HERE is the news as read by Donald Trump…
“Today is a great day, great day. We are great, truly great. Don’t believe those other newsreaders. They’re liars, all of them. Telling lies, terrible lies. Every single one.
“The media are liars, terrible liars. I read it in a book. Or somebody read it in a book. I have people, clever people. Good people. They read books. And they tell me stuff. And what they tell me you wouldn’t believe.
“We all know the media today is fake. Terrible people. So now you can get your news straight from The Donald. My news is good news. Not that fake news everyone else has. Good news. The only news you need to hear. You are good people. You need my good news.
“Here are today’s headlines. The Donald is the greatest president, ever. Ever. Those other presidents – useless scumbags, every one of them. You wouldn’t believe the mess Obama left. And Thomas Jefferson – him too. All of them, bad people. I have done more in four weeks than those losers ever did. Losers – all of them.
“Even that Reagan guy people compare me too. He made films. I made billions. He wasted years learning how to be a politician. I am bigger than that. I don’t learn. I just do.
“America is great again. Told you I’d do that. And the big news is it’s only taken four weeks. Four weeks. Those other losers spent years messing everything up. And I’ve sorted it all out. See that pot of gold? End of the rainbow. My daddy left me a rainbow. I made a better rainbow. A bigger rainbow. Pots of gold, folks.
“Here are the headlines. There is only one, only one. I am great. Those other people are all losers. I am great today. I will be even greater tomorrow. And finally, I will be even greater the day after that. Whatever day that is. I have people, good people. And they tell me what day it is. Every day they tell me what day it is, just in case I forgot…”
The trouble is Donald Trump is almost beyond parody, but at least his administration does seem to be good for satire. Witness Melissa McCarthy’s totally brilliant turn on Saturday Night Live as Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer. Or Alec Baldwin’s equally smart turn as the man himself.
Yesterday’s pugnacious press conference was bizarre, boisterous and bonkers. Instead of letting the much-mocked Spicer face the media, Trump did the job himself. That’s the thing about people like Trump. They always know they can do better than anyone else.
From what he said it is clear Trump watches a lot of television. He seems to spend so much time shouting at the television news it’s a wonder he has time left for that other stuff. You know, being the greatest president ever.
In his solo press conference, he went back into campaign mode. I think this is because he needs an enemy. Hillary lost so she is not much cop as a foe. So, Trump turns the media into the enemy, saying yesterday: “I turn on the TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos, chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can’t get my cabinet approved.”
People like Trump define themselves by their enemies. They see themselves as clearly better than their enemies. But they need that enemy as a sort of self-reflecting mirror.
When he was running for president, his supporters were heard to say that he was a businessman, as if this was some sainted calling. Nothing wrong with being a businessman. But Trump is a megalomaniac tycoon who has always conjured his own truth, and as such has been surrounded by people who nod to his every word, scurry to his every desire. “Yes sir, no sir – three golden towers full, sir.”
As a lifelong member of the fake media, Trump’s attacks worry me. And should worry us all. Basically, he wants the news to be his news. Any news that doesn’t tell his version of the truth is dismissed as fake news. Any news which asks questions is fake news. Any news which isn’t The Donald’s news is fake news.
Leaders who control the news are called something or other. Hang on, I’ll just look it up in one of those things Trump never reads. You know, books. Ah, yes. Dictators – that’s the word for leaders who want to control the news.