THIS morning I am distracted by Trump. It is foolish to surrender to this impulse as there must surely be something more important to consider. But still, Trump it is.
The story catching my eye is that Time magazine has asked the Trump organisation to remove fake covers bearing his image from his golf clubs.
To avoid confusion at this point, it is worth remembering that the ‘Trump organisation’ is not the US government, but the president’s massive business empire. It is easy to confuse the two as they are both headed by the same orange-faced, straw-mopped loon.
For proof of Trump’s strangeness, here is a further distraction. On the Guardian website, and no doubt in other places too, you can find a short video of Donald Trump making a phone call from the Oval Office to congratulate Ireland’s new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
After bumbling something about having lots of Irish people in the US, and saying that he knows most of them, Trump tells Varadkar that he has “a lot of these beautiful Irish press” in the room and singles out Caitriona Perry, who works for RTE, saying “she has a nice smile on her so I’m sure she treats you well”.
Trumps beckons Perry over for a closer look and she posted the exchange on Twitter, calling it “bizarre” – which it is, although no more bizarre than having such a weirdo as US president.
Anyway, back to those fake Time magazine covers. According again to the Guardian, which had it from the Washington Post, a framed Time cover featuring Trump and the headline “Donald Trump: The Apprentice is a television smash!” seen hanging at Mar-a-Lago in Florida was clearly faked.
At the top of this bogus cover was the proclamation: “TRUMP IS HITTING ON ALL FRONTS… EVEN TV!”
The cover is dated March 1, 2009 and is said to have been on display at four of Trump’s golf clubs, even though Time magazine confirmed to the Post that it had never run in the magazine. The actual cover for that date showed the actor Kate Winslett.
I guess the sins of Trump are many, various and huge, so this is really a small matter. But still. The man who leads the free world (gulp and another gulp); the man who is obsessed with fake news (i.e. news of which he disapproves); yes, that man – he faked covers of Time magazine to give his ego a polish. And if you’re wondering where he keeps that ego, it’s a massive barrage balloon that floats above his rather large head; an ego extension if you like, as the original long ago out-grew its original home.
Anyway again, do you know what’s truly odd about this amateurishly fake cover of Time magazine? Last December, the magazine named Trump its ‘Person of the year’. So, he could have had those real magazines framed to replace all the old fake ones.
But there is a catch to the real cover. It describes him as the “president of the divided states of America” and continues a 90-year tradition of naming the person “who’s had the greatest effect on the world and the news for good or for ill”.
Ah, so perhaps the barrage balloon wasn’t so happy about the under-handed compliment.
So, yes, hands up – I have been distracted by Trump when weightier matters were within easy grasp. Trump is the great distractor. That’s how he operates, creating mayhem with a blizzard of stupid Tweets and stupider remarks. And all the while, behind the bluster and the bullshit, he is getting on with making the US a more divided society, and making the world even less safe that it was before he blagged his way into the White House.