movie. The script is already written and your hollering isn't going to change it.

  • MJBinAL||

    No, it is exactly armchair quarterbacking where you are smarter than every coach in the league.

    You are not going to play the game. Not going to run any plays. Not going to train. No sweat, no bruises, no pain, just certainty you will always be right.

    Bluntly, you will accomplish 100% of nothing.

    Like the Indian Rain Man, you can predict rain, day after day and year after year, knowing that it is only a matter of time until you are correct.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Way to entirely miss the point of libertarianism, Ben.

    It's not that we know better than everyone else how to do everything. We DON'T. But neither do you, nor does Trump, nor do any of the Dems, nor anybody else. What we're against are those self-proclaimed "leaders" who are so damn smart, they want to dictate what is best for everybody. In the process, they seek to gain power over others, but only for our own good...really, they swear the ever-increasing power is just a byproduct of their oh so noble intentions. Yeah right. No thanks.

    We are just smart enough to decide what's best for us, in our own individual lives. We extend the same courtesy to others to be able to make their own choices, but we damn well expect that courtesy to be returned.

    This is essentially why we favor government to be as small as possible (or even non-existent for some of us). It's because the more government does, the more it takes away people's ability to make individual choices.

  • Barrie||

    Well said.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Yes, well said, but Ben is right in the context of the 90% of the population that believe in a proscribed program for managing humans, led by a magical leader. They just can't agree on what program to follow/impose.

  • sarcasmic||

    Pretty much. Libertarians are a humble lot. We don't want to impose our will on others.

    Thing is, not imposing our will on others would require forcing those who currently impose their will on others to stop.

    It would take force to force those who currently use force to stop using force.

    In order to achieve liberty, we would have to impose it upon people.

    Liberty is actually an imposition! It's tyranny since it requires force!

    I think my head is going to explode!

    Aaaauuugghhh!

    Sorry. I was using Tony logic there. It's all good. Yeah, well said. Problem is that people who want to control and be controlled do not like the idea of nobody in control, and they are in control.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Anarchists acting like they are Libertarians. Hahaha.

  • MoreFreedom||

    Just keep repeating: if you want freedom, you first have to be willing to give it to others.

    People who don't want you to have freedom, are using force against you.

  • Ben_||

    That needs to be accompanied by less of an "everyone besides us is either stupid or evil or both" for making whatever decision.

    Decisions go wrong. Armchair quarterbacks never call the wrong plays though.

  • MJBinAL||

    Bingo.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    with real leaders trying to do real work while simultaneously trying to maintain the consent of the governed.

    Haha. Hahahahaha. [slaps thigh] Hahaha.

  • ||

    You laugh, but maintaining the consent of the governed is the tricky part. Sometimes it involves guns.

  • BYODB||

    And it requires some sort of explicit exit strategy for when that consent is no longer there, and after the Civil War effectively there is no way to leave the Union except as an individual, and that assumes that you can find some other place that will take you.

    States, for example, can not decide that the FedGov is too overreaching and declare that it's leaving. The same goes for cities and counties and every other political subdivision of the nation.

    Not so sure it was a great idea to make it impossible to leave the Union, and it's amusing that both California and Texas (minorities in both, admittedly) seem to think it would serve them well to be able to do so. Even more bizarre is that the EU seems to have learned that lesson better than we did.

  • Fancylad||

    See:
    @Suderman
    @Dalmia
    @Boehm
    @ENB
    @Shackford

  • Here for the outrage||

    ENB isn't that bad, she simply lets the rest of the clowns on that list screech for auditions at the Atlantic

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I'm not sure Shackford belongs on that list either.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Either should Boehm.

  • ||

    Yeah - it's really just Suderman and Dalmia. Suderman is well-intentioned, but I think part of the trouble is that they wanted someone who was willing to do deep dives into healthcare policy and the only person you're going to find willing to do that is someone who finds policy fascinating for its own sake. But his "you can't just not have a national healthcare policy" stance shows a fundamental lack of sympathy for certain strains of libertarian thought. And I get the impression from podcasts that he gets shit from the other staffers for it. They seem to have their doubts about Soave, sometimes, too.

    Why they still publish Dalmia I don't even know.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I love Shihka, because she puts so many people here into conniption fits. But putting aside her immigration views, what has Shikha written about other issues that violates libertarian orthodoxy?

  • Inigo Montoya||

    I remember reading that Shikha was supposedly good on Detroit-related stuff (I think that's her home turf) from a libertarian perspective, but I don't recall actually seeing anything like that.

    For the record, she does NOT put me into conniption fits, but I am more or less open borders anyway. (In the sense that, if you have a marketable skill and you find someone to pay you for that skill, go for it regardless of where in the world it is.) Where I draw the line is people moving and then not working at all. I'm not sure if government is sometimes to blame for that rather than laziness, but it stinks either way.

    Shikha's biggest problem, IMO, is that she is a one trick pony. I get that immigration is her issue, but god, give it a rest sometimes! Robby's purview is collegiate craziness, but even he sometimes writes about other stuff.

  • ||

    Shikha's biggest problem, IMO, is that she is a one trick pony.

    I'm also pretty much an open-borders guy, but I find that her arguments are often dishonest and not really coming at the issue from a libertarian perspective. Which in this neck of the woods does more harm than good.

  • ||

    But putting aside her immigration views, what has Shikha written about other issues?

    An open question, yes.

  • sarcasmic||

    I thought her latest piece was well reasoned and thought provoking.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    I'll say it. I actually like Shikha when she writes about anything but immigration.

    The problem is as square=circle says, her immigration articles are often dishonest and I'd add smugly condescending if you're not already agreeing with her. It makes it harder to get over the author in order to let the points come across when she's being more fair-minded or rational on a topic.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You folks are just letting all the Reason staff off the hook.

  • Eddy||

    "Is the migrant caravan still an existential threat"

    I'm going to to say no.

    But if you want to ask "should the U. S. government prevent the migrant caravan from migrating on into the US"? that's a different question, isn't it?

  • Muzzled Woodchipper||

    Shhhhhhhh!

  • Longtobefree||

    Are you crazy? The next thing you be pretending that legal immigration and criminal border crossing are two different things.

  • MJBinAL||

    It is a deceptive question isn't it?

    Because everything about this topic is buried in lies.

    Even with Trump, would he really say that THIS caravan, alone and unique, is a existential threat? I would say not. However, like most, he does not see THIS caravan as a unique case, but rather a ramping up of the existing problem.

    Be realistic, Trump did not ramp up the border to deal with this caravan alone, but rather the multitude of caravans coming that did not get the same coverage. All intended to flood Border Control and the INS so as to get released rather than held while their applications and processed.

    I find the video of the caravan interesting. Mobile food trucks, trucks and busses for transportation, healthcare trucks, who is paying for all this stuff? If this folks have this kind of means to pay, how bad off could they have been? If someone else is paying for it ,,, why?

    Mexico, in this case, offered the caravan asylum in Mexico ... and they turned it down. If they are truly looking for asylum, why would they do this? Would they not be drawn to a country where they already spoke the language, and under international law (pfft) they are ONLY eligible for asylum in the first safe country they come to. What gives?

  • MJBinAL||

    And the open borders crowd lie about these caravans continually. Pictures of them show poor women and children even though it has been documented that over 90% of the folks in them are 20-something males. All about tugging on heartstrings you know.

    Trump says that his new EO requires that those applying for asylum come to the border stations. Sneaking in makes you ineligible. Why would this be an issue if they are REALLY coming here to apply? Would that not just make it easier on them?

  • Ron||

    pro Trump TDS is a reaction to Anti Trump TDS, the first does not occur without the other

  • Zeb||

    That's probably true. It's probably also true that you don't get President Trump without both.

  • sarcasmic||

    chicken, egg

  • ||

    I tend to agree with that.

    One is the original source of the virus as exemplified right after his election when we saw ( and continue to see) a collective retarded meltdown. The other is just a defensive mechanism to it. How else to respond to it?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Not sure. Does Trump as Mesiah count as TDS?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The people saying there is a pro-Trump tds are so infected with TDs they have no rational thought nor good opinions about politics.

    Why suddenly should they be believed about people who talk good and bad about Trump?

  • MJBinAL||

    Don't know, never seen or heard anyone allege Trump was the Messiah.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It would be a shame if the press lets its feelings get in the way of doing its basic job.

    The problem isn't that the TDS-suffering press isn't giving Trump a fair shake. It's that they're a) reporting on aesthetics alone or b) reporting Trump's bad policies like bad policy is unique to the Trump administration. The latter gives the impression to the news consumer that Trump foes are pure as the driven snow and their proposals are a viable remedy to Trump administration failings (real or imagined). It also leads to zero critical analysis of anything anyone on either side has to say.

  • Mithrandir||

    Well said Fist

  • MJBinAL||

    Yes, it IS well said.

  • Jerryskids||

    Ahem - what makes you think "doing its basic job" and "zero critical analysis" are somehow in conflict? The press straightforwardly reports the news only so long as the news is sensational or titillating or outrage-provoking. The press may hate Trump personally and professionally, but every damn minute of every damn day being "Trump, Trump, Trumpity, Trump" is more a reflection of ad sales than anything else, and ad sales is their basic job.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    If a brand new active volcano sprang up in the middle of LA, the MSM would find a way to blame Trump for it.

  • Fats of Fury||

    8 years of Obama coverage indicates you're wrong.

  • MJBinAL||

    This is a great point. A press looking for issues to blow up into things to sell ads would have had a field day during the Obama administration. But somehow, selling ads during Obama became less important than selling Obama as the Messiah. And Obama as Messiah was not far off from much of the "news" coverage.

  • Sevo||

    " "The remedy [isn't a lawsuit], it's more serious reporting about what he's doing.""

    How about even a small bit of serious reporting and a huge helping of treatment for TDS?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You're the kind of person who worked for Vichy France.

  • MJBinAL||

    You're the kind of person who sat in the coffeeshop and drank through the whole thing.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Stewart is right. Anybody who tries to go toe-to-toe with Trump reliably ends up getting flattened or, at the very least, wasting his or her time.

    LOL

    Hillary Clinton beat Drumpf by 3 million votes. Democrats just won a historic #BlueTsunami midterm election because he's so unpopular. Democrats are also guaranteed to beat him in 2020 ....... unless Robert Mueller removes him from office in 2019. Late night TV hosts are getting fantastic ratings by criticizing Drumpf relentlessly.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Hillary Clinton beat Drumpf by 3 million votes."

    1. Which still wasn't enough to give her an outright majority in the popular vote.

    2. There are only 535 votes that count and Trump won a majority of those.

  • MJBinAL||

    I keep seeing this point raised. You should at this point realize it is nonsense.

    The campaigns of ALL candidates for president are designed to obtain the maximum number of electoral college votes. For this reason the candidates seldom even appear in states that are overwhelmingly one party or the other. Hillary was not going to campaign in CA or NY for example and neither was Trump Both candidates campaigned mostly in states that might swing.

    If we had a popular vote system, they would have campaigned everywhere, and we have no idea how that election would have turned out. But we can be sure it would have been very different. You would have seen lots of focus for Hillary in California and NY rather than none because in a popular vote situation she would have been interested in getting more voter turnout.

    So, to put this simply, we have no idea if Trump would have also won a popular vote election. We do know that the popular vote from a electoral college election does not mean anything.

  • Ken Shultz||

    In last week's coverage of the immigrant caravan, I was struck again by the wisdom of Gillespie's quote from way back that Trump's critics take him literally but not seriously where Trump's supporters take him seriously but not literally.

    Trump's claim from more than a week ago that there might be terrorists among the caravan members was covered as if he were an insane buffoon. Then, last week, he claimed emergency powers to force all asylum seekers to come through border checkpoints.

    If his critics had covered the initial claim as a means to a reasonable end like that, their criticism would have been more effective. They might even have chimed in with how this is the kind of claims you might get from a president after the courts cited his campaign rhetoric as evidence against him in the travel ban case.

    But nooooOOOOOOooooo! They gotta go with the "Trump is Crazy headline" since that's where journalists with TDS live.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Trump's claim from more than a week ago that there might be terrorists among the caravan members was covered as if he were an insane buffoon.

    Trump gave no evidence or no proof for his claim. What do you think would be a "reasonable" response to that sort of thing? Give him the benefit of the doubt? Assume he's telling the truth? Why should an adversarial press or even a skeptical observer do those sorts of things? ESPECIALLY since Trump has a habit of stoking fear against certain groups?

    Why should Trump be held to lower standards than your typical Reason commenter who makes an unsubstantiated claim?

    All I ask is that you hold Trump to the *same* standard that you would hold anyone else in his position. Instead it seems like too many people around here are demanding that Trump be held to *lower* standards, and when anyone points this out, yell "TDS! TDS! TDS!"

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I would argue that the real TDS here is from his supporters when they get upset when people make *reasonable* criticisms of Trump. I agree that accusing Trump of being Hitler is out of line. But demanding that he present some sort of evidence for his claims? There is nothing wrong with that demand.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Look, a rabid TDS guy trying to flip it around.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""Trump gave no evidence or no proof for his claim. What do you think would be a "reasonable" response to that sort of thing"'

    Simple. When I have people telling me bullshit. I just say "prove it". A very reasonable two word response.
    However, since the media has been spending time criticizing the concept of asking for proof as a reasonable thing (Ford's accusation, Trump Russian collusion to win an election) I can understand why the media would not ask for proof.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I find it funny that them media now throwing around the "without proof" when talking about Trump would have never ran the below headline.

    Blasey Ford, without proof, accuses Kavanagh of sexual harassment.

  • Ken Shultz||

    According to the AUMF, Trump doesn't need proof.

    "(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    ----AUMF

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....f_the_AUMF

    Where does it say he needs proof?

    All he needs to do, under the AUMF, is determine himself that terrorists (he determines) are affiliated with Al Qaeda, and he can do whatever he wants.

    This is what Obama used to justify tracking all our phone calls among other things. No reason Trump can't use it, too.

    P.S. Because we hate what the AUMF says doesn't mean it doesn't say that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Just in case this isn't clear, if Trump determines that there may be terrorists in the caravan, then he is authorized by the AUMF to force them to seek asylum through checkpoints and use the military to do so.

    He's authorized to bomb the caravan in Mexico if he wants.

    If we don't want to see the AUMF used in this way, then we need to get rid of it.

    So, yeah, the next time Trump claims to suspect there may be terrorists somewhere, maybe we should take that statement seriously but not literally.

  • Bubba Jones||

    I agree with you but The counterargument is to change the president.

    Because we don't get upset when our guy does stuff. For all values of "our guy" and "stuff".

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You bring to light something Trump never gets credit for- finding a loophole in something Lefties supported to (1) get his way and (2) get public support for the plan (3) Lefties to go against the govenrment overreach they originally supported.

    Trump will get immigration numbers and policy back to what Americans want and get the AUMF scaled back because it too broad a military power. And probably get the border wall finished.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Relax, I was answering a question about how to respond in a reasonable way if someone offers something without proof.

    Whether or not that person has to provider you an answer is outside of the scope of my answer.

    In no way am I arguing about any of Trumps claims per se.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It was really a response to ChemJeff, where he wrote, "Trump gave no evidence or no proof for his claim."

    The fact is that the AUMF doesn't require the President to offer evidence or proof. He makes the determination himself.

    So, again, ChemJeff is out to lunch--making a point that doesn't matter and thinking it makes all the difference in the world.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Chemjeff and most Lefties hate that Trump is constantly putting in 3D chess "check" and they have to react to his moves.

  • CptNerd||

    They keep playing chess while Trump plays "fizzbin" with "Calvinball" rules.

  • BigT||

    "What do you think would be a "reasonable" response to that sort of thing?"

    A responsible press would investigate by going there and profiling as many caravaners as possible. Instead, they merely said the Prez needs to provide proof so he is crazy. THIS is TDS at work.

    In almost every case where Trump has made some assertion and the press said it was not so, Trump has been proven correct.
    Bugged his campaign - true
    Never colluded - true
    Rapists came illegally to US - true

    Only the Inaugural crowd size was an obvious gross exaggeration

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Trump gave no evidence or no proof for his claim. What do you think would be a "reasonable" response to that sort of thing?"

    Not only would it have been reasonable to assume that Trump might be making the claim to justify the invocation of emergency powers, but it also would have been accurate.

    Do you still not see that.

    This would have been an excellent opportunity for a libertarian journalist to suggest that it's high time to sunset the AUMF. Do you not understand why that is?

    Why is it important for you to believe that Trump is an insane buffoon? Is it more important for you to believe that Trump is a buffoon than it is for you to understand the truth?

  • BYODB||


    This would have been an excellent opportunity for a libertarian journalist to suggest that it's high time to sunset the AUMF.


    Yes, this is a great opportunity to remind people that liberty and rule of law are already dead and we're really talking about how close we are to the end-point of the Republic and Federalism.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I wouldn't go that far.

    The AUMF is a shitty document and needs to be sunseted at the very least.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It should be DoW or nothing.

    With a Declaration of War, the USA is all in or we do letters of marque or reprisal.

    The AUMF is a bullshit. It too broad a power with no quantified end in sight.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So, Ken, instead of assuming that he is using his usual scare tactics of trying to stoke fear of some scary out group in order to rile up his base before an election, you want us to think that he is executing some sinister plot to have some thin pretext for using the AUMF to bomb Guatemalan migrants? I'm not sure you're helping his case here. That actually sounds nuttier than the "he's an insane buffoon" argument.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I didn't say he was using the AUMF to bomb Guatemalan Honduran migrants. I said the AUMF authorizes him to do so--according to the text of the document.. The Obama administration used it to justify bombing Yemen and using the NSA to track all of our phone calls. If Trump uses the AUMF to justify his emergency powers in using the military to stop the caravan or anyone else from coming across the border and asking for asylum, why would that be nutty? That would only make him the third president in a row to use the AUMF to do whatever he wants. Nothing nutty about it.

    What's nutty is not being able to tell between an insane buffoon and a president setting himself up to justify a claim of emergency powers--which is exactly what he did. It's a special kind of nutty, actually. It's called TDS. You can't tell the difference between people criticizing the president and people who aren't because you think the rational explanations are nutty whenever Trump is involved, then you have TDS. If you can't tell when people are criticizing the president's polices because they don't share in your other delusions, then that's another clear sign that you have TDS.

  • Nardz||

    Once again, Jeff shows that race is all that matters (to him)

  • Nardz||

    Or, more accurately, racism is Jeff's primary value - and it remains vital that he find opportunity to project it onto others

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    The US military is not going to bomb Guatemalan migrants. It's silly to think it would be ordered.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Of course, Trump isn't going to bomb the caravan. The point is that he's authorized to do so by the text of the document, and he's likely to be depending on that standing interpretation to justify his emergency powers power-grab and force asylum seekers to come through checkpoints.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Youre arguing that the letter of the law (AUMF) allows things, to many people who are fine with tons of vague laws to be on the books because they think their guy won't abuse the letter of the law.

    States legalizing weed is cool but fighting drug prohibiton at the federal level by declaring the Controlled substances Act unconstitutional is crazy talk.

  • BYODB||

    I see that the claims of the Mexican president carries no weight with you. Maybe it shouldn't, but it seems that you were completely unaware of the claim.

  • John||

    If the media did their jobs and just reported the facts, they would have to admit that Trump is just another President and not "outside the normal realms of being wrong" as PJ O'Rourke put it. And if they did that, they would have to admit that they are just partisan hacks and not brave soldiers in the RESISTENCE to the dark night of fascism falling on America.

    The truth is we do not live in particlarly periless times and reporters are not noble resisters to evil. And no one wants that.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    They are trying to psyche their more unstable followers into violence and election cheating. Everything can be rationalized if you are Resisting Pure Evil. Blatant cheating to keep the govt growing at 5% per year instead of 4%? Not so much.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Everything can be rationalized if you are Resisting Pure Evil

    Kurt Schlichter agrees with you.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    And everyone thinks, God is on their side. Or maybe just the moral high ground equivalent of a deity.

    I've enjoyed reading Schlichter. Such vicarious pleasure he provides.

  • BigT||

    Hillary agrees as well.

    The question is who defines what is evil. Government is certainly evil, but in some ways necessary.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Reporters are in the entertainment business. They generate eyeballs for advertisements.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Almost none of them say, think, or believe this though.

    Most of them believe that they're practically the most important people in the world and that society couldn't possibly exist without them.

  • sarcasmic||

    The job of the news is to sell advertising. Unbiased facts don't sell. Sensationalism does.

  • sarcasmic||

    Or what Bubba said.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    They appear to have said the same thing. Click bait; much of what is on Yahoo is just that. They will run a headline from some foppish rag like "Esquire" only to get people to log on to post a comment; equals traffic which sells ads.

  • ||

    WHAT?! You mean Jim Acosta isn't a natural born resister?!

    /faints. Asks for San Benedetto water.

  • Dillinger||

    >>>It would be a shame if the press lets its feelings get in the way of doing its basic job.

    wow.

  • Bubba Jones||

    "For instance, is the president's deregulatory agenda actually doing anything? Trump partisans say yes while a recent report says no."

    "Report" implies some sort of unbiased analysis.

  • Toranth||

    The Reason article linked is bizarre.
    It counts things differently for Trump and Obama, and switches between 'significant' regulatory acts and others without qualification. It sometimes denies that repealing a pending regulation is deregulatory, while at other times counts pending regulations as 'new' ones. In both administrations, it counts actions taken by Congress as taken by the administration as well.

    It's almost as if Britschgi was pushing something, rather than reporting on it...

  • General_Tso||

    Look in the mirror, Reason.

  • No Yards Penalty||

    I see the Contard hillbillies took Trumps cock out of their asses just long enough this morning to wander over here from Brietard and The Federalist to cry their little bitch tears about Reason. Shouldn't you little bitches think about joining the other little bitches at, remind me where that last batch of whining fauxbertarian bitches went shortly after the 2016 election...metrohillbillitarian.com or something...

  • The Last American Hero||

    6.5/10. You had me until you linked it to the 2016 election bit. Worthy effort, though.

  • TuIpa||

    Cry more shreek.

  • John||

    Way to go with the homophobic slur. It always comes down to that with you wierdos doens't it? You really don't seem to be very comfortable with your sexuality.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Homophobic slut shaming.

  • Longtobefree||

    True fact: sluts have no shame.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    You sound like the Rev; if you are please accept my daily fuck off.

  • ||

    The Rev doesn't usually fantasize about Trump's boy parts, he's generally wishing he could shove his content into your orifices while you scream and cry. Sort of more disturbing, really.

  • Tony||

    Maybe libertarians at least should get a little worked up over the president shitting on the first amendment. Obviously it doesn't really matter, as the entire planet is simply in a holding pattern waiting for him to succumb to his cheeseburgers and sedentariness, or at worst the election of 2020. I don't think Trump has a strategy, and it's hard to know how to react to his toddler-like approach to being the most powerful man in the world. I refuse to call his histrionic misanthropy and paranoia a strategy. He could climb on top of his lectern and take a wet shit and his followers would cheer. In case anyone didn't notice, he didn't exactly do much for himself in the last election with this shtick.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Did he spy on journalist and threaten to put them in jail? ....oh wait, that was Obama.

  • Tony||

    Yes, that one bad thing Obama did was outrageous. Can we talk about the insane man currently serving in the office now?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    You didn't talk badly about the previous one when he was in the office. Why not keep your head in the sand for another 8 years?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Outrageous... but Tony voted for him a second time.

  • Tony||

    After very careful thought I found Senator-Elect Romney to be the worse option of the two.

  • BigT||

    You might have missed O'Bama's numerous criticisms of FOX, famously Hannity. But that was OK by you since Hannity criticized him.

    Pot...kettle

  • Zeb||

    I don't doubt that Trump is shitting on the first amendment in some way or other. But he's hardly worse than anyone else. Our previous president, for example, wanted the government to be able to punish people for publishing certain books or movies close to an election.

  • John||

    I don't doubt that Trump is shitting on the first amendment in some way or other.

    If you don't doubt it, then you ought to be able to explain how he is. If you can't explain how he is, you should doubt that he is.

  • ||

    Yeah - and in this particular case I don't doubt that Tony is referring to Acosta, which is silly. The First Amendment doesn't enshrine a universal right to be present at presidential press conferences. You might argue that Trump violated some sort of procedure by stripping his pass without 'due process,' but that doesn't have anything to do with the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not create a special class of licensed journalists who are the only ones authorized to speak freely even if a lot of journalists like to pretend that that's what it is.

  • Brian||

    "The First Amendment does not create a special class of licensed journalists who are the only ones authorized to speak freely even if a lot of journalists like to pretend that that's what it is."

    And their pretense is, in fact, shitting on the first amendment.

  • BYODB||


    And their pretense is, in fact, shitting on the first amendment.

    Indeed it is. Amusingly, the ONLY PERSON I have heard talk about this ANYWHERE has been Mark Levin on AM radio. Maybe it's because Mark Levin says that he isn't a journalist, so he lacks that particular delusion. (Not that he doesn't have other delusions, mind you.)

  • ||

    I heard Levin on that recently, too - probably why it's fresh in my mind.

  • BYODB||

    As much as I disagree with him on a number of subjects (immigration, foreign policy, and justice issues spring readily to mind) he's at least thoughtful and can construct a semi-honest argument. It's pathetic that those qualities are so rare in the profession.

  • ||

    Yeah - he gets a bit shouty for my taste, but I like that he actually does reason. That's gotten really rare.

  • ||

    And their pretense is, in fact, shitting on the first amendment.

    Indeed - shitting hard.

  • BYODB||

    ^ This.

    People that think Acosta's 'first amendment rights' were violated are the same types of morons who think that being a member of 'the press' confers some extra double-secret first amendment rights to that person.

    Spoiler alert: journalists do not have superior rights to anyone else. Do you see any random non-press people being allowed to wander into a White House Press Conference? No? Then shut the fuck up.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""People that think Acosta's 'first amendment rights' were violated are the same types of morons who think that being a member of 'the press' confers some extra double-secret first amendment rights to that person."'

    I think you give them too much credit for thinking beyond Trump do, Trump bad.

    They don't know shit about the 1A. Them saying it doesn't cover hate speech is an example of their ignorance regarding the 1A.

  • Paulpemb||

    Not to mention, given their logic on the 2nd amendment, the 1st amendment shouldn't cover CNN and Acosta's right to broadcast from the White House press briefing room, because television didn't exist when the 1st amendment was written.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    People in the media think the 1st amendment specifically protects them and that the freedom of the press applies to them specifically and not anyone producing written words.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    LOL Tony you fucking hate the first amendment, along with every other part of the Bill of Rights.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Maybe you should crack a history book and read up on Woodrow Wilson if you want to see what a president shitting on the First Amendment really looks like.

  • Tony||

    "The press is the enemy of the people."

    Again, I'm a Trump optimist at the moment. I don't think he'll destroy the constitution. He wants to, but I think institutions will prevent him. I'd hate to be wrong.

    But it would be prudent to be alarmed by the fact that his actions and rhetoric against the press are turning his redneck followers into scary little fascists.

  • soldiermedic76||

    He is turning someone into fascists, but it isn't his followers. One side is definitely busing the tactics the fascists used to gain power, but ironically it is those who label themselves anti-fascists. Also, one side is far closer to fascism in it's economic policies, i.e. strong government control of all aspects of private Enterprise and government control/ownership of certain essential industries (e.g. healthcare, energy production, etc). As for the anti-semitism, that isn't a requirement for fascism per second, but there are at least as many (if not more) Anti-Semitics on the left these days.

  • Tony||

    Oh thank you, I did in fact order the biggest plate of horseshit on the menu this evening.

  • MJBinAL||

    Tony, you ARE the biggest plate of horseshit on the menu EVERY evening.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Bob Woodward Is Right: The Press Is 'Emotionally Unhinged' About Trump

    Glad that someone at Reason finally admits it.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    The first step down the road to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Glad to see Gillespie is taking that first step.

  • ||

    " Is Trump adding massively to the national debt, which is coming due with a force that threatens to swallow economic growth for years to come (yes)?"

    Not according to this:

    https://tinyurl.com/yaebxa77

  • JesseAz||

    The analysis that a veto proof spending increase is Trump's fault is idiotic from the get go.

  • Longtobefree||

    Technically, adding massively to the national debt can only start in the house of representatives. Something about spending bills, the constitution, and the like.

  • soldiermedic76||

    So many people (especially those who consider themselves educated) don't understand that the President has little to no control over federal spending. They can propose a budget but it is up to Congress to actually write it and pass it. The President can veto it and that is the extent of their power. But Congress can always override the veto.

  • ||

    This strikes me as essentially correct—and it's worth noting that Woodward is talking about both pro- and anti-Trump folks. Although the latter vastly outnumber the former in the press, there's no question that Trump Derangement Syndrome cuts both ways.

    Sure. There's also the possibility that regardless of Woodward's comments cutting both ways, Byers' solution doesn't cut equally in both directions. There may be problems with immigration, China, and trade and that acknowledging those facts and any/all views that support them doesn't necessarily make one pro-Trump the way left-leaning TDS sufferers like to assert.

    But then, what did you think was going to happen when we elected rhetorical Hitler? Serious policy discussions?

  • ||

    And it's pretty rich that a guy who just published a tell-all called Fear is complaining about over-emotional partisan bias in reporting.

  • BYODB||

    THANK YOU for mentioning that fact. There are many reasons why I loathe Woodward, but his unflinching hypocrisy is near the top of the list.

  • ||

    Yeah - I feel like he's the quintessential "Journalist With No Clothes." Like he's subject to Papal Infallibility, or something, just because he scooped Watergate.

  • BYODB||

    And he didn't 'scoop' anything, the story was dropped into his lap by a government leak. If not for the leak, no one would know who Woodward is. (Or Bernstein, for that matter.)

  • Jalene||

    Do I dare weigh in on this? Having read through the comments ... Ugh. I know I shouldn't... but... OK, I despise Trump -- everything about him, everything he says. It feels as though everything he and his administration is doing and has done is a direct, personal attack on me and everything I believe in (or want to believe). That's obviously untrue, logically and rationally. No doubt the media coverage of Trump plays into my feelings, amplifies them, makes them more visceral. Yet knowing that I'm being irrational doesn't change how frightened I am of this current administration; it makes it worse. Possibly because I have no control over anything that happens. And I think I am frightened because the culture of America often leads to a decided lack empathy for others, and Trump personifies that lack of empathy within American culture perfectly. He mirrors ourselves in ways that I do not wish to see or believe. I despise Trump for showing me that I was absolutely wrong about what I thought was true. And maybe others feel as I do...

  • BYODB||


    Do I dare weigh in on this? Having read through the comments ... Ugh. I know I shouldn't... but... OK, I despise Trump -- everything about him, everything he says.

    To take a page out of the media's playbook, why exactly do you hate Jews so much? I mean, since you despise everything Trump does or says that is.

  • Jalene||

    That seems a bit fallacious. It's quite an assumption to make a leap like that when I was clearly being hyperbolic on what I despise about Trump. But I see the point you are trying to make.

  • BYODB||

    It was absolutely intended to be as ridiculously hyperbolic as I could be without actually mentioning Hitler. I'm trying to burnish my journalist credentials, I suppose. ^_-

  • Jalene||

    :) Fair play then. Carry on.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I'm around a bunch of NYC liberals. Seems spot on to me. Where was the hyperbole?

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    You sound like the typical slave to the modern cult of the mentality of victimhood.

  • Jalene||

    But I don't see myself as a victim at all. Being frightened of something does not equate to victimhood.

  • TuIpa||

    It does when your fear is utterly irrational, and you embrace rather than reject it.

  • Jalene||

    I'm not embracing it, Tulpa. On the contrary, I am attempting to reject that irrationality by admitting it for what it is, taking ownership of it, instead of placing the blame on someone else. It's a work in progress...

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    When you say "I have no control over anything that happens", that to me strongly implies that you see yourself as a helpless victim of events happening all around you that you have no control over. You're not alone in this.

    While it's certainly true that most of us have little or no control over what others do, you have more control over your own life than you think, if you really want to. Take the initiative and be bold. Seize the day. What it is that you want to do in life?

  • Jalene||

    Like many people, I simply want to live my life without others telling me how best to do that, especially by those who make a career out of divisive politics.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Or make a hobby out of divisive politics.

    They are the ones that empower those who make a career out of it.

  • BigT||

    "I simply want to live my life without others telling me how best to do that"

    This is the essence of libertarianism. Republicans and more so Donkeys most definitely want to tell you how to live.

  • Mr. Weber||

    Totally agree. I can't even tell if I agree with any of his trade policies or deregulation since the very idea that this man is representing us on the World stage repulses me. He is a loathsome narcissist who sees his world as a reality show in which he must have an opponent and he must be victorious. By opponent, I'm not even talking about N Korea, I mean Rosie-F-ing-O'donell. It's sick and makes me a bit deranged.

    BTW, Acosta is an idiot and does not deserve the title journalist. I only fear the precedent set by booting him.

  • TuIpa||

    What precedent?

  • MJBinAL||

    Must the precedent set by Obama when he booted Fox News?

  • Social Justice is neither||

    Which President are you talking about? You do realize your entire characterization can be applied to Obama. He didn't see dictators around the world as opponents, but Republicans were to be crushed by any means necessary.

  • Paulpemb||

    Yeah, he didn't want to 'spike the football' after Osama bin Laden was killed, but Obamacare is Constitutional so take that, bitches!

    I wasn't too thrilled about Trump as a candidate, but I voted for him because I figured that at least if Trump did something bad, the media would hold him accountable, while Hillary could shred the Constitution and the media would run puff pieces on how 'scandal free' her administration is. Little did I know that Trump's election would drive the media so over the top crazy that they would lose all credibility, and then ask for seconds.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I still don't understand why anybody would even want to go to a White House press briefing, or any other government press briefing for that matter. They're all bullshit! They always have been and always will be. What is this desperate need to participate in the charades put on by whoever happens to be occupying the White House?

  • sarcasmic||

    Status. And it pays well.

  • Uncle Jay||

    The MSM has a right to be unhinged about Trump.
    He is not following the wise guidelines set forth by such kind, wonderful and understanding humanitarians like Castro, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.
    Trump needs to follow Maduro's prudent actions if America is to be a true socialist paradise like Venezuela.
    Get with the program, Mr. President!

  • TommyInIdaho||

    It's not just the press, this pandemic makes the 1942 Rabbititis outbreak look like a cakewalk.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    We are talking about a Press that believed the most important question to ask our previous president was what had most enchanted Mr Obama about the presidency.

    The fact that that was asked and treated as a serious inquiry shows you that the hatred and treatment this administration is just the flip side of a long history of press as propagandists for the DNC. Lifestyle puff pieces for any D, gottcha questions for any R and informing the public about policy or governance is tailored to fit if it's even considered.

  • soldiermedic76||

    Who adds debt? Who is in charge of writing and passing the budget? Have your heard of separation of powers?

  • MJBinAL||

    Let's see, the majority of the budget is "entitlements" and politically untouchable. So ususally the asshats like you want to point to the tax cuts, but federal tax revenue is at an all time high.

    So what, and who, would you want to hold accountable for the mess. (we agree it is a mess)

    I would suggest that both parties made the mess, it was pre-existing, and that Trump has had little to do with it.

  • MJBinAL||

    Obama on the other had, proposed, and got the Democrats to push through with large majorities in his first term, large amounts of new spending. The consequences of that, would also be inappropriate to place on Trump.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Hihn...

  • BigT||

    'facts'

    Haha haha!!!

  • Rockabilly||

    My pint of Ben & Jerry's #Resist is melting : ^ (

  • Sovereign||

    The entire issue can be boiled down to poor education about the difference between truth and fact. Most media believe they are one and the same thus anyone who disagrees with their truth is disagreeing with facts.

  • CptNerd||

    Thank you, someone who understands definitions are important.

  • Kehvan||

    "Is the migrant caravan still an existential threat (no, it never was)?"

    Where are you getting "existential threat?"

    That's a straw man. The so called, caravan, as in a group of people proceeding toward the United States, genuinely does exist, and how we respond to that determines if we get more of the same or the start of something different.

  • MJBinAL||

    ^Ass Hat^

  • aajax||

    Would anyone read straight up reporting about Trump? It would be too depressing. Reading that other people are distressed by his behavior at least allows us to feel we are not alone in being worried. All I ask is that they not distort the facts. That should not be necessary.

  • aajax||

    Would anyone read straight up reporting about Trump? It would be too depressing. Reading that other people are distressed by his behavior at least allows us to feel we are not alone in being worried. All I ask is that they not distort the facts. That should not be necessary.

  • Michael Donahue||

    Politics as with everything else is representative of the status quo & as such just as susceptible to the future meandering of its petty inefficiencies. There is an inexorable precision to the future & we are feeling its demands even now, as our behavior trends, as we in fact are molded.

  • majil||

    Acosta is a closet heterosexual

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