Clickbait on clickbait.
Here’s some crap that came from that clickbait aggregator site “Raw Story”: Trump says privately that a terror attack could save him and GOP from 2018 election bloodbath: report.
Yeah, that’s kind of a reach.
I’m not the person who says don’t share things from Rawstory because it’s fake news.
I’m the person who says don’t share things from Rawstory because it’s never the raw story. This article contains a link to a Vox article, which by the way is misleadingly labeled in the link as “Donald Trump’s terrifying plan to win the 2018 midterms.” The Vox article contains a link to a Washington Post article, which actually has the original reporting.
The Washington Post article says:
In private conversations, Trump has told advisers that he doesn’t think the 2018 election has to be as bad as others are predicting. He has referenced the 2002 midterms, when George W. Bush and Republicans fared better after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, these people said.
Yeah, I’m going to say that the aggregators are sensationalizing here. The Post article isn’t clearly saying what the Rawstory headline claims. And that’s their only actual source.
Sure. Trump is reported by an anonymous source to be thinking out loud about the electoral impact of 9/11. But if the source had said “No, I’m telling you Trump said out loud that he thinks a terrorist attack would be a good thing right about now,” you can be sure the Washington Post would have published that. We don’t even know who the hell is saying this, other than that they’re “advisers.”
Now here are two things about anonymous sources.
They’re anonymous for a reason.
Some publications, like the New York Times, have a house rule that nobody gets to be anonymous without a good reason. They’ll even qualify a quote or fact by saying something like “We learned from a senior administration official, who requested anonymity because this information goes against stated policy…” or “A source, who is not named because sharing this information will get them fired, said…” so you can judge its context and reliability.
The Post isn’t doing that here. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the reporter is full of shit. It pisses me off that the Post is letting democracy die in darkness on this one. At least tell us why this “adviser” isn’t being named. That’s essential to the story.
Nobody is just “anonymous.”
Similarly, there’s a semi-standardized set of euphemisms for anonymous sources. A “senior administration official,” for example, means a Cabinet member or someone who’s a peer to the Cabinet. You at least call someone “a former Capitol Hill staffer” or “a person with prominent ties to the intelligence community.”
Calling someone “an adviser” isn’t informing. It’s obscuring. That could be anyone from a Cabinet member to Jared Kushner to a paid campaign consultant. It tells us almost less than nothing.
Long story short:
The aggregator websites aren’t adding any value here, and they’re actually distorting the relevant information with hype and flattened interpretations. I think people should link to the original sources as much as possible. Also, in this case, the original source is playing games with sources and isn’t giving us much reason to trust them.
January 18, 2018 @ 7:41 pm
I’m confused about a lot of things.
First, contrary to the “fake news” polls, Trump says he’s super popular and successful. Obviously he’s not, but if that’s really what he thinks, then he wouldn’t have said that.
Second, why be worried about elections when they’re fixed? Trump claims without evidence that there is massive voters fraud every election, which somehow he was able to prevail against anyway. He was aided by a disinformation campaign organized by Russia, and it looks likely that there was collusion between his campaign and those very Russians.
Supposedly the vote counting was accurate in 2016, but Russia convinced enough gullible Americans to vote for Trump. Now enough people are pissed enough that Russia may not be able to convince enough people in bullshit. Polling suggests that Republicans should lose 2+ to 1, but isn’t that what polls said about
2016? Why should we believe that now?
Republicans still have the benefit of the gerrymandering they did after winning big in census year 2010, meaning that even if they only have a slim minority, they can still manage to control state governments and the House unless Democrats win historically big, in which case maybe they lose the House, but it won’t be in proportion to their unpopularity, and they still own over half of the state governments.
Trump won’t be impeached without a Democrat landslide that takes back both houses of Congress, which is possible. BUT Democrats may well prefer to keep the incompetent Trump contained by the Congressional check on his power, rather than pursue removal, despite what justice demands, simply as a matter of practicality. In all, Trump doesn’t seem to be concerned about getting nothing done, as long as he’s still the center of attention. So why should he be concerned about voters?