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Sunday, March 12, 2017
Trump-hating media’s stupidest trick yet?
Efforts to propagandize against President Trump are reaching absurd levels. The latest ridiculous meme attempts to portray the president as somehow idling away time from work – just as President Obama was criticized for doing – by sneaking away from the White House to the golf course.
No, I am not kidding. The Hill is actually trying to imply this, without actually saying it. As anyone faintly familiar with the Trump presidency so far knows, the man never stops working. He seems to almost completely blend his personal life into his work. Aside from family moments together, he has no leisure that I can see. Every round of golf, every party, everything he does is work-related. And he sleeps maybe 4 hours a night (just like William Jefferson Clinton – a man able to separate personal pleasure from work goals, if not workplace). President Obama displayed no such devotion to work to the exclusion of leisure, and conservatives raked him over the coals. In fact, as Ed Lasky documented a number of times, there is a fair amount of evidence that Obama was lazy, spent a lot of time having fun, and let Valerie Jarrett and others carry out the plans.
But here is what The Hill headlined:
"Trump makes ninth golf course visit in seven weeks in office"
President Trump paid a visit to one of his golf courses again Saturday, marking apparently his ninth visit to a golf course in the seven weeks since he took office.
The headline and lede are the most important things about an item. Search engines pick them up. These words are what people see at a glance on their Bing or Google searches. Many more people will see the title and tease than see the entire article.
So the implied message – in the context of the Obama golfing meme – is: See, Obama was not so bad; Trump does it, too.
To make the same point, The Hill tweeted out this:
That implication simply is not true. As eagle-eyed Sundance, who spotted the trick (and copied the tweet's image) on Conservative Treehouse, noted, this was a shrewd use of an offsite retreat, a standard business tool (I have participated in more of them than I can count in my management consulting career):
This type of exit from DC is really smart for multiple reasons. It might be a little challenging for the convoy to drive 35 minutes, but it allows the cabinet team to synergize in a more relaxed environment with introductions and fellowship amid the spouses.
Additionally, it provides a fully private venue, with full pre-arrival security controlled by Team Trump (ie. no ears); and an escape from the toxic fumes which perpetually emanate from the DC Swamp.
The Hill, caught peddling a fake meme, changed its tweet. An admission of guilt.
Of course, defenders of The Hill and of the journalism establishment will claim that this was just a use of irony. And that when they realized what they were implying, the Hill made a correction to its tweet. But c'mon! Where did that picture of golfers come from?
But the wizards of propaganda know that the key to persuading the masses is repetition. Keep generating memes that Trump isn't that hard working, that he is stupid, that is reckless…that everything he does is bad and the good stuff isn't real.
My gut reading is that the obsessiveness of these media attacks on Trump is backfiring and will continue to backfire. Instead of destroying Trump, the obsessed haters in the media will destroy their already diminishing sway over the public.