The latest tact of Republican apologists for President Donald Trump’s violating his oath of office by publicly urging China to interfere in the 2020 presidential election is to insist that Trump was just joking.
As Jason Easley reported for PoliticusUsa.com , Representative Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, in an interview with George Stephanopolous Sunday morning on ABC, argued that, of course, Trump was just kidding. Senator Roy Blount, Republican from Missouri, echoed this talking point in an appearance on CBS, insisting Trump shouldn’t be taken seriously when he gives such public shout-outs to China. Such behavior, Blunt claimed, is just Trump’s way of playfully stirring up the press.
That the GOP has circled the Trump wagon and developed its weak script of talking points is clear.
Unfortunately, it looks like the media might take the bait and give these limp and laughable talking points life and gravity.
Last Saturday in the pages of PoliticusUsa.com, I opined that the media and the democrats had become complicit in their behavior in furthering Trump’s strategy of degrading fact and converting know truths into uncertainty and confusion.
This media behavior, unfortunately, continues. Sunday afternoon on Weekends with Alex Witt, NBC reporter Hans Nichols told Alex Witt that all that is necessary for challenging the statements of Blunt and Jordan is to ask Trump himself next time he appears on the White House lawn.
What? Why ask Trump? So he can lie again? Why would the press allow him this subterfuge when the whole world witnessed him deliver his request to China with a completely serious demeanor.
By asking Trump if he was kidding or not about asking China to investigate China, one would only be calling into question what we all witness with our own eyes.
Moreover, we have lots of other evidence available to us from, now, two whistleblowers, as well as statements f Kurt Volker, detailing the Trump administration efforts to blackmail the Ukraine government to open an investigation into Joe Biden.
We have plenty of facts to study to verify exactly what the Trump administration is up to and what’s on its mind.
There’s no kidding. There’s no joke.
There are just serious attempts to undermine our democracy and national security.
The media should know better than to treat Trump’s statements with seriousness rather than privileging and sticking to the facts.
Tim Libretti is a professor of U.S. literature and culture at a state university in Chicago. A long-time progressive voice, he has published many academic and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender, and politics, for which he has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association.
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