Donald Trump has such a difficult time executing his duties as and damaging and worthless president that it’s surprising that he’s decided to take on the additional role of media critic and TV news executive.
Following in the footsteps of the late disgraced former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes — who was a major supporter of Trump and contributed to his victory by putting the full weight of the cable network’s 24 hour news cycle behind promoting his noxious candidacy — the president offered the kind of on-air news talent critique that Ailes specialized in: a personal attack aimed at psychologically undermining the target with career-destroying intent aimed at a woman who refuses to submit to his particular desires.
While in Trump’s case the motivation was political opposition rather than a refusal to submit to Ailes’ sexual advances, the tactic was the same — an attempt to destroy the reputation and credibility of his target, in this case, MSNBC host Joy-Ann Reid.
Who the hell is Joy-Ann Reid? Never met her, she knows ZERO about me, has NO talent, and truly doesn’t have the “it” factor needed for success in showbiz. Had a bad reputation, and now works for the Comcast/NBC losers making up phony stories about me. Low Ratings. Fake News!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2019
Trump begins his tweeted assault with a rhetorical question that seems to be asking something more along the lines of “who the hell does this woman think she is, criticizing the President of the United States?” rather than actually inquiring about her identity.
He then goes on to opine about her competency, her level of talent, her reputation and, of course, her truthfulness — a subject that Trump has so little experience with that it’s laughable that he considers himself the arbiter of veracity.
While Reid may never have met the president in person, Trump seems to forget that his policies, actions, and attitudes are plainly visible for all to see and judge. As a professional newscaster, Ms. Reid knows more than the average American about Donald Trump, being forced to report on his disastrous presidency on a near-daily basis. In fact, the only things she doesn’t know about the president — the contents of his tax returns, what he has said in private conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, etc. — are those things that Trump has studiously prevented the public from knowing despite the best efforts of legislators and journalists to uncover these closely guarded secrets.
Trump doesn’t state how he determines talent and the amorphous “it” factor that he claims is needed for success, but it’s telling that he considers Reid’s role to be in “showbiz” rather than journalism, indicating that he’s using the Fox News standard of perky blond white women talking heads as his ideal.
In his typical fashion, Trump accuses Reid of having a “bad reputation” without justifying the slur or providing any evidence of its basis. He also reveals his own completely transactional values system that measures success by rating points while once again defining “Fake News” as anything negative reported about himself and his administration no matter how truthful the accounts may be.
One again Trump is projecting his own insecurities on his perceived opponents, as he slams Reid’s allegedly low ratings while his own poll numbers continue to plummet.
It’s uncertain exactly what motivated the president to go after Joy Reid specifically this morning, although she did appear as a substitute host on MSNBC‘s All In with Chis Hayes yesterday and reported on several of Trump’s most recent gaffes including calling his vice-president “Mike Pounce.” She also described his words at the Republican retreat in Baltimore as making him sound like a “desperate man.”
While Reid has yet to dignify Trump’s unilateral attacks on her with a reply, suffice it to say that she has plenty of material to work with to sling back at the president. Perhaps as a journalist, rather than a “showbiz” personality, she’ll simply ignore the reality-show style feud that Trump is trying to launch, knowing that it is merely another attempt to distract the public from his many misdeeds and heinous policies.
Sorry, Donald, but we’re not buying what you’re peddling.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.