Industrial Grade Malfeasance

Politics-TrumpNoDebateNFL

The above is a cute meme that popped up on my Facebook feed, posted there by a Facebook friend. I didn’t create this, and I’m not standing by all that it says. Memes such as this are becoming the currency of expression in today’s world of quick-draw communication. You snatch the meme from wherever, it says something you want to believe, you stick it out there, and then you leave. You don’t hang around to expand, elaborate, justify, or defend. Memes are the art of adversarial hit and run.

That said, I have an issue with the above meme, and that would be the last line, “If Trump is talking…he’s lying.” That is not strictly true. It is not true that if Donald Trump is talking, then he is lying. The truth is that Donald Trump does lie. He lies a lot. And that brings us to another meme recently emerging on my Facebook feed.

Politics-TrumpLochteClinton-02

To make the text available to search engines, I’m posting a transcription:

Ryan Lochte catching so much flack over if he lied or not…..Meanwhile Hillary Clinton is running for President….

That’s just comical.

Instagram photo by TRUMP 2016 · Aug 19, 2016 at 12:44am…

What is so ironic about this is not so much what it says, but who posted it. It was posted by somebody who supports Donald Trump and plans to vote for Donald Trump in November. When this appeared I felt the need to respond:

John Blanton The difference is, it’s obvious to all that he lied.

Yes, this meme appeared to have been created by the Trump 2016 campaign with a curious implication. The implication is there is some question that Ryan Lochte lied, but there is no question Hillary Clinton lied. And therein is additional irony. The implication is patently false:

Bentz’s statement describes how Lochte, a 12-time medalist who initially said the swimmers were robbed, was the member of the group who damaged property and argued with armed men who appeared to be security guards.
Bentz said the swimmers had been ordered out of a cab and were sitting on a curb as the security guards held their guns when Lochte stood up and got into a heated argument with the guards.

This is considerably at variance with Lochte’s initial claim:

On the morning of August 14, Lochte and teammates Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger, and Jimmy Feigen claimed they were robbed after four men forced them out of their taxi at gunpoint. The next day, Lochte claimed in an interview with the Today Show that the four men who stopped their taxi were dressed like Rio de Janeiro police officers. After Lochte had flown home on August 16, Conger and Bentz were prevented from leaving and their passports were seized. A judge in Brazil also issued a search and seizure warrant for Lochte and Feigen; Feigen subsequently contacted the authorities, and said he would make a public statement when the matter was settled. Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro concluded that the athletes were not robbed, but instead had been involved in an incident at a gas station in Barra da Tijuca, west of the city. This investigation found that the swimmers stopped at a gas station near Casa França, where they were involved in a confrontation with security guards regarding vandalism the swimmers had caused in a bathroom while intoxicated. They also claimed that the swimmers had already paid in cash 100 reais ($31) and $20 in U.S. currency as compensation for objects from the bathroom which were damaged, such as a soap holder, a mirror, and a “Please Do Not Enter” sign.

According to anonymous police sources, Conger and Bentz admitted to fabricating the story. The Associated Press reported that Conger and Bentz “refuted Lochte’s claim that the group was held up by armed assailants.” On August 18, police recommended Lochte face charges for falsely reporting a crime. On August 19, Lochte posted on Instagram an apology for his behavior.

The irony here is about to get thicker than can be stirred. Did I mention the meme concerning Lochte and Clinton appears to come from Trump 2016? Yes, I did. I will repeat something I have previously noted about Donald Trump’s frosty relationship with the truth:

Donald Trump is now complaining he can’t get a fair shake from the media. The liberal media are biased against him and burn hours of cable time and print gallons of ink on trivialities such as his statement that President Obama created ISIS (he did not). Hint to Donald Trump: if you don’t want reporters to go on endlessly about stupid things you say, then quit saying them and talk about real issues.

The CNN item quoted above is by Brian Stelter, CNN’s media reporter. Stelter further referred to an additional New York Times article:

Donald J. Trump was on the defensive all week, battered from all sides for his heated statements hailing the Second Amendment and linking political opponents to the Islamic State.

But on Friday morning, Mr. Trump rose early to strike back at his favorite adversary.

“Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) ‘the founder’ of ISIS,” Mr. Trump fumed on Twitter shortly after dawn. “THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?”

Sarcasm! Methinks sarcasm be made of stronger stuff. You don’t follow up sarcasm by coming back and saying you meant what you said:

Given multiple opportunities to allow that his language had been hyperbolic or, yes, metaphoric, Trump refused. On Thursday, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt practically begged him to narrow his definition.
“Last night, you said the President was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant,” Hewitt said. “You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.”
But Trump wouldn’t play along.
“No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS,” Trump said. “I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”

Yeah, Donald Trump! It’s game on. We are going to have a lot of fun between now and November. And I mean that figuratively, not literally.

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