The Quintessence of Dumbshitia

Number 3 in a continuing thread

People keep asking… Actually, nobody has asked, but here it is. Dumbshitia is an imaginary world I have concocted, and that is where the dumb shits dwell, hence the name. Here’s another one.

Yesterday the cameras (unfortunately) were turned back on in the White House briefing room, and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was fielding questions. A reporter brought up the case of a story CNN got completely wrong a few days ago. The story was retracted by CNN, CNN apologized to any and all defamed by the story, and three CNN news staff resigned (were fired). One of those maligned by the story accepted the apology offered by CNN, but apparently President Trump did not. Why not?

Sanders saw the opportunity to drill down, and she exercised that opportunity, twisting  the knife until  it snapped off at the hilt, so to speak. The Media Research Center (MRC), which is often a source of material covered in this blog, posted a transcript, apparently from CNN:

CNN Newsroom
6/27/17 3:13

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think it’s the constant barrage of fake news directed at this President, probably, that has garnered a lot of his frustration. You point to that report. There are multiple other instances where that outlet that you referenced has been repeatedly wrong and had to point that out or be corrected. There’s a video circulating now, whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know.

But I would encourage everybody in this room and frankly everybody across the country to take a look at it. I think if it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. I think that we have gone to a place where, if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America, and I think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that’s coming directly from the top, I think that’s even more scary. And certainly more disgraceful. And I hope that that’s not the direction we’re headed. I hope that outlets that have continued to use either unnamed sources, sometimes stories with no sources at all, we’ve been going on this Russia/Trump hoax for the better part of a year now with no evidence of anything. Things like the success at the VA barely get covered. They may get covered for an hour at a time, but this story gets covered day in, day out, and I think America is frankly looking for something better. They’re looking for something more. And I think they deserve something better from our news media.

That about does it. Except that Sanders proceeded to step right into it, deeply. Continuing:

SANDERS: If we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room. But news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources, have, you know, you mentioned the Scaramucci story where they had to have reporters resign.

And that is something that can benefit from Skeptical Analysis.

“If we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off…” Yes, the slightest mistake:

  • JUNE 21 “They all say it’s ‘nonbinding.’ Like hell it’s nonbinding.” (The Paris climate agreement is nonbinding — and Trump said so in his speech announcing the withdrawal.)
  • JAN. 23 “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There’s no evidence of illegal voting.)
  • JAN. 25 “Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.” (Official aerial photos show Obama’s 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)
  • JAN. 25 “Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)” (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)
  • JAN. 25 “So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can’t have that.” (There were no gun homicide victims in Chicago that day.)
  • JAN. 30 “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage.” (At least 746 people were detained and processed, and the Delta outage happened two days later.)
  • FEB. 4 “After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!” (It never apologized.)
  • FEB. 6 “It’s gotten to a point where it is not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” (Terrorism has been reported on, often in detail.)
  • FEB. 9 “Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!” (It was part of Cuomo’s first question.)
  • FEB. 9 Sen. Richard Blumenthal “now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” (The Gorsuch comments were later corroborated.)
  • FEB. 10 “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?” (Trump knew about Flynn’s actions for weeks.)
  • MARCH 4 “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” (There’s no evidence of a wiretap.)
  • APRIL 2 “Now, my last tweet — you know, the one that you are talking about, perhaps — was the one about being, in quotes, wiretapped, meaning surveilled. Guess what, it is turning out to be true.” (There is still no evidence.)
  • APRIL 12 “The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism.” (NATO has been engaged in counterterrorism efforts since the 1980s.)
  • APRIL 21 “When WikiLeaks came out … never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it.” (He criticized it as early as 2010.)
  • APRIL 29 “As you know, I’ve been a big critic of China, and I’ve been talking about currency manipulation for a long time. But I have to tell you that during the election, number one, they stopped.” (China stopped years ago.)
  • MAY 4 “We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.” (We’re not.)
  • JUNE 21 “They all say it’s ‘nonbinding.’ Like hell it’s nonbinding.” (The Paris climate agreement is nonbinding — and Trump said so in his speech announcing the withdrawal.)
  • JUNE 21 “Right now, we are one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” (We’re not.)

That was since becoming President. Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star has commented on 337 false statement by Donald Trump since inauguration.

Previously:

Hopefully nobody will ask me to go on.

But wait. This story is drawn from an item posted by Scott Whitlock on MRC News Busters. Here is what Whitlock had to say:

An anti-Trump journalist on Tuesday suffered a total meltdown, screaming at Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Brian J. Karem, a reporter for a local Maryland paper The Sentinel, lost it after Sanders fought back against a “barrage of fake news.” Sanders lectured the assembled journalists: “If we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room. But news outlets get to go on, day after day, and cite unnamed sources.”

Karem, who wasn’t called on, interrupted and yelled, “Come on! You’re inflaming everybody right here right now with those words!” He exploded, “You’re here to provide the answers and what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country…”

Apparently this is what goes for a “total meltdown” in some circles. We have to wonder what Whitlock would call it if somebody actually experienced a total meltdown. Anything is likely in the world of Dumbshitia.

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2 thoughts on “The Quintessence of Dumbshitia

  1. Pingback: Media Research Center | Skeptical Analysis

  2. Pingback: The Golden Shower | Skeptical Analysis

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