EDITOR’S 2 CENTS: Fake news, or: ‘The Art of the Fail’

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In the old days, philosophers used to meditate about how many angels could fit on the head of a pin. These days, deep thinkers want to know how much fake news CNN can squeeze into an hour.

The answer, of course, is plenty.

I won’t try to actually quantify the CNN mendacity because that would actually force me to watch an entire consecutive hour of CNN news coverage, which could potentially result in a serious condition known scientifically as mush brain.

But I did happen to have the channel turned on Thursday night when Anderson Cooper announced the breaking news that President-elect Donald Trump had broken a major campaign promise. Nightmare scenarios paraded through my head as I pondered the worst:

—DJT had a Road to Damascus type experience, and God told him not to repeal Obamacare, but just change the name to Trump Med (after first engaging in a hostile takeover of Club Med so that his friends could have access to affordable wealth care).

—DJT tore up his list of 21 potential Supreme Court justices, and on the advice of Hillary Clinton, is planning to name Barack Obama to the high court in order to protect and preserve “New York values.”

—DJT has been informed that he had mixed up the Second Amendment and the Second Commandment. Trump plans to sign an executive order pronouncing himself the first president of the United States, declaring “Thou shalt have no other presidents before me.”

Watching CNN for just a few minutes had left me completely unbalanced. But wait! Cooper scoop was worthy of a pooper scooper: Turns out that Donald Trump had let congressional Republicans know that he wanted to fund the border wall with Mexico through the appropriations process.

Cooper was aghast! “That would seemingly be a break from the idea of having Mexico pay for it as he said over and over again on the campaign trail.”

CNN’s senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta tried to reel Cooper back to earth, while at the same time maintaining the fake-news premise that Trump had somehow gone back on a promise: “We should point out, yes, that is a massive departure from what he [Trump] said out on the campaign trail. We should point out though back in October, he began to talk about this shift in this position. He talked about having Mexico reimburse the United States government for that wall, not exactly the same thing as sending over a big check across that border, Anderson.”

No, Anderson, it’s a totally different thing, and not one Trump voter, not one, ever expected Trump to put the wall on hold until the Mexican ambassador drove up to the White House with a $10 billion check in hand.

But that didn’t stop the CNN host from going on to characterize the request for fence-building funds as a “flip-flop,” or his next guest, former Treasury Secretary Robert Reich, from calling Trump a liar. You have to wonder how long the national news media will continue to question the ability of the president-elect to outwit, outplay and outlast them. As opposed to Trump’s “Art of the Deal,” the media seem to specialize in “The Art of the Fail.”

Of course, Trump got the last word, thanks to Twitter. Friday morning, the president-elect sent out the following message:

“The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!”

Actually, I am starting to think that maybe the mainstream media is not dishonest at all, just incapable of serious analysis or examination of ideas. After all, most of them probably went to Ivy League schools. That’s a hard handicap to overcome.

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Frank Miele is the managing editor of th Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana.

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