World Leaders Mock Trump: Is There a Line Between Fun & Nasty Hypocrisy?

Comment: 

At a time when both politicians and royalty could use some good public relations activity, this – decidedly – is not it.  

The trouble with  politicians, royalty and the media is that they are out of step with ordinary public opinion.  In one TV discussion show/phone-in, for example, only one member of the panel expressed disgust at the above childish unkindness (which she described as bullying) whereas, just about every member of the public who phoned in, sided with her, not with the other panellists. 

Of course, Trump has brought it on himself.  He has openly criticised other nations for not paying their fair share into Nato, thus incurring the displeasure of the professional politicians. Why, then, be surprised that they gather round to gossip about him, like a cross between a bunch of teenagers and a branch of the Women’s Guild? 

If they really wanted a good topic for gossip, they should have done what real teens and real women would have done –  taken a long hard look at Princess Anne’s hairdo.  She’s “styled” (I use the term loosely) her hair like that for years, and – in my very humble, unprofessional opinion –  it looks more hideous with every passing year.   I’m sure she can be a very nice person (just not at that moment, at that reception, when she was obviously putting in her anti-Trump tuppence-worth of mockery) but her hair style just doesn’t cut it.  If you get my drift…  😀  

It strikes me as a very nasty conversation. Not funny.  Unkind.  As Christians, we need to reflect upon where that line is drawn: were they engaging in innocent banter, a bit of fun, or were they being a bunch of  two-faced hypocrites?  Oh, and before you accuse me of double standards,  my commentary on Princess Anne’s hair-style is intended to be helpful; it should be characterised as free advice from an amateur beautician/hairdresser (and you just need to look at me to see there is nothing in that description which offends against the Trades Description Act 😀 )   

US President’s UK Visit: Scotland’s Shameful Treatment of Donald Trump

Today’s news broadcasts are dominated by reports and commentary on Donald Trump’s visit to the UK.  He’s just arrived and seems to be making most of his journeys within the UK by air, to avoid the nasty protests being staged all over the place. Group-think means that Trump is universally hated here, with loud-mouths peddling the propaganda that he is a racist, misogynistic, you-name-it, who earlier today “ranted” at the Nato Summit.  Never mind that we saw his demeanour, heard his words at the Nato Summit and it was not remotely an angry rant. It was a measured, if outspoken, address to those sitting with him at table and the only  question of any importance is the one NOT addressed by the media hacks:  was he telling the truth?  Of course he was. America is paying much more than any other Nato member and he was doing what none of his predecessors had the bottle to do, calling it out.  

One other feature of today’s discussions is also utterly dishonest. The cost of policing the President’s visit has been rolled out over and over again to attack the decision to invite him in the first place. Never mind that the cost of policing is due to the insistence of the thousands of “peaceful protesters” (let’s review that after the event) who lack respect for the choice of the American people to elect their own President, and never mind, too that we are paying for unnecessary policing at all sorts of events week in and week out, with not a peep of protest from anyone. 

For example, here in Glasgow, there are marches and “charity” runs regularly, if not every week through the city centre on Sundays; one of our readers used to board a bus to go into town to Mass but she never knew which church she would end up attending, all depending on the route for this week’s march, demonstration, “charity” run, whatever.   Then, too, there are the regular Orange Parades and the “Gay Pride” marches – how much do all of these events cost to police? 

So, enough of the bigotry and anti-Trump prejudice currently engulfing the UK, including Scotland, about which the President speaks so warmly.  Makes me ashamed to be a Scot, watching and listening to the nastiness being hurled his way. 

Trump haters want him to stop undermining their work in murdering unborn babies; they want him to stop enforcing the law against illegal immigration.  In short, they want him to follow Scotland/UK’s lead in being a “modern, socially progressive, democratic nation.”   The first time I heard the word “progressive” it was an adjective to “cancer”.  The connection is still apt. 

We, at Catholic Truth, welcome President Trump to Scotland, not least because Our Lord warns us of the price we risk paying at our Judgment if we don’t: “I was a stranger, and you did not make me welcome…” Matthew 25:45-46

Catholic Social Teaching Supports Trump’s Challenges To the Media…


From
Crisis

It is not an overstatement to say that the time of the Trump presidency has been one of protracted struggle between the national administration and most of the media. To be sure, the press and the electronic media have faced off with presidential administrations for a long time. Actually, the press has had their political and ideological biases since the beginning of the Republic. After all, weren’t the Federalist Papers originally articles in newspapers that wanted to support the proposed U.S. Constitution and influence the crucial ratification debate in New York State? Don’t historians write about how “yellow journalism” helped lead to the Spanish-American War? Still, when one looks at the behavior of the media in recent decades, the argument can easily be made that as far as concerns political bias, lack of concern for fairness and objectivity, separating out reporting from commentary, a willingness to dig for the facts instead of just reporting what someone claims, journalistic professionalism, and even attention to whether something reported on actually even happened, we are at a historic low.

While Republicans have probably borne the brunt of harsh presidential media treatment since LBJ, the level of vituperativeness directed at Trump is perhaps unparalleled—even surpassing what Nixon, who was known for his long chilly relationship with the press, faced. Certainly, the media’s unremitting pounding of Trump, beginning even well before Inauguration Day, is unprecedented in these recent decades. Some might say that Trump has invited it, with many questions about his background before coming into office, the attention to the ongoing investigation of “collusion” with Russia during the campaign (although this may actually be an example of the “fake news” that the president criticizes), and Trump’s constant sniping at the media with his regular barrage of tweets. Still, it’s hard to make the case that the media has given any breathing room to Trump anywhere along the way.

Most people would probably say that a president is justified in calling out the media and challenging their misconduct. Other presidential administrations have done it, although probably not as regularly and publicly as this one—nor has the president himself usually been the point man, as is the case with Trump. Despite plenty of grounds to challenge the media, Trump was recently attacked in a manner that surely seemed “over the top” by two senators from his own party. Senator Jeff Flake, who has repeatedly tussled with Trump, first conceded that presidents can surely criticize the press but then equated Trump’s actions with Stalin and seemed to suggest that the media can almost unquestionably be relied upon to present the truth. Flake’s fellow Arizonan, Senator John McCain, who has also had a strained relationship with the president, wrote an op-ed arguing that Trump’s criticism of the press is having the dangerous effect of discrediting it and so was emboldening foreign despots to suppress journalists.

All the while, Trump has not threatened the press with anything like censorship, or prior restraint as in the Pentagon Papers case, or imposing a special tax on oppositional newspapers like Huey Long did, or imprisoning journalists as various judges have done for not revealing their sources. Neither senator had much to say about journalistic responsibility or about whether the media—and what we’re mostly talking about here is the mainstream or “big” media—has in fact been discrediting itself by its actions, the most egregious of which has been reporting on stories that have no factual basis (“fake news”).

One wonders if the senators have any sense about the need to confront adversaries, even when they royally deserve it. Their response to Trump was a particularly striking example of what the Republican “establishment” in Washington has been consistently criticized for: routinely conceding to the other side, a “go-along, get-along” attitude that results in the left advancing its agenda even when it loses elections.

The strikingly uncritical and almost apologetic attitude about the media of Senators Flake and McCain is not something that Catholics should countenance, whether or not they like Trump’s approach or manner—that is, if they think he doesn’t act in a way that is “presidential”—or even if they think he carries it too far. Untruthfulness and wrongdoing—and imperviousness to propounding untruth certainly qualifies as wrongdoing—need to be challenged. Let’s remember how Christ had little reluctance about confronting the errant Jewish authorities of his time and that admonishing the sinner is a spiritual work of mercy. It’s especially necessary for top leadership to do it—both for the greater effect they can have and to inspire others to do the same in their own little arenas. Recall what St. Thomas Aquinas said about how those who rule set the norms for their people.

Moreover, when we talk about the media and calling it to responsibility, Catholics need to be particularly attentive to what the Church has said about this. In his social encyclical, Pacem in Terris, Pope St. John XXIII set out his famous listing of human rights and stressed that rights always have corresponding duties. So, while there is a right to express and communicate one’s opinions, to freedom of speech and publication—which certainly includes people acting in the context of the formal organs of communication, like the news media—the people on the receiving end have “the right to be informed truthfully about public events” (#12).

Vatican II’s Inter Mirifica (The Decree on the Means of Social Communication) stresses that while the media has rights it also has the duty to uphold the moral law, which certainly includes the obligation to report truthfully so that this right of people, the citizenry, to be truthfully informed is realized. It also asserts that civil authorities have a duty “to ensure … that public morality and social progress are not greatly endangered through misuse of these media” (#11-12). The Church here is not saying that government should or that it’s desirable for it to impose censorship, or even that it’s mostly government that should be the vehicle to promote this grave journalistic responsibility. She just says that government has or may have a role of some kind in this. That, of course, may involve nothing more than “setting the record straight” or challenging the media when it puts out false or biased information.

Recently, Pope Francis scored the media’s reporting of “fake news,” saying it always has bad effects, and emphasized the obligation of journalists to report the truth.
From a Catholic standpoint, then, while Trump’s confronting the media about ideological bias, reporting “fake news,” and the like may not be elegant and may even seem excessive sometimes, it is warranted as a means of prodding then to act rightly and be more responsible. As such, it certainly may help the cause of promoting the common good. While scrutiny and challenges of the media’s errant practices should come from many sources, to be sure, when the highest American public authority is willing to take it on it especially highlights the problems and may have the most effect. Again, as St. Thomas said, rulers or leaders shape the course of things. Further, the way Trump is doing it is entirely in line with American constitutional principles. Contrary to what Senators Flake and McCain may think, the First Amendment is in no way being trodden upon. [Stephen M. Krason: A Catholic Reaction to Trump and the Media]

Comments invited…  

Hurricanes Divine Judgment on President Trump’s Disbelief in Global Warming?

 Comment:

There’s certainly a school of  belief that God does sometimes express his wrath through natural disasters, and there are biblical verses to quote: “The LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with whirlwind and tempest and flames of a devouring fire.”  (Isaiah 29:6)

But as a punishment for not believing a scientific theory? C’mon! 

As we reflect on the significance – if any – of these terrible hurricanes, let us remember two things; firstly, of course, to pray for the poor people suffering, at this time, and secondly, one thing that has not made (and is unlikely to make) the anti-Trump broadcasting news here in the UK  – that President Trump donated one million dollars of his personal money to the people of Texas and Louisiana.  

Over to you – are these hurricanes a punishment for not “believing in” global warming?  

Fake News Becomes Fun News…

By far, my favourite news anchors and political ccommentators are those across “The Pond” in the U.S.A.  And my all-time favourite is Tucker Carlson. Watch the hilarious interview below, to see why…

As our regular bloggers know, every now and then we take a rest from the serious stuff and enjoy a “good clean fun” thread where we post jokes and entertaining stories/videos. This is one of those “fun” threads, in the midst of the serious topic threads, although there is a serious note to be struck with regards to the media, generally so easily fooled by nonsense “news” (think transgenderism, among other things.) Tucker is never afraid to challenge the politically correct and other nonsense – and this interview is no exception; tell us what you most enjoyed about it.

From Trump Tower To Papal Glower…

Vatican City: Pope Francis urged US President Donald Trump to be a peacemaker and gave him a copy of his encyclical on climate change at their first meeting on Wednesday, after the two men exchanged sharp words last year.   Click here to read rest of this report

 

 

Comment:

Pity Donald Trump didn’t hand the Pope back his “climate” encyclical and tell him what, precisely, to do with it.  But not until he’d expressed a very clear view about the cold climate in the Vatican; reading that report of the visit of Donald Trump to the Vatican,  doesn’t it seem that the Pope has insulted Trump?  Grins for Obama and  glowers for Trump?  Tells its own story.  Like, says it all when a Protestant president is more pro-life and more polite than a pope.  Does it not?  Not to mention the cheek of it, to put peacemaking onto the shoulders of the new President of the USA when he, Pope Francis, holds the key to world peace if only he would obey Our Lady of Fatima and consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.  Some nerve, then…