Saturday, October 31, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt twenty-four)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Two days earlier, The Wall Street Journal had published an excerpt of former national security adviser John Bolton’s book, The Room Where It Happened. In it, Bolton wrote of a meeting between Trump and Xi: “Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”

Trump went on. “Bob, watch what happens, okay. Remember, I told you, the stock market is close to an all-time high and we’re not finished with the pandemic yet. I have—I have a rally tomorrow night in Oklahoma. Over 1.2 million people have signed up. We can only take about 50, 60 thousand. Because, you know, it’s a big arena, right? But we can take another 22,000 in one arena, 40,000 in another. We’re going to have two arenas loaded. But think of that. Nobody ever had rallies like that.”

Friday, October 30, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt twenty-three)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Often when Fauci challenged Trump on something he had said, Trump would jump in and change the subject. Fauci marveled at Trump, who would hopscotch from one topic to another. “His attention span is like a minus number,” Fauci said privately.

Trump seemed interested in one outcome. “His sole purpose is to get reelected,” Fauci told an associate. Fauci was particularly disappointed in Kushner, who talked like a cheerleader as if everything was great.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt twenty-two)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Trump said my last book, Fear, “was horrendous, but that was my fault. I would’ve loved o have seen you. But they didn’t ell me you were calling. Now it’s a much different ballgame. When you called me last time, I was under siege” with the Mueller investigation, he said. I had been unable to reach Trump for an interview for Fear, though I tried to make contact through six of his closest advisers. “Okay. I hope you treat me better than Bush, because you made him look like a stupid moron, which he was.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt twenty-one)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Monday afternoon, the president fought back against the criticism in a freewheeling, two-hour press briefing that began with a campaign-ad-style video touting his “decisive action” on the virus. Answering questions from reporters, Trump declined to acknowledge any mistakes and said his administration was “way ahead of schedule” in its response. When asked what he had done to prepare hospitals and ramp up testing with the extra time Trump said he bought by being ahead of schedule, the president called the reporter “disgraceful.” He alternated between blaming Democratic governors for failures and claiming he had total authority over the national response. “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Trump said. “And that’s the way it’s got to be. It’s total.”

The next day, Trump said decisions about when to reopen would be largely in the hands of the governors. The federal government would “be there to help,” he said, but “the governors are going to be opening up their states.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt twenty)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

In the four-week period ending April 9, more than 17 million Americans had filed for unemployment, Labor Department figures showed.

On April 10, Trump predicted the U.S. death count would be lower than the minimum predicted by the task force’s models. “The minimum number was 100,000 lives, and I think we’ll be substantially under that number,” he said.

Monday, October 26, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt nineteen)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

“I brought up Trump’s comments at a press briefing the previous week, when he had said “I don’t take responsibility at all” for the crisis.

“I don’t take responsibility for this,” Trump told me. “I have nothing to do with this. I take responsibility for solving the problem. But I don’t take responsibility for this, no. We did a good job. The Obama administration—they were obsolete tests. And in all fairness to them, nobody ever thought in terms of millions of people.”

I could find no support for Trump’s claim, repeated several times in public remarks, tha the Obama administration left behind “obsolete” or “broken” tests. Obama’s National Security Council had left behind a 69-page document titled “Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Diseases Threats and Biological Incidents” that included instructions for dealing with novel influenza viruses which “would produce an estimate of between 700,000 and 1.4 billion fatalities from a pandemic of a virulent influenza virus strain.” The document recommended officials in the early stages of such a pandemic check the nation’s diagnostic testing capacity and the amount of personal protective equipment available for health care workers.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt eighteen)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

“Look, we had the greatest economy on earth. The greatest economy we’ve ever had,” Trump added, overstating the strength of the U.S. economy compared to other periods in the nation’s history. It reminded me of Kushner’s notion that “controversy elevates message.”

“And in one day, this thing came in and we had a choice to make,” Trump continued. “Close everything up and save potentially millions of lives—you know, hundreds of thousands of lives—or don’t do anything and look at body bags every day being taken out of apartment buildings.”

“Who told you that?” I asked.

“It was me,” Trump said. “I told me that.”

Saturday, October 24, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt seventeen)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

I began to ask Trump if he ever sat down alone with Fauci to get a tutorial one the science behind the virus when the president cut in.

“Yes, I guess, but honestly there’s not a lot of time for that, Bob. This is a busy White House. We’ve got a lot of things happening. And then this came up.”

No matter how busy or what other things were happening, I frankly wondered what could be more important. Trump had carved out hours to talk with me.

Friday, October 23, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt sixteen)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

By Kushner’s calculations, they had built 121.4 miles of wall. But Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said 99 miles of that was “new border wall system constructed in place of dilapidated and/or outdated designs”—in other words, replacement or repair. Ten miles were “secondary border wall.” One mile was of new wall “in locations where no wall previously existed.” Kushner’s goal was to build, replace or repair seven to eight miles a week and reach 400 miles by the end of the year. It wouldn’t be complete yet, so they would be building the wall into 2021—presuming Trump was reelected. The hardest part was buying land.

“It’s more complicated than I thought,” Kushner told others.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt fifteen)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

By early 2020, Kushner thought Trump had assembled a better and more dedicated White House team than they’d had before.

“In the beginning,” Kushner told others, referring to the first years of the administration, “20 percent of the people we had thought Trump was saving the world, and 80 percent thought they were saving the world from Trump.

“Now, I think we have the inverse. I think 80 of the people working for him think that he’s saving the world, and 20 percent—maybe less now—think they’re saving the world from Trump.”

Let that analysis sink in: Twenty percent of the president’s staff think they are “saving the world” from the president.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt fourteen)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

“What you feel is disquiet,” she wrote, “and you know what it’s about: the worrying nature of Mr. Trump himself… epic instability, mismanagement and confusion.”

A conservative speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan, Noonan wrote that with Trump, “We are not talking about being colorfully, craftily unpredictable, as political masters like FDR and Reagan sometimes were, but something more unfortunate, an unhinged or not-fully-hinged quality that feels like screwball tragedy.”

Warming to her theme, Noonan wrote, “Crazy doesn’t last. Crazy doesn’t go the distance. Crazy is an unstable element that, when let loose in an unstable environment, explodes. And so your disquiet. Sooner or later something bad will happen…. It all feels so dangerous.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt thirteen)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

The upbeat messages from the administration continued. “We have it very much under control,” Trump told reporters on February 23. “Very interestingly, we’ve had no deaths.” The next day he tweeted, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,” and added, “Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

But on February 25, as Trump boarded Air Force One to return from a state visit to India, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, issued a stark public warning. Schools might have to close, conferences might be curtailed, and businesses may have to have employees work from hom. “The disruption to everyday life may be severe,” she told reporters. “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of when this will happen, and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”

Some conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, immediately jumped on Messonnier as part of a deep state conspiracy to use the virus to undermine Trump. They pointed out that Messonnier was the sister of Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general, who had overseen the Mueller investigation and resigned in spring 2019.

Monday, October 19, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt twelve)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Six days earlier, Attorney General Bill Barr had blasted Trump in a remarkable television interview, saying that Trump’s tweets were making it “impossible for me to do my job.”

Barr made the comments after Trump posted a tweet around 2:00 a.m. on February 11 protesting the Justice Department’s sentencing recommendation of up to nine years for his political associate Roger Stone. The afternoon of February 11, the Justice Department filed a revised sentencing recommendation suggesting a sentence for Stone of three to four years. All four prosecutors withdrew from the case, one resigning from the Justice Department entirely.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt eleven)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

“Administration Elevates Response to Coronavirus, Quarantines, Travel Restrictions” ran the headline of the lead story in The Washington Post the next day, pushing impeachment aside. In The New York Times the news appeared below the fold, headlined, “Declaring Health Emergency, U.S. Restricts Travel from China.”

Despite the conclusive evidence that at least five people wanted the restrictions—Fauci, Azar, Redfield, O’Brien and Pottinger—in an interview March 19, President Trump told me he deserved exclusive credit for the travel restrictions from China. “I had 21 people in my office, in the Oval Office, and of the 21 there was one person that said we have to close it down. That was me. Nobody wanted to because it was too early.”

On May 6, he told me, “And let me tell you, I had a room of 20 to 21 people and everyone in that room except me did not want to have that ban.”

At least seven times, including a press briefing, a televised town hall, interviews on Fox News and ABC and in meetings with industry executives and Republican lawmakers, he has repeated versions of this story.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt ten)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Trump said he told Kim when it came to denuclearization, “I know every one of your sites better than any of my people.” He reminded me again of his late uncle, Dr. John Trump, a physicist who taught electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1983. “He was at MIT for 42 years or something. He was a great—so I understand that stuff. You know, genetically.”

Friday, October 16, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt nine)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

The military always tells you the alliances with NATO and South Korea are the best bargain the United States makes, I noted, a great investment in joint defense.

“The military people are wrong,” Trump said. “I wouldn’t say they were stupid, because I would never say that about our military people. But if they said that, they—whoever said that was stupid. It’s a horrible bargain. We’re protecting South Korea from North Korea, and they’re making a fortune with televisions and ships and everything else. Right? They make so much money. Costs us $10 billion. We’re suckers.”

Thursday, October 15, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt eight)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Speaking out didn’t seem to work, Coats said. Admiral Bill McRaven, who had led Operation Neptune Spear, the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011, had continuously mounted an aggressive, personal and public criticism of Trump. In an open letter to Trump published in The Washington Post in August 2018 after Trump revoked John Brennan’s security clearance, McRaven had written that the president had “embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us a nation.” He challenged Trump to revoke his security clearance: “I would consider it an honor.”

McRaven, a Navy SEAL, was one of the most celebrated military figures, a warrior scholar, bestselling author and now chancellor of the University of Texas system.

Trump had blasted back, calling McRaven “a Hillary Clinton fan” and suggested he should have captured bin Laden earlier. As best Coats could tell, McRaven’s gutsy stand seemed to have had no impact.

Mattis said they still had to consider stepping forward.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt seven)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

In a March 2020 opinion issued in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking the lifting of redactions in the Mueller report, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton, an appointee of George W. Bush, wrote that Barr “distorted the findings in the Mueller Report.”

Walton wrote that Barr failed to note in his letter that Mueller’s probe “identified multiple contacts… between Trump campaign officials and individuals with ties to the Russian government.” On the obstruction issue, Walton wrote, Barr “failed to disclose to the American public” that the reason Mueller determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment was because of the Justice Department’s policy against charging a sitting president with a federal crime.

“The inconsistencies between Attorney General Barr’s statements,” Walton wrote in his opinion, “made at a time when the public did not have access to the redacted version of the Mueller Report to assess the veracity of his statements, and portions of the redacted version of the Mueller Report that conflict with those statements cause the Court to seriously question whether Attorney General Barr made a calculated attempt to influence public discourse about the Mueller Report in favor of President Trump despite certain findings in the redacted version of the Mueller Report to the contrary.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt six)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

But Coats continued to harbor the secret belief, one that had grown rather than lessened, although unsupported by intelligence proof, that Putin had something on Trump. How else to explain the president’s behavior? Coats could see no other explanation. He was sure that Trump had chosen to play on the dark side—the moneyed interested in the New York real estate culture, and international finance with is corrupt, anything-to-make-a-buck deal making. Anything to get ahead, anything to make a deal.

Coats realized that Trump had been able to make a deal with him, a raw political deal—hold that resignation for now, we’ll do it later, soon, but without a tweetstorm against you. He had played into Trump’s protection racket.

Coats saw how extraordinary it was for the president’s top intelligence official to harbor such deep suspicions about the president’s relationship with Putin. But he could not shake them.

Monday, October 12, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt five)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Jared Kushner’s unorthodox ties to foreign leaders and regular conversations with them outside secure channels raised suspicions among the intelligence agencies.

His interim Top Secret security clearance was downgraded and ultimately denied. The rejection meant Kushner could not have access to sensitive intelligence, impeding his ability to work.

White House chief of staff John Kelly wanted Kushner’s security clearance handled by the book, but the president personally ordered that Kushner be granted the highest security clearance. This gave him access to Top Secret intelligence classified as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) and fed a constant tension between Kushner and Kelly.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt four)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Byers explained the president had mentioned that generals weren’t tough enough on steel and aluminum tariffs and were more worried about alliances.

“Tell me exactly what he said.”

The president said, Byers recounted, “my fucking generals are a bunch of pussies. They care more about their alliances than they do about trade deals.”

Saturday, October 10, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt three)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

Trump was arriving. The orders were printed out and each put in a leather folder.

Byers finally looked at the second one, titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It was a travel ban preventing people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States.

Six months earlier, as a civilian, Mattis had publicly criticized candidate Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants. In the Middle East, Mattis had said, “they think we’ve completely lost it. This kind of thing is causing us great damage right now, and it’s sending shock waves.”

Friday, October 9, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt two)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

“If you want to understand Russia, they haven’t changed much culturally in 1,000 years. They are the most fatalistic people on the face of the earth, which is why they’re willing to live under lousy leaders. If you ask them about it, they’d say they don’t like it, but they’d say ‘Das Russia’—‘That’s Russu\ia.’ They’d shrug their shoulders. I would talk to my Russian employees about it. Only one time did Russians rise up in revolution. And that didn’t turn out so well. So they look back on that and they say, Don’t do that again.”

Bottom line, Tillerson said, “You can deal with Putin. Obama was never able to. There is just a fundamental dislike of one another. Putin is a terrible racist, as we all know. All Russians are, generally. And Obama had a terrible disdain for Putin.”

Thursday, October 8, 2020

the last book I ever read (Rage by Bob Woodward, excerpt one)

from Rage by Bob Woodward:

The president-elect next voiced approval of torture as the quickest way to obtain information from captured terrorists.

Mattis didn’t want to spend time explaining the origins of his personal philosophy. He subscribed to the beliefs of General John Lejeune, the legendary World War I general often described as the greatest Marine of all time. Lejeune believed the Corps not only had to make efficient fights, but return better citizens to society. Inflicting torture caused spiritual damage and produced horrible people, Mattis believed. It undermined the country’s moral authority.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

the last book I ever read (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, excerpt fourteen)

from Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter:

Fox employed the same trick Roger Ailes had used after Hurricane Katrina: an immediate shift toward optimistic “getting America back on its feet” stories. States were still in the beginning stages of shutting down when Sunday night host Steven Hilton said, on March 22, “You know that famous phrase, ‘the curse is worse than the disease’? That is exactly the territory we’re hurtling towards.” Trump watched Hilton on his Genie DVR a couple hours later, then tweeted in all caps, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.”

This was the Trump-Fox feedback loop at its loopiest. On March 23 the confirmed U.S. death toll was under one thousand, and models showed it on a path to surpass a hundred thousand, which meant the shutdown would need to continue for months, but commentary on Fox triggered days of confusing, contradictory get-back-to-work chatter weeks before it was rational. “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” Trump said on March 24. He backtracked a few days later—which meant those days were wasted. A better focus would have been on supply shortages, problems with the Paycheck Protection Program, outbreaks at veterans homes and aircraft carriers—anything else, really. But those issues were depressing and damaging to Trump’s political standing. “Reopen America” was uplifting and easy to sell as an us-versus-them story. In other words, the perfect Fox story.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

the last book I ever read (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, excerpt thirteen)

from Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter:

“Depending upon how you look at them,” he added, “it might be enough to prosecute.”

Napolitano made the same points in a video for his Fox web show, and it went viral on social media. Liberals were thrilled—here was the senior judicial analyst for Fox News telling the truth about Trump’s crimes! Napolitano said Trump’s acts were “immoral, criminal, defenseless, and condemnable.” But he was on the outside—literally—as his video was recorded outside Fox News HQ, in a handheld, shaky-cam style the judge liked, making him look like a renegade. The video garnered so much attention that The Ingraham Angle sought to rebut it—not by booking Napolitano and challenging him, as a normal network would do, but by playing a clip, and then giving Alan Dershowitz plenty of time to reassure everyone that the president was innocent. Trump noticed. “Thank you to brilliant and highly respected attorney Alan Dershowitz for destroying the very dumb legal argument of ‘Judge’ Andrew Napolitano,” Trump tweeted the next day. “Ever since Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO, he has been very hostile! Also asked for pardon for his friend.”

The judge denied asking for a SCOTUS appointment, and no reasonable person believed that he actually did. Napolitano recognized what most other Fox figures refused to admit: that Trump lied through his Twitter teeth each and every day. Trump had just hit the 10,000 mark in The Washington Post’s count of false and misleading statements, including 45 falsehoods in his most rcent 45-minute chat with Hannity. That’s a piece of misinformation every single minute. But his professional excusers on television said he simply had a unique style of communicating.

Monday, October 5, 2020

the last book I ever read (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, excerpt twelve)

from Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter:

Apocalyptic “invasion” rhetoric richocheted all around the right-wing media world. The calls from spitting-mad listeners to talk radio and the hateful comments on hyperpartisan websites were worse than what was being spouted on Fox—but it was all connected. In Pennsylvania, forty-six-year-old anti-Semite Robert Bowers posted a message on a seedy Twitter alternative called Gab: “I noticed a change in people saying illegals, they now say invaders. I like this.”

Bowers fixated on HIAS, a Jewish refugee agency which gave life-changing help to refugees in America. On October 27 he wrote that HIAS “likes to bring invaders that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Then he walked inside the Tree of Life synagogue and shot eleven people to death.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

the last book I ever read (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, excerpt eleven)

from Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter:

Reporting was no match for migrant fearmongering. When New York Times reporter Emily Cochrane asked Trump to back up his made-up-out-of-thin-air claims that the “caravan” was full of “hardened criminals,” he responded, “Oh please, please, don’t be a baby.”

Trump continued to spread misinformation that he picked up on Fox & Friends. A crumb of information from Guatemala’s president about his country’s past deportation of immigrants with links to terrorism—shared in an apparent bid to impress the U.S.—was whipped by right-wing websites into a lie about the current “caravan.” This lie was transmitted from the web to Fox & Friends by Pete Hegseth on Monday, October 22. “They caught over a hundred ISIS fighters in Guatemala trying to use this caravan,” he said, falsely. Hegseth infected Trump, who tweeted during the show and said “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in” with the migrants. He didn’t attribute this to Fox, he stated it as fact, and said, “I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergency.”

A lone voice on Fox tried to correct him. It was Shep, of course.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

the last book I ever read (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, excerpt ten)

from Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter:

Hicks didn’t have anything to do with the news channel headquartered in New York, but the eventual Mueller report contained a passage that revealed a ton about her assessment of Fox. Interviewed by Maria Bartiromo one month before he fired Comey, Trunp was questioned whether it was too late to ask Comey, who was four years into a ten-year term, to step aside. “No, it’s not too late, but you know, I have confidence in him. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. After the interview, according to Mueller, “Hicks told the president she thought the president’s comment about Comey should be removed from the broadcast of the interview, but the president wanted to keep it in, which Hicks thought was unusual.” Hicks’s belief that she could unilaterally cut a chunk out of a Fox interview was never explained.

Friday, October 2, 2020

the last book I ever read (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, excerpt nine)

from Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter:

Ingraham was a steady ally for the nomination fight, and far from the only one. Whenever the White House needed help with the nomination, Shine phoned his former network. Kavanaugh’s pivotal interview defending himself from Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation was awarded to Fox’s Martha MacCallum. Trump reminded his Twitter followers to tune in. MacCallum’s questions were tough, but most of Fox’s commentary around Kavanaugh’s combative confirmation hearing was in his favor. A female staffer told me that several of her colleagues were so troubled by the tenor of the Kavanaugh coverage that they brought it up in therapy. Overworked television producers seeing therapists is nothing new, or in any way unique to Fox, but the rah-rah win-at-any-cost defense of Kavanuagh was triggering for some.

Supreme Court watchers said Kavanaugh’s use of the Fox airwaves was extremely unusual and at odds with his commitments to neutrality and nonpartisanship. “The Supreme Court must never be viewed as a partisan institution,” Kavanaugh said at his confirmation hearing, leading NBC’s Chuck Todd to ask: “How impartial can a Supreme Court nominee be when he goes on Fox News—of all possible platforms—to defend himself?”

Thursday, October 1, 2020

the last book I ever read (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, excerpt eight)

from Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter:

Trump had a knack for looking people straight in the eyes and lying, even if, as Kellyanne Conway told me in July 2017, he didn’t “think” he was lying. When I said it was scandalous that the president was lying about voter fraud and wiretapping, just to name two issues, Conway said, “Excuse me? He doesn’t think he’s lying about those issues, and you know it.”