Begging your indulgence over a small BlackInk housekeeping matter: Last week, I noted what appeared to be an excellent series of Los Angeles Times editorials titled “The Problem with Trump” exploring several reasons that that newspaper’s editorialists thought there were some problems with the current incumbent. I say it “appeared to be” an excellent series, because at the time, only the first two had appeared, and I excerpted from those two and promised that when the whole four-part series was complete I would offer a link to it all.
One small error on my part: It wasn’t a four-part series, it was six. But it’s all published now. So, to fulfill my promise, here’s a link to the whole thing, and here’s the title and first bit of each of the installments with a link in case you want to just read a particular installment:
It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a ‘catastrophe.’
Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.
Donald Trump did not invent the lie and is not even its master.
Standing before the cheering throngs at the Republican National Convention last summer, Donald Trump bemoaned how special interests had rigged the country’s politics and its economy, leaving Americans victimized by unfair trade deals, incompetent bureaucrats and spineless leaders. He swooped into politics, he declared, to subvert the powerful and rescue those who cannot defend themselves. “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”
In Donald Trump’s America, the mere act of reporting news unflattering to the president is held up as evidence of bias. Journalists are slandered as ‘enemies of the people.’
Facts that contradict Trump’s version of reality are dismissed as “fake news.” Reporters and their news organizations are “pathetic,” “very dishonest,” “failing,” and even, in one memorable turn of phrase, “a pile of garbage.”
It was bad enough back in 2011 when Donald Trump began peddling the crackpot conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not a native-born American. But at least Trump was just a private citizen then.
By the time he tweeted last month that Obama had sunk so low as to “tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process,” Trump was a sitting president accusing a predecessor of what would have been an impeachable offense.
Trump went public with this absurd accusation without consulting the law enforcement and intelligence officials who would have disabused him of a conspiracy theory he apparently imbibed from right-wing media. After the FBI director debunked it, Trump held fast, claiming he hadn’t meant that he had been literally wiretapped.
I won’t trouble you with an excerpt from that one, which, as is obvious from the title, a genuflection to what journalism calls the “local angle.”