Two weeks ago, Donald Trump Jr. went fly-fishing in Montana. Last week, his father went fishing on Montana, too, but with a different target in mind.
President Trump’s stemwinder of a speech at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls was all the bait he needed as he went trolling for East Coast liberals and he hauled in a larger than usual catch with a masterful performance in front of 6,600 Montanans.
Trump, of course, has it down to a science how to reel in his favorite species — liberalis journalisticus — but he doesn’t have to work too hard since they tend to bite down on any shiny object he throws their way, as if convinced that finally, this time, the fish will outsmart the fisherman. Fat chance.
It’s hard to know just where to start cataloging the fake outrage (which is itself a subspecies of what is now called “fake news”) that the liberal state media purveys in the wake of any public appearance of the president, but as always CNN provides the textbook example of what it looks like to be at the wrong end of being trolled.
Chris Cillizza, the fake politics editor at CNN, turned in a hysterical (yes, both funny hysterical and crazy hysterical) review called “The 11 most dangerous things Donald Trump said in his Montana speech.”
Cillizza claimed that “Trump’s speech on Thursday night contained a number of genuinely dangerous lines, lines no president before Trump would even considering [sic] uttering among a small group of friends — much less in front of thousands of people.”
The fake moral arbiter then declares that he will explain “why each one poses a real risk to the body populace.” (I’m sure Chris knows that it should either be “body politic” or “populace” but not a mash-up of both, so let’s give him a pass on that one.)
I wish I had room to go through all 11 of these things that keep Chris Cillizza awake at night to assuage his fears, but I can only pick out a few of the biggies — most of which are also scaring the folks over at MSNBC and the New York Times. Someone has to help these people sleep better at night, and I guess it must be up to me.
One of the biggest worries for Cillizza and his East Coast cronies is that Trump has a “dangerously naive view of the Russian president [Vladimir Putin].” Why? Because Trump made fun of the media for believing that he is “dangerously naive.” Yeah, you read that right. Trump’s big sin was that he challenged the national media to actually pay attention and not parrot left-wing talking points.
So what exactly did Trump say? Well, the only part that Cillizza quotes — and the part you probably heard played over and over on CNN and MSNBC — is this: “You know what? Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people.”
Well, that’s not exactly damning evidence, but as reported by the dishonest media, Trump said that he thought Putin was a “fine person.” No. He said that Putin was “fine” and he said that Putin was a person (“We’re people.”) But he never said that Putin was a fine person as a character endorsement.
Trump was trolling the media and Democrats for their patronizing view that somehow Donald Trump missed the Cold War and would be taken advantage of by the crafty Russian during their upcoming meeting in Finland.
The context, which was entirely omitted by the fake news media, was that Trump had just finished discussing the press coverage of his meeting with Kim Jung-Un in Singapore, where it was claimed that President Trump had “lost” in the summit simply by meeting with Kim in the first place.
It also came after Trump had described the situation in Europe where NATO members are doing trade deals with Russia while demanding that the U.S. keep them safe from Russia…
Dismissing reports that he is “angry at NATO” or that “he loves Russia,” Trump then made this statement:
“I will say this … I’m meeting with President Putin next week and getting along … with Russia and getting along with China and getting along with other countries is a good thing, it’s not a bad thing … it’s a good thing.”
And then continuing to make fun of the Democratic meme that Trump is “soft” on Russia, the president said, “I will say this, I’m gonna have to ask them [the Russians] this question: How bad has it been since Trump has been in? Take a look. We’ve just increased our military spending by 700 billion dollars. We’ve become a nation that is exporting energy for the first time, so many things, and you look at all the money NATO is getting now [thanks to Trump’s pressure on Europe to pay its fair share] … they’re probably saying in Russia “You know if we did like this guy we made a big mistake; we’d rather have crooked Hillary Clinton!”
The president then stated the obvious — a principle which seems to have been the main victim of the “Russia collusion” hoax — that it is better as Winston Churchill once remarked to meet “jaw to jaw” than to wage war.
“Getting along with other countries” — the president said Thursday — “and you’re talking nuclear powers in all fairness … getting along is really a nice thing, it’s a smart thing … we’re going to beat everybody … we have the greatest military and hopefully we’ll never have to use it… You know the only way you’re never gonna have to use it? If it’s so powerful, so good, so strong that nobody wants to play games and that’s what we’re doing…”
The president then circled back to the theme of the elite media and their complaint that just meeting with an enemy like Kim Jung-Un means you have lost.
“Now they are saying it with Putin … [Speaking in a pretentious voice meant to mimic the media’s talking heads] ‘Well Putin is highly prepared, and Trump — will he be prepared for the meeting?’ … Trust me, we’ll do just fine. Fake news. Bad people. [Resuming pretentious media voice] ‘Will he be prepared? Will he be prepared?’ and I might even end up having a good relationship, but they’re going, ‘Will President Trump be prepared? You know President Putin is KGB and this and that.’”
And after this long dismissive, discursive one-man colloquy, Trump hits his stride to the cheers of the crowd, and finally resolves not that Putin is a “fine person” but that he is fine as an adversary, that Trump understands him, and will not be intimidated. He’s just one more opponent like all the others that have underestimated Trump: “You know what, Putin’s fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. We’re people. Will I be prepared? Totally prepared. I’ve been preparing for this stuff my whole life. They don’t say that … And you really do. You really… I’ll tell you what… because I see the way they write… they’re so damned dishonest and I don’t mean all of them because some of the finest people I know are journalists. Really. Hard to believe when I say that, I hate to say it, but I have to say … but 75 percent of those people are downright dishonest … They’re fake.”
Which brings me to my final point. Cillizza takes offense at the president continuing to call out the press in the wake of the massacre at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, even though the reporter begrudgingly admits that the president’s rhetoric had nothing to do with the murders of five people. Cillizza says, nonetheless, “the responsible thing” for the president to do would be to not challenge the press to be fair and honest. Sorry, Chris, but the responsible thing to do as journalists would be to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Then you would have a shield against all claims of bias or dishonesty. But maybe that’s asking too much.
Frank Miele is managing editor of the Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Montana. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org