December 9th, 2017

The MSM seems to think it’s a good idea to give us a daily dose of “Trump’s an idiot” stories

Today’s appears to be a report that Trump watches TV 4 hours a day or more, according to the trustworthy insider informants at the NY Times. And this, despite the fact that he claims he doesn’t watch much TV:

The Times reports that Trump begins each day around 5:30 a.m. by turning on CNN before quickly flipping to Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” He occasionally watches MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” because it works him up, Trump’s friends told the Times.

Trump’s favorite programs include “Fox & Friends” as well as Fox News primetime shows from Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Jeanine Pirro. Trump sometimes “hate-watches” CNN host Don Lemon, according to the report.

The Times also reports that the only people allowed to touch the remote control for the White House television are Trump and White House technical support staffers.

During his trip to Asia last month, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he doesn’t watch much television at the White House because he’s busy “reading documents.”

“Believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington or New York, I do not watch much television,” Trump said. “People that don’t know me, they like to say I watch television — people with fake sources. You know, fake reporters, fake sources.”

If you read that in light of yesterday’s CNN blooper/whopper (take your pick as to which it was, error or lie), it’s actually rather amusing. The dilemma for the reader is: who do you believe, Trump or the NY Times? I tend to believe my own observations, which tell me that Trump seems to get a lot of work done. If he’s watching that much TV and gets as much accomplished as he seems to, more power to him.

I’ve never been keen on these “the president is an idiot!!” stories, even when I was a Democrat and they were about Republican presidents or candidates whom I disliked. Reagan seemed smart enough to me, rather than an “amiable dunce,” although I never voted for him. So did Bush in 2000 (didn’t vote for him then; voted for him in 2004). I watched Bush, I listened, and I saw someone who wasn’t the most articulate person on earth but who had plenty of native intelligence and got his point across, even though I didn’t like his points.

Trump is more unusual, to say the least. But I’ve never seen any indication he isn’t plenty smart, although not in a conventional “academic” way—at least, he certainly doesn’t express himself that way. Whether his popular touch is an affectation or the way he just is (I think more the latter than the former), it’s worked awfully well for him so far.

[NOTE: By the way, I haven’t read the NY Times story to which the link refers (the link I offered is to a story in the Hill based on it). The Times is behind a firewall and I refuse to pay, and I’ve already used up my stories for this month. But the Times story, listed on memeorandum, is apparently headlined “Inside Trump’s Hour-By-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation.” That’s another meme of which the MSM is fond, which might be called the “Trump is on his last legs” meme. This has been the subject of article after article for most of Trump’s presidency, but so far I see no sign of it being true—which doesn’t seem to stop it from being a perennial favorite of the MSM and its readers.]

47 Responses to “The MSM seems to think it’s a good idea to give us a daily dose of “Trump’s an idiot” stories”

  1. lynndh Says:

    I read the paper while the TV is on. I pick up some of what is on but not all. But, I AM watching TV, sometimes for hours (no not reading the paper, that take 5 minutes of me yelling at the paper, then I yell at the TV).

  2. vanderleun Says:

    I was going to write what I think everytime I read or hear or see one of the reporters or news executives but it is so violent I know it would upset neo and her other, more snowflakish, readers.

  3. Griffin Says:

    Could come up with a whole list of Trump type stories.

    1. Trump’s an idiot
    2. Trump’s isolated and lonely
    3. So and so is going to resign in ‘a few weeks/days’

    With a little thought could come up with about a dozen more. And what they almost all have in common is they are based on anonymous sources.

  4. Griffin Says:

    The other question I have about these stories which so often are wrong or at the very least misleading is whether they are totally made up or is there actually sources saying these things and how often are these sources other media types?

  5. T Says:


    Whatever is wrong with you, it is no small thing.

  6. Zigzag Says:

    In gratitude for American Digest having kept me entertained, informed, and sometimes deeply moved since the Second Gulf War (how time flies!), permit me to step briefly into the breach, shoulder the burden, and throw another tasty plagiarised morsel into the metaphorical meme stewpot:

    One-way helicopter rides are in order for very many members of the present Fourth Estate / Clerisy / Cathedral. Gnon-willing, I will live to see it.

    Best done sooner and somewhat limited in scope (Pour Encourager les Autres), but history suggests can will be kicked along the road until broader measures become necessary. We humans never learn.

    There, said it. Sorry Snowflakes.

  7. Bilwick Says:

    Keep in mind that these “president is an idiot” stories come from “liberals” (and by “liberals” I mean of course “tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping government sniffers and State fellators”). These are people who think they’re the smartest people in the room (any room); yet who persist in believing that Big Brother is their best friend. So how smart are they, really?

  8. Zigzag Says:

    T: Please step this way, Sir. Your Sikorsky awaits you.

  9. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I’ve been acting as a caregiver for my 92 & 95 yr old parents for a few years now. They’re somewhat set in their ways and every night they watch ABC’s local and national news. Very occasionally they will watch CBS or NBC. Without fail, every night the national ‘news’ broadcast has a hit piece on Trump. Most nights it’s the longest portion of the 1/2 hr broadcast.

    The negative coverage is unrelenting. The mildest implication is that Trump is a disaster. The harshest coverage leaves the impression that Trump is a racist, guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

  10. MollyNH Says:

    So funny , wasn’t Obama advised to stop saying how he just learned about current hot topics from TV like the rest of you guys. Finally Malia or was it Sasha who said,
    ” Daddy you MUST SAY you read it on the newspaper! “

  11. MollyNH Says:

    So funny , wasn’t Obama advised to stop saying how he just learned about current hot topics from TV like the rest of you guys. Finally Malia or was it Sasha who said,
    ” Daddy you MUST SAY you read it on the newspaper! “

  12. MollyNH Says:

    Oh no Hogwarts again

  13. parker Says:

    The MSM has lost all credibility, the Democrats have proven to my satisfaction that they have no scruples, academia is in the throes of fascism, and the entertainment industry has much in come with Sodom and Gomorrah. Yet they are our betters.

    I’ll take Trump’s word over that of ‘our betters’.

  14. JFM Says:

    The purpose of these vaguely sourced and usually poorly written stories is to justify a negative headline.

  15. liz Says:

    My impression of the reported TV watching was that he was watching early morning news and late night news. It’s better he is watching those shows then watching ESPN all the time. And he has not said he “just heard about it from the newspapers & shows”.

    I recall that the media used to criticize Bush 43 for his lack of intelligence, but there were always reports of what he was reading. In contrast, do you remember anyone reporting of list of what Obama read? It seems that any reporting seemed forced – like look what book he is carrying.

    I’m just reaching 65 and I sure admire Trump’s energy – can he give it to some of us?

    With respect to being an “idiot”, I think that shows the liberal bigoted attitude, like they do with all flyover country people. They don’t realize that there is a very nice variety of people in these states. It’s not only “rural redneck hicks”. It’s their loss, because they are really nice people.

    I just want to tell those “folks” – don’t move here. We do not want you here to change us from Red to Blue. Go away!

  16. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    I wonder if there may be others here who, like me, sometimes ever stop and ponder if we might perhaps be a bit paranoid, or at least cynical, in discerning as we do an intense liberal bias and a constant pattern of pushing a hard left agenda through outright lies and deception by the main-stream media and Hollywood.

    I wonder if occasionally others here, like me, sometimes pause and ponder if these patterns aren’t really there and exist only in our minds.

    But then I have my morning espresso, wake up fully and reality hits: I am not paranoid at all.

    There really is a civilisational war of ideas going on in the west and some of the west’s most prominent public intellectuals, (in addition to Neo), are also seeing it and speaking out.

    One such is Professor Victor Davis Hanson who appears, somewhat in spite of himself I suspect, to be developing a theory that it is the media rather than the Democratic party that is now leading the fight to entrench cultural Marxism in the west.

    For those who are interested, I take the liberty of supplying the following link to one of Prof Hanson’s more recent, wide-ranging and important talks:

    Take no notice of the misleading title as the Professor’s thoughts range far, far beyond Trumprussia.

    Prof Hanson is always worth the time but I draw your attention in particular to:

    1. At about 23 minutes in Prof Hanson makes an interesting point that all who have ever negotiated for something will understand.

    He ventures that the media and Hollywood, whom he sees now as really driving the leftist agenda, and who are being slavishly copied by Democrat politicians, rather than the other way around, are making outlandish “Trump’s a Nazi/idiot, etc” allegations in the hope that the mainstream, who see through that, might nevertheless meet them half-way and at least concede that if not a Nazi then he’s a dictator; if not an idiot then he’s low IQ, and if not a monster then he’s just generally on the nose.

    May be something in that.

    2. At about 15 minutes in the Professor addresses an issue that I have noticed he is working up and which I am following in his writings as it develops.

    In answer to the question what the average person can or should do in response to the cultural Marxism pushed by Hollywood and the elite media he observes upon the growing phenomenon of people, himself included, retreating into “monasteries of the mind” and tuning out the modern left’s cultural agents altogether.

    In other places he has alluded to this withdrawal from the public sphere and electronic world by envoking the ancient Greek virtue of “Sophrosyne”, meaning temperance, prudence and wisdom flowing from disengagement from the world’s corrupting evils.

    Sophrosyne was, in ancient Greek myth, one of the divinities released from Pandora’s box, but unlike those other entities made her way directly back to Olympus rather than remain at large on Earth where they both corrupted and were corrupted.

    Here is another instance of Prof Hanson observing on the wisdom of people turning away from the media and its biased messaging on Trump specifically and traditionalism generally:

    The point is made at the 1 hour mark precisely where the lady begins her question by observing that watching the media’s frustration at their inability to damage Trump “is like dinner and a show every night.”

  17. Dave Says:

    We have been watching CNN lying about Trump lying for a year. my experience with liberals is whenever some liberal claims that Trump lies all the time and if I confront this person to press him to give an example, 99 out of a 100 times this person would mention the inauguration and Conway’s alternative news quote and that’s it.

  18. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Dave @ 7:38 pm.

    That’s the way to go!

    I agree with you whole-heartedly in that approach and is one of the main reasons I enjoy watching Tucker Carlson in battle so much.

    He also makes them particularise their charges- or at least calls on them to do so – which they can never do.

    It’s (almost) sad to watch them as they struggle to justify their blanket attacks – unused to being put to proof and pretty much being forced to plead, like Dennis Danuto, “it’s the vibe of the thing”:

  19. parker Says:

    Stephen Ippolito,

    Some of us hayseeds in flyover country figured that out long ago as in decades, without a PhD, gasp. I am not trying to be insulting, but DUH? There is a great deal more wisdom in the common sense salt of the earth people than smug barack can imagine.

    That is why Trump won.

  20. parker Says:

    Addendum. …. I was not pro djt until I saw he wanted to keep his word. I find him to be a strange duck, but I give him credit to quack sincerely.

  21. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    I never doubted Trump’s sincerity. After he won the primary, that perhaps more than any other reason is why I supported him. For all his manifest flaws, and despite his contradictions, he is always sincere. That quality in a President is of inestimable value. Like Truman, you always know where he stands. Such men can be forgiven much for they are, at base honest.

  22. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Like Parker (and others)
    I see so many people like myself who disliked Trump come to appreciate him greatly.
    I watched his speech last night and couldn’t stop watching just becasue I enjoyed watching a president I could relate to.
    Imperfect, funny, down to earth.
    Behold, A politician in whom there is no guile.

  23. Stephen Ippolito Says:


    Like you, I was also unimpressed by Trump’s candidacy at the time he first announced – and for quite a while thereafter. I didn’t think he even merited paying attention to.

    In fact, I recall that I was shaving with the radio on in the background when the news service mentioned that he had thrown his hat into the ring.

    I recall speaking to the radio and gesticulating, (it’s my Italian blood!), something along the lines of “What a joke. Why is this even on the news?”

    I forgot all about him for quite a while thereafter and focused on my favoured candidate, Senator Cruz, a deeply principled constitutionalist and by far the smartest man in any room.

    Carly, I also liked, particularly after she made the point during a hostile interview where the female interviewer put to her that she was nobody to be challenging someone with the “resume of achievement” possessed by Hillary Clinton.

    Carly’s response was brilliant and was to the effect that it’s not about snagging the big jobs, (especially when its done through nepotism), but how you perform once in them that counts.

    Then one day a news report came on where two smirking talking-heads announced that Trump’s candidacy was now “doomed” because he had “revealed himself to be a racist by attacking the people of Mexico”.

    I listened to the quote and recall thinking that that was not what he had actually done but thought he’d nevertheless apologise, fail to be forgiven, and drop out.

    I will always, for the rest of my life, recall the look on the faces of the media people when the Donald did the seemingly unheard of and instead stood his ground.

    How refreshing it was to hear a politician stand up to the media and call them out on their bias.

    Popular resentment of blatant media bias against all things not multi-culti and leftist is a big train that has been coming down the tracks at increasing speed for years now, unrecognised by an oblivious ruling elite.

    The word “refreshment” was the single word – and the sensation – that kept occurring to me as I started to listen for him on the stump – as though the Donald were supplying an essential form of nourishment very badly needed but hitherto missing from public discourse.

    I jumped on the Trump Train for good the day I saw him challenged rudely at a press conference by some wealthy grand-standing Mexican media personality who apparently advocates for the rights of Mexico and Mexicans while living in a gated community in the US, a world away from Mexico and Mexicans. Trump threw him out without apology! Extraordinary!

    I wish him well.

  24. MollyNH Says:

    I cannot repeat it enough: Trump obody nobody, owns him!

  25. Francesca Says:

    T Says:
    December 9th, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    “Whatever is wrong with you, it is no small thing.”

    Cool runnings?

  26. Dave Says:

    I have no doubt that Mitt Romney is a nice and upstanding person. The problem with mitt and most other politicians who were born in a traditional prominent political family is their lack of personality, resilience and too willing to appease the other side and apologise for things they didn’t do or give up a position they believe in because they were groomed since childhood that they need to play safe. Their unwillingness to push back is the reason the left is dominating in every important field. Being a leader means you have to take on unpopular positions that you believe will be good for the country in the long run.

    Many of you hate bannon, but I begin to understand what he is trying do. He believes that for the right to win we need to replace all the appeasing conservative GOPe like Mccain and Ryan with more fighters like trump and Moore, or to a lesser extent ted Cruz and rand Paul who are willing to hit back, even if it means that republicans take a hit in the short term. Imagine if every republican is a bulldog like bannon, even if we are the minority in congress we can get more done than having a majority with GOPe like flake and Mccain.

  27. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Dave +1

  28. Francesca Says:

    I jumped on the Trump Train for good the day I saw him challenged rudely at a press conference by some wealthy grand-standing Mexican media personality who apparently advocates for the rights of Mexico and Mexicans while living in a gated community in the US, a world away from Mexico and Mexicans. Trump threw him out without apology! Extraordinary!. . .

    Jorge Ramos . . . so disgusting.

  29. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Thanks, Francesca.
    You are correct on that score.

    Armed with his name I was able to scan his wikipedia bio.

    Gotta love a full-time advocate for Mexico and all things Mexican who can’t seem to bring himself to live there or even amongst them.

    Have to love that he has now spent more years living in the US than in his native land; that he has taken out US citizenship and that he considers himself too much man “to be defined by just one country”.

    What an ego.

  30. AesopFan Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Says:
    December 9th, 2017 at 4:15 pm
    I’ve been acting as a caregiver for my 92 & 95 yr old parents for a few years now. They’re somewhat set in their ways and every night they watch ABC’s local and national news….

    The negative coverage is unrelenting. The mildest implication is that Trump is a disaster. The harshest coverage leaves the impression that Trump is a racist, guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors”.
    * *
    We have to strongly dissuade my MiL (91) from starting political discussions with us, as the MSM is all she ever watches, and her comments all begin with, “Don’t you think it’s terrible that Trump ….(cause of the day).”
    Unfortunately, one of our DiLs is starting to sample the kool-aid as well.

  31. AesopFan Says:

    I remember the Ramos spectacle, but by that time I had already tiptoed over to the Trump bandwagon and was leaning on the bumper.
    If you are going to live in America, then at least quit disrespecting her and us — or go back to where it was so much better that you left there to come here.

  32. AesopFan Says:

    Stephen Ippolito Says:
    December 9th, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I wonder if occasionally others here, like me, sometimes pause and ponder if these patterns aren’t really there and exist only in our minds.

    But then I have my morning espresso, wake up fully and reality hits: I am not paranoid at all.
    * *
    You aren’t paranoid if they really are out to get you.

    VDH is invaluable, and I would add Jordan Peterson, and the presenters at Prager University (video series).
    I still watch Bill Whittle and Stephen Crowder, but Hanson and Peterson have a stronger intellectual foundation, or at least one that appeals to me more.
    However, they are making little headway against the flood of misinformation and innuendo pushed by the MSM, because their forum is so much smaller and requires active seeking out.

    Talk about brainwashing…the Legacy Media has a lock on it.

  33. AesopFan Says:

    On point from the PowerLine headlines

    “o anyone over the age of 50 in journalism, this was simply astounding. One of any reporter’s first principles is to be skeptical of freely proffered skinny, especially from sources who demand anonymity in exchange for your possible career advancement. Not every disembodied voice on the phone is a “whistle blower” nor is every random email a Pulitzer-in-waiting — such “sources” are in fact as self-interested, and sometimes malevolent, as anybody else with an axe to grind. That today’s doe-eyed reporters fall for this ruse time and again speaks not only to the hiring practices of these crumbling journalistic edifices, but of the mind-set of those doing the hiring. Personnel, as the saying goes, is policy.
    Then again, far too many national reporters are not only wet behind the ears, but they’ve reached what used to be the big leagues of journalism without proper seasoning in the minors. The scrubs are where you start out, writing the weather stories, covering the cop shop and local town meetings. Then, if you’re any good and don’t screw up too often, you catch the eye of a top scout and graduate to Triple A ball, where you hope to catch the eye of your organization’s manager or GM and get your ticket to the Show.

    What you weren’t supposed to be was an already politicized partisan graduate of the Ivy League with a grudge against “injustice” and a sense of entitlement, but not quite smart enough to get into Harvard Law, where the real action is.”

  34. neo-neocon Says:


    See this.

  35. AesopFan Says:

    Mary Katherine Ham says –
    “The name of the 2017 Poynter Media Trust Survey, a valuable poll and behavioral study on all these media trends, confirms the raison d’etre for this year’s gathering of grapplers— “You’re Fake News!” And the first paragraph of the executive summary: “During the Trump presidency, the United States has witnessed unprecedented attacks on the press from the highest office in the land. It is essential to understand how these attacks have affected attitudes toward the press.”

    We’ve got our correlation and causation mixed up. Trust in media isn’t low because Trump attacks the media. Trump attacks the media because trust in media is low.”

    (it’s a bit confusingly written, but her point is made convincingly)

  36. George Says:

    There are ways of beating the NYT’s paywall. The method I generallly use is to disable Javascript in my browser. Some multimedia features won’t work, but I can live with that.

  37. Dave Says:

    I went to see justice league yesterday, in the beginning of the movie there is a montage showing the chaos in society following the death of superman after the ending event of the last movie batman vs superman. A segment of the montege shows a group of skinhead neo nazi bullying a family of middle eastern in their store. Liberals love through their movies pushing a narrative that is completely opposite of reality. In reality it was trump supporters and people wearing magahats being bullied by progressives and antifa, shops owned by conservatives being bullied out of business is the norm, not the other way around, and 99% of the so called hate crimes turned out to be hoaxes manufactured by progressives to try to fear monger the minorities to vote for the democrats and create the false narrative that trump empowers racists. The liberals were comparing the death of superman to the loss of Hillary, and trump is the the new villain Steppenwolf that he is going bring destruction to the world and everyone needs to join forces to resist.

  38. T Says:

    “If you are going to live in America, then at least quit disrespecting her and us — or go back to where it was so much better that you left there to come here.” [Aesopfan @ 12:17]


    Such activists fly the Mexican flag, as if to say Mexico is better that the U.S., but simultaneously consider it a punishment to send illegal immigrants back there.


    Yep. When the shoe fits . . . .

  39. AesopFan Says:

    neo-neocon Says:
    December 10th, 2017 at 12:42 am

    See this.
    * * *
    Excellent post, as were the comments back in the day.
    There shouldn’t be any surprise that the MSM and especially CNN are such disasters today.

    The censure of Ezra Klein should not be restricted to leftist journalists, as Neo says in her post. I well remember the scathing comments about Noah Rothman’s debut on Hot Air a few years ago — all of it deserved — and yet now he is a featured author on Commentary, an otherwise fine journal.
    If you hire know-nothing-but-what-I-read-in-school writers, you get know-nothing-useful news reports.

  40. AesopFan Says:

    Comments such as these still apply – life does indeed catch up.
    We are seeing anti-intellectualism in action on all sides, but the left is both progenitor and descendant of the roiling surf. And what is the current wave of #MeToo but the Nemesis of the previous acquiescence to (or even celebration of) the harassers’ Hubris.

    Good Ole Charlie Says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 5:02 pm
    I read it in (IIRC) recently a column by Victor Davis Hanson:

    “After Hubris Comes Nemesis”

    Nemesis in some forms awaits the Ezra Kleins of this vale of tears. Sometime, somewhere, somehow…Life catches up.

    I do expect also a wave of anti-intellectualism to break on these shores in the near future…perhaps in a year or two.

    Surf’s Up!

  41. charles Says:

    “Trumps an idiot”

    I hope they keep at it as that might just guarantee another 4 years of Trump after his first term.

    I say that because, while there are many people who believe the MSM’s tripe; enough don’t buy it and know garbage when they smell it.

  42. FOAF Says:

    I may have posted this here before but it is relevant. I think it is telling because it happened long before Trump or even Obama emerged as national politicians and it has stuck with me since then.

    On the night of the 2004 election I was watching MSM coverage (probably one of the last times I watched them for anything). Bush had clinched it and they were at the post-mortem stage. First I turned on CBS and everyone was all grumpy and snarly, “How could Americans vote for this etc. etc….” I switched to NBC and they were at least superficially less biased. Moderator Tom Brokaw asked the correspondents, “What did you learn from covering the election?” and one of them said, “The people in the middle of the country are really angry about the way they are portrayed in the media”.

    Everyone sort of nodded and stroked their chin and I thought, “So what are you going to do about it?” My suspicion was that the answer was “Nothing” but I wasn’t quite right. Instead they doubled down and got much worse, especially after Obama became a serious candidate. As the cliche goes “This is how you get Trump”.

  43. Islamic Rage Boy Says:

    … but somehow Obama watching Sports Center was cute ?

  44. Patrick Says:

    All republican presidents are idiots, going back to Eisenhower at least, with the exception of Nixon I think, and all democratic presidents are brilliant, geniuses even. (in the eyes of the media that is, who in their own eyes are also quite brilliant)

  45. Emma Morrow Says:

    If you MUST open the New York Times under the paywall, use your browser’s incognito mode.

  46. Phelps Says:

    The media is bad at persuasion.

    They run a story that says, “Trump watches Fox & Friends! What an idiot!”

    Average Guy watches that and thinks, “But I watch Fox & Friends.”

    They run a story that says, “Trump eats at McDonalds! What an idiot!”

    Average Guy watches that, and thinks, “I eat at McDonalds.”

    They run a story that says, “Trump says he should sue the media for lying about him! What an idiot!”

    Average Guy watches that, and thinks, “If they lied about me, I would want to sue them.”

    Then, at some point, Average Guy thinks, “They think I’m an idiot.”

  47. Johann Amadeus Metesky Says:

    Sometimes you can get past the NYT paywall by using View Source in your browser options. The full text of the article is sometimes viewable that way. I copy it all and paste into an HTML editor to make it easier to read.

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