By the time human infants reach around the age of two, they develop the concept of object permanence which, according to Wikipedia, is the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be perceived (seen, heard, touched, smelled or sensed in any way).
It is a developmental stage that Donald Trump seems to have missed or forgotten judging from his announcement last night during an interview with his pity pal Sean Hannity on Fox News that he plans to ban copies of his least favorite newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post from the premises of the White House.
It’s as if he’s saying: “If I can’t see the in-depth, truthful reporting on my criminal misdeeds and impeachable conduct and the reasoned editorials calling for my resignation, then it doesn’t really exist.”
Trump made the announcement of his plan — one step short of the book burning the Nazis employed in the run-up to World War II — in an interview with Hannity that featured the president’s persistent plaintive wailing about the same persecution complex-inspired topics that he spent his earlier cabinet meeting belly-aching his way through.
The president reserved his harshest remarks in his interview with his most staunch cheerleader on Fox News, however, for those print media outlets that have done the most to investigate and uncover the details of the actions that now have Trump in genuine peril of impeachment and likely to take down a good portion of his Administration along with him.
“Look, they give Pulitzer prizes to people who got it wrong, okay? All these people from the New York Times, which is a fake newspaper, we don’t even want it in the White House anymore, we’re going to probably terminate that and the Washington Post,” the president said to Hannity. “They’re fake. You take a look at the New York Times and you take a look at the reporting they do– it turned out to be all wrong.”
While newspapers, including both The Times and The Post, do occasionally make mistakes — as the media’s gullible acceptance of the Bush administration’s claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to justify launching a useless Middle East war demonstrated — reputable newspapers generally print retractions when they get things wrong and admit their mistakes.
Donald Trump, however, when caught saying anything that is not true, simply doubles down on his false assertions and repeats them endlessly in an attempt to make his lies accepted as common knowledge despite their lack of veracity.
His claim that the newspapers he is targeting feature reporting that is “all wrong” is the perfect example of this. Whenever Trump doesn’t like the news he sees in the papers — or even worse, the negative opinions of his actions that they give— he simply labels it “fake news.”
Trump has even admitted that the labeling is a tactic that he uses to discredit the press so that the public won’t believe the true, but negative information the media is relaying. Lesley Stahl, the CBS 60 Minutes correspondent tells a story of her confronting the president about his attacks on the press where he revealed his true selfish motivation for attempting to destroy public confidence in the truth of what the press writes.
“He said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’ He said that,” Stahl relates of the conversation, adding, “So, put that in your head for a minute.”
Unfortunately for Donald Trump, the vast majority of people over the age of two have grasped the concept of object permanence and, no how much he may try to discredit the media or hide the truth about his impeachable offenses that it reports, the facts remain and he won’t be able to escape them, even when he closes his eyes.
You can watch a clip of Donald Trump’s whine-fest on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News in the video below.
Trump says he's going to ban copies of the NYT, WaPo from the White House pic.twitter.com/Qv50oVdyab
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 22, 2019
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Original reporting by Nicole Lafond at Talking Points Memo.
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.