Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Media Needs To Stop Conflating Presidents' Critiques Of Judiciary

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It was annoying this morning to see CBS legal correspondent Jan Crawford yammering away on Trump's recent attacks on the judiciary and other presidents' criticisms,  including Obama. The problem is that Crawford made no distinction between attacking a ruling and attacking the character of the justices themselves. Let's also be mindful that Neil M. Gorsuch, Trump’s own nominee for the Supreme Court, condemned Trump's attacks on the judges as demoralizing and disheartening.”

NY Times columnist Charles M. Blow put things in proper  perspective, referencing Obama's criticism of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision vs. Trump's attack on Judge James Robart and yesterday the 9th Circuit Court hearing his Muslim ban case:

"That was his personal opinion — and the opinion of millions of Americans, many of whom were his supporters — and he had every right to voice it. Furthermore, he did so by confining his displeasure to the ruling itself and not impugning in any way the character or qualifications of the justices who rendered it."

Why was Crawford unable to distinguish Obama's ruling-centered critique from Trump's attack on James Robart's character ("The opinion of this so-called judge"  etc.) ?  Is it because she's lazy, or is it the chronic media tendency for conflating political incidents and lax reporting?  The issue is open for discussion, but another reason may well be an effort at normalizing a brazen bully who now has even gone so far as to misuse his bully pulpit to push an American company (Nordstrom) to give poor little Ivanka a break.  Nordstrom halted her line of clothes not out of any political pique - contrary to Trump's tweet about it (when does this guy work, anyway?)

They dropped her line because consumers - actually citizens - stopped buying it. Much of that could be traced to a boycott of all things Trump right after the election.

In any event, as Ari Melber (MSNBC legal expert) put it last night, Trump is treading on dangerous ground by insinuating himself into his daughter's business. Isn't he supposed to be divested from his family's  business?  Yes he is, and what this shows is 19 days after his proclamation he'd be disentangling himself from Trumpian businesses, he's as involved as ever.  Apart from the fact it is unseemly for a president to be hawking his daughter's business anyway.

But again, this lunatic has no sense, no judgement, no intelligence. He's a political fraud, also a business fraud  - masquerading as a president. He acts like he's running a grade Z corporation but is supposed to be running the country. Instead he watches cable TV for seven hours a day and tweets the rest of the time.

The guy is so lame, so out of it, his staff is "alarmed" by his behavior. Hence, the most recent leak that he awakened Michael Flynn (part of his national security team) at 3:00 a.m. to ask him a question about the dollar. See e.g.

This raises serious questions of how this nut would handle a real crisis. My bet is, the citizens of this country - and his staff- would largely be on their own.

It is sad that a sociopathic goober who isn't fit to run a dog kennel is now in charge of our nation. It's a damned tragedy that he hasn't the first clue about how to go about it - other than watching TV and tweeting about every pissant thing that upsets him.

But neither Jan Crawford or any other media person is obliged to run interference for Trump, and that includes conflating his abhorrent and odious actions with the justified ones of other chief executives.

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